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Glandore's Lawrie Smith Wins Race One of the Dragon Gold Cup

10th September 2023
There were more than two hours of intense racing in the first race of the Dragon Gold Cup in Torquay
There were more than two hours of intense racing in the first race of the Dragon Gold Cup in Torquay

Glandore Yacht Club’s Lawrie Smith, the 2015 Gold Cup and 2011 Dragon World Champion, and this season's Edinburgh Cup champion, emerged victorious in the Børge Børresen Memorial Trophy after a gruelling 10-mile-long windward leeward course in challenging conditions.

From Ireland, Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring and David Williams from the Royal St.George Yacht Club finished 24th, and Brian Goggin, Sean Murphy and Daniel Murphy from Kinsale Yacht Club were 31st. 

Despite leading at the first mark, Smith faced tough competition from half a dozen other contenders, with the race lead changing hands frequently. It was only on the final beat into the line that Smith was able to regain control and cross ahead of Denmark’s Bo Johansen. Japan’s Y-Red Yanmar Racing Team helmed by Peter Gilmour came in third, with reigning Dragon World and European Champion Wolf Waschkuhn of Switzerland finishing fourth.

The Royal Torbay Yacht Club Race Committee, led by Race Officer Stuart Childerly, faced a forecast of mainly light airs with the possibility of wind building for a period during the afternoon and clocking round to the right. The wind did exactly that, going from five to fifteen knots and through almost ninety degrees as the race progressed. Stuart and his team did an excellent job of keeping on top of the shifts and moving the marks to ensure each of the legs was as true as possible.

The fleet got away at the first time of asking, but Britain’s Mark Dicker, Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, and Tom Hill were all called over the line and had to return. Wilkinson-Cox made an impressive comeback, fighting her way back up to nineteenth place, a considerable feat in a fleet of this quality. After the race, she commented, “We’re well pleased with our boat speed, we just need not to start on the ‘ladies’ tee,’ to use a golfing analogy!”


  • 1st - Lawrie Smith, GBR815, Alfie - 1 = 1
  • 2nd - Bo Johansen, DEN423, Deja vu ver, 2.0 - 2 = 2
  • 3rd - Peter Gilmour, JPN56, YRed - 3 = 3
  • 4th - Wolf Waschkuhn, SUI318, 1quick1 - 4 = 4
  • 5th - Xavier Vanneste, BEL82, Herbie - 5 = 5

Race Results

You may need to scroll vertically and horizontally within the box to view the full results

Published in Dragon, West Cork 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.