Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Durcan on Board Winning British Dragon in Vilamoura

14th January 2024
Racing action from the Algarve Dragon Winter Cup at Vilamoura
Racing action from the Algarve Dragon Winter Cup at Vilamoura Credit: Prow Media

Irish Dragon sailors were in action in Portugal at the weekend with Royal Cork and Baltimore's Harry Durcan on board the winning boat in round two of the Algarve Dragon Winter Cup at Vilamoura.

Durcan was part of a four-up British entry skippered by Pete Cooke with Torvar Mirsky and Peter Nicholas, who tied on points with Portugal's Pedro Rebelo de Andrade but won on the tie-break rule.

Also racing from Ireland was Dun Laoghaire's Jonathan Bourke with Conn Harte-Bourke and Sam Gullivan, who finished seventh in the 11-boat fleet.

Round three of the Cup sets sail on February 16th.

In a big year for Irish Dragon sailing, Kinsale Yacht Club will stage the class's prestigious Gold Cup this September.

Race Results

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Published in Dragon 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.