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Whisper Leads After First Day of Dragon Nationals in Kinsale

24th August 2023
Kinsale YC’s Tenacious eyes Jaguar Sailing Team in the distance on Day 1 of the Dragon Nationals
Kinsale YC’s Tenacious eyes Jaguar Sailing Team in the distance on Day 1 of the Dragon Nationals Credit: Bob Bateman

Whisper — sailed by Daniel Murphy, his brother Sean and Brian Goggin — tops the fleet after the first day of racing in the Irish National Dragon Championships in Kinsale on Thursday (24 August).

The home team scored a bullet in the first race with a fourth-place finish in the second, enough to put them ahead of the Royal St George’s Phantom (Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring & David Williams) who placed second and third respectively. Both are on five nett points.

Little Fella, another Kinsale YC home entry and last year’s championship winner, is in third after a stronger performance in the second race, second over their previous fifth.

The highly touted Jaguar Sailing Team from the Royal St George is much further down the table in eighth place after a disastrous second race which saw them trailing most of the fleet in 15th.

Racing continues on Friday (25 August).

Dragon National Championships 2023 Photo Gallery Day One at Kinsale Yacht Club By Bob Bateman

Race Results

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Published in Dragon, Kinsale Team

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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.