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Royal St. George's Jaguar Sailing Team Move into Fourth Overall in Régates Royales Dragon Fleet

21st September 2022
Dragon racing at the Régates Royales, in Cannes, where Dun Laoghaire's Jaguar Sailing Team lie fourth overall
Dragon racing at the Régates Royales, in Cannes, where Dun Laoghaire's Jaguar Sailing Team lie fourth overall Credit: Jehan Lérin

An early morning start on Wednesday was delayed for the Dragon fleet at Régates Royales, in Cannes as the anticipated Mistral gale took its time to materialise.

Eventually, the fleet got away in a stiff 25-knot breeze that took its toll as many boats retired on the first leg with gear failure. Two of the casualties were Irish Dragons, Tarasque and Sir Ossis.

But Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team from the Royal St. George, Dun Laoghaire and Daniel Murphy’s Fortitude from Kinsale were fighting it out at the front of the fleet, eventually finishing fifth and 11th, respectively. The fleet was sent ashore after just one race.

Jaguar Sailing Team moved up to fourth overall and first Corinthian. Fortitude are now 13th overall.

Byrne told Afloat that he was disappointed with the decision not to hold the planned second race - “this was an important day for us as we anticipated a strong performance in the heavier breezes. We were hoping for two low-scoring results that might bring us into the top three overall. Our speed and boat handling were good, but we got caught out twice on the downwind legs where covering competitors cost us places”.

Racing continues on Thursday and Friday when more moderate breezes are expected to return.

Race Results

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Published in Dragon
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The Dragon was designed by Johan Anker in 1929 as an entry for a competition run by the Royal Yacht Club of Gothenburg, to find a small keel-boat that could be used for simple weekend cruising among the islands and fjords of the Scandinavian seaboard. The original design had two berths and was ideally suited for cruising in his home waters of Norway. The boat quickly attracted owners and within ten years it had spread all over Europe.

The Dragon's long keel and elegant metre-boat lines remain unchanged, but today Dragons are constructed using the latest technology to make the boat durable and easy to maintain. GRP is the most popular material, but both new and old wooden boats regularly win major competitions while looking as beautiful as any craft afloat. Exotic materials are banned throughout the boat, and strict rules are applied to all areas of construction to avoid sacrificing value for a fractional increase in speed.

The key to the Dragon's enduring appeal lies in the careful development of its rig. Its well-balanced sail plan makes boat handling easy for lightweights, while a controlled process of development has produced one of the most flexible and controllable rigs of any racing boat.

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