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Calendars in Kinsale fill quickly and Sunday saw the annual Ecumenical service of Sea Sunday attract sailors and fishermen and first responders to the seaside town. The annual vintage car rally added character and colour and one mile South of Sandycove Island the second day of the Barry Ryan Civil Engineering sponsored open keelboat Regatta saw Dragons and Squibs sail in idyllic conditions.

Saturday’s racing had been testing for Race Officer Donal Hayes with a wind swing of over 100 degrees toward the end of the second race. It had been well forecast and planned for, and before the Dragons could finish their smashed avocadoes on toast, the seasoned mark layers of Kinsale Yacht Club had laid a whole new course. Fingers were crossed but the wind stayed fair and true. At the end of the day Cameron Good et’ al led the Dragons and Colm Dunne the squibs – but by small margins, and it was all to play for in day 2.

There was a particularly sweet win for Glandore’s Aphrodite in Race 2 as she spotted a line of wind no one else had and slipped away from the pack, winning a full leg ahead of boats half her age. The boat enjoyed it just as much as the crew.

On Day 2 the weather again delivered what was forecast and Grand Prix conditions provided three tough races. Sailing isn’t always enjoyable to watch but a Dragon Fleet, start-line scramble resulted in a number of recalls and a lot of open exchanges of opinion. The excitement continued with personal battles fought and marks being put down well into the afternoon. Wins were not easily come by.

The Squib fleet were just as contentious and the nip and tuck racing left no room for error. Race 2 was marred/enhanced by a number of boats protesting a single boat – but all for different reasons. The fleet appeared to self-regulate, the protested boat retired and protests were withdrawn. Asked about what happened the only answer was ‘That would be an ecumenical matter’. 

A stellar weekend, enjoyed by all. 

Results:

Squib

1 Allegro (C. Dunne & F. Ward)
2 Outlaw (I. Travers & K. O’Riordan)
3 Fifty Shades (C. Daly & M. Buckley)

Dragon

1 Little Fella (C. Good, H. Kingston & S. Furney)
2 Serefina (B. Goggin, D. Murphy & H. Lewis)
3 Tenacious (A. O’Neill, E. O’Neil & D. Horgan)

Published in Kinsale
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At a time when we’re constantly being warned in public life that we have to mark the current “Era of Centenaries” in a sensitive manner, it’s probably insensitive to respond by pointing out that the Irish sailing community is having quite enough trouble, thank you, in getting used to the fact that some boats we still think of as being modern are actually entering the vintage category and beyond writes W M Nixon.

But that’s the way it is. Perhaps “ageless” is not the word we seek. Maybe we should be veering more towards the all-enveloping category of “timeless”. Whatever it is, there are many among us who simply can’t get our heads around the fact that the always-elegant International Dragon is 90 years old in 2019, while the ever-young, fresh-as-a-daisy Laser is having her Golden Jubilee.

Laser Class Golden Jubilee

Or maybe it will be next year – it all depends on how closely things followed on from the ground-breaking Laser-creating phone call in 1969 (or even earlier) between Canadian boat ideas man Ian Bruce, and fellow-Canadian designer Bruce Kirby, aimed at providing an inexpensive easily-carried single-hander which looked good and sailed well.

The boat as she emerged – finally christened the Laser in December 1970 – closely followed Kirby’s original doodle in the immortal style of the best inventions. And of course, she has become one of the few boats to acquire Olympic status (it was in 1996) while remaining genuinely and hugely popular at club level.

We’re well aware that some global Laser production had been going through such a sticky patch recently that we’re now meant to call the officially-recognised boat the “ILCA Dinghy”. But it’s going to take some doing to get a re-naming to stick in place for a boat with the Laser’s long-standing popularity and brand recognition.

This popularity was very clear at last September’s Laser World Masters in Dun Laoghaire, with more than three hundred sailors from all over the globe, and Ireland getting a star performance from Mark Lyttle of the National Yacht Club. A turnout on this scale really was something else – there were Lasers in abundance whichever way you looked, and more than a few of the helms far out-dated the design concept of their wonderful little boats.

mark lyttle2Mark Lyttle (NYC) training in Dublin Bay for the first Olympics with the Laser in 1996, when he was a race winner. Photo: David O’Brien/Afloat.ie
mark lyttle3 Mark Lyttle after winning the Grand Masters Division in the Laser Worlds in Dublin Bay in September 2018. Photo: David O’Brien/Afloat.ie

But equally, as the “Masters” categories begin at age 35, there were quite a few helms who had yet to make their debut on the planet when the Laser was already born, so the vintage overall nature of the boat could well match the impressive range of maturity of some of the most senior helms.

This will be in evidence at the Irish Laser Masters this weekend in Howth, where they’ve had a continuous Laser racing programme on the go since 1974. But though Howth’s annual frostbite series for this timeless little boat continue to attract a healthy turnout, as is so often the case the sheer population weighting to be found south of the Liffey means that Dun Laoghaire names pack numbers and success, and defending champion in the Radials is RStGYC’s Sean Craig, who expects strong competition from clubmate Marco Sorgassi, while the home club’s Dan O’Connell, Dave Quinn and Daragh Kelleher are in winning form.

sean craig4Sean Craig, defending champion in the Radials this weekend’s Irish Laser Masters at Howth
These are all sailors to whom the adjective “timeless” could equally apply - living embodiments of the saying that sailing is a sport for youth of all ages. And even if the Laser does get replaced in the Olympic stakes by some newer design – as has been hinted for the French Olympics in 2024 – we only need to look at the story of the International Dragon to realize that Laser sailors will continue to have their sweet little boats as designed by Bruce Kirby playing a very big part of their life afloat well into the foreseeable future and beyond.

Because once upon a time, the International Dragon was very much a part of the Olympic circus. So much so, in fact, that when she got her marching orders after the 1972 Olympics - having been in the lineup since 1948 – there were those who thought it would lead to an inevitable decline in the class.

Dragon Class is Ninety Years Old

But on the contrary, it seems that most Dragon sailor cared a lot more about the joy they got from their boats than they did about the Olympic thing. So much so, in fact, that today the class is facing into year 90 in the very best of health, and its big championship, the 2019 Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup at Medemblik in the Netherlands from the 8th to 14th June, has already attracted more than a hundred boats from 16 nations in four continents, with Jorgen Schonherr from Denmark the defender after the championship in Finland last year.

dragon fleet5So who needs to be an Olympic class? The Dragon Gold Cup ten years ago. The 2019 event in The Netherlands in June has already attracted more than a hundred entries from sixteen countries.

The Dragon first appeared in Sweden in 1929 to a design by Norwegian Johan Anker, and there has been Irish involvement in the class since at least 1936. Certainly what is probably the most senior Dragon still racing – Don Street’s Gypsy in Glandore – is all of 86 years old, and she has been in Ireland a long time. As for her extraordinary skipper, he is one of the keenest advocates of the Dragon as a boat for sailors of all ages even if he himself is 89, but he concedes in the Dragon-sailing longevity stakes to Australia’s champion Gordon Ingate, who this year will be 92.

don street6aThe legendary Don Street – at 89, he races an 86-year-old Dragon with as much enthusiasm as ever

These figures are enough to make anyone dizzy, so to get some idea of the Dragon’s enduring appeal, let’s consider Irish involvement with the Gold Cup, which dates back to 1936. On several occasions, we’ve had a top Irish boat there or thereabouts, but the harsh reality if that it was brought back to Ireland only the once, and it was to Northern Ireland, to the then-thriving Dragon fleet at RNIYC at Cultra on Belfast Lough.

It was 1947, and the winner when the Gold Cup was raced on the Firth of Clyde was Eric Strain of RNIYC helming Billy Barnett’s Ceres. This led in due course to Strain becoming the British Dragon Helm in the 1948 Olympics at Torquay. But as Ceres was just a standard Scandinavian-built Dragon, Billy Barnett – who owned a successful Belfast engineering firm – decided that the exceptional talent of Eric Strain deserved the very best boat that money could buy, so the legendary yacht-building firm of Camper & Nicholson in Gosport were commissioned for the job.

dragon planing8Offshore at Glandore, the Dragons can get up and fly…Photo: GHYC/Richard Harrison
The resulting Ceres II was an exquisite bit of work. Maybe too exquisite. It was suspected that she was slightly heavier and not as fast as the first Ceres, and at the 1948 Olympiad, while Eric Strain and Ceres II did well, it wasn’t quite good enough. They were fourth. In Ireland, we do not need to be reminded of the huge void – a veritable chasm - to be found between the Bronze Medal-winning third and the otherwise commendable but medal-less fourth…….

1948 is now 71 years ago, yet today the International Dragon continues to play a very special role in world sailing. It’s something we take for granted. But what other sport would be continuing to use equipment designs whose unchanged basic concept originated 90 years ago? Boats which - to many of us - still seem well up-to-date.

Historic Ketch Ilen

It brings us back to that concept of timelessness. This weekend, the Limerick ketch Ilen will be on passage from Dunmore East towards Dublin Bay, and when people get to see her at Poolbeg from Sunday evening, and at the Royal Irish YC in Dun Laoghaire next Friday, they’ll be in no doubt that they’re looking at a concept of considerable antiquity, as her design of 1926 was evolved from Conor O’Brien’s Saoirse design of 1923, which O’Brien said was in turn inspired to some extent by a notably able Arklow fishing boat which dated from the 1860s.

Whatever the origins, it means that Ilen is only three years older than the International Dragon, and that the Laser has been around for more than half of Ilen’s existence. Truly, ours is one extraordinary sport. And if you really want to point up the oddities of vehicle design which sailing can produce, just consider that some years ago the berth at the RIYC which Ilen will occupy was very elegantly filled by the 70ft Fife designed-and-built cutter Hallowe’en.

Halloween light9A Fastnet Race record setter, the 70ft Fife cutter Hallowe’en (seen here at the RIYC in Dun Laoghaire) was built in 1926. Photo: W M Nixon
ilen kinsale10The 56ft Ilen – seen here in Kinsale this week – was also built in 1926. Photo: Gary MacMahon

Hallowe’en was built in 1926, and she took line honours in that year’s Fastnet Race in a record time which stood for many years. It’s mind-boggling to think that in the same year – and in a boatyard at Baltimore near the Fastnet Rock itself – the unbelievably different Ilen took shape. Yet such is the case, and next Friday we’ll have the opportunity to savour the variety of sailing craft which the special calls of seafaring can produce - and each and every one of them has their devoted adherents.

Published in W M Nixon

There was bad luck for Ireland's Jaguar racing team in Portgual today when the Royal St George trio of Martin Byrne, Mark Pettit and Brian Matthews scored two Black Flag disqualifications. It brings an end to the Dun Laoghaire team’s goal of a top ten finish at the Cascais Dragon European Cup event. 

The competition at the Dragon HM King Juan Carlos Trophy in Cascais is really heating up with the top five boats now separated by just three points going into the last day of the regatta. Day three saw races five and six of the eight race series completed in 13 to 18 knots under clear blue skies. Two more race winners came to the fore, meaning that there have now been six winners in six races. Even by the exceptional standards of the Dragon fleet, the competition is exceptionally close and with two races still to go the regatta remains wide open.

Once again the fleet struggled with the current on the start line and once again the race committee employed first their Uniform and then their Black Flag to get them underway.

In race five overnight leader Grant Gordon from Scotland and third placed Jens Rathsack of Monaco were both over at the start and had to pull out of the race. For those still racing it was nip and tuck until the third run. Mutli-Championship winning Dragon legend Lars Hendricksen, crewing this week for Dutchman Pieter Heerema, takes up the story:

"At the start the pin end was favoured. We nearly won the pin, but didn't quite make it. We went out to the left and then crossed behind the fleet going to the right side. We took a few shifts out to the right and came into the first mark in fourth. For the next couple of legs the boats were fighting closely, but on the third downwind the boats that went left went right into this shadow behind the mountains, so there was a kind of vacuum and we saw that when we were in fourth or fifth position, so we basically gybed away, took a big circle around the fleet and we were leading."

Heerema then held that lead for a confident race victory from Germany's Otto Pohlmann. Peter Gilmour sailing for Japan finished third, clearly demonstrating that his boat was none the worse for her night spent underwater, Frenchman Gery Trentesaux took fourth and Russians Dmitry Samokhin and Anatoly Loginov were fifth and sixth respectively. Portugal's Pedro Rebelo de Andrade crossed in seventh, making him the only boat still holding an all single digit scoreline, and Switzerland's Hugo Stenbeck was eighth.

Going into race six Heerema now held a one point overall lead from Loginov. Andrade lay three points further pack in third and Gordon, Stenbeck, Samokhin and Rathsack were all within three points of him.

Again the fleet were over eager at the start of race six, but this time the leading group managed to stay out of trouble. Having been excluded from race five Rathsack came back with a vengeance to take first place ahead of Samokhin. Switzerland's Hugo Stenbeck slotted into third and Trentesaux took his second fourth place of the day. Gordon was fifth and Loginov sixth.

In the overall standings Anatoly Loginov will start the final day of racing on twenty-five points, with a single point lead over Jens Rathsack. Hugo Stenbeck and Dmitry Samokhin have twenty-seven points apiece with Stenbeck taking third on countback, Grant Gordon sits on twenty-eight points and Pedro Andrade is in sixth with thirty points. Heerema had something of a shocker in the sixth race finishing, knocking him firmly off the lead and down into seventh overall, four points behind Andrade.

In the Corinthian Division Portugal's Miguel Magalhaes has strengthened his lead, while Belgium's Guy Celis has moved into second place, leapfrogging over Manuel Rocha who was protested and penalised for a start line incident in race six and down to third.

The regatta concludes tomorrow, Saturday 4 May, with a maximum of two further races possible. The first start is schedule for 11.00 and there is a final warning signal cut off time of 14.00. With so much to play for everyone will be hoping that the wind gods cooperate and both races can be completed.

Provisional Top Ten After Four Races

Anatoly Loginov - RUS27 - (20), 3, 7, 3, 6, 6 = 25
Jens Rathsack - MON2 - 11, 6, 2, 6, (UFD), 1 = 26
Hugo Stenbeck - SUI311 - 2, (23), 12, 1, 8, 3 = 27
Dmitry Samokhin - RUS76 - 2, (21), 9, 9, 5, 2 = 27
Grant Gordon - GBR820 - 12, 1, 3, 7, (UFD), 5 = 28
Pedro Rebelo de Andrade - POR84 - 5, 8, 6, 4, 7, (13) = 30
Pieter Heerema - NED412 - 7, 2, (16), 8, 1, 16 = 34
Gery Trentesaux - FRA428 - 19. 7. 1, (DSQ), 4, 4 = 35
Martin Payne - GBR769 - (18), 13, 4, 2, 12, 11 = 42
Otto Pohlmann, GER1205 - 10, (DNF), 13, 12, 2, 7 = 44

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After the strong winds and drama of the opening day, day two of the Dragon HM King Juan Carlos Trophy, being hosted by the Clube Naval de Cascais Royal St. George's Martin Byrne are now sixteenth overall in the second leg of the 2019 European Cup. As Afloat previously reported, crewed by Brian Matthews and Mark Pettit, the Dun Laoghaire trio are now 13 points outside the top ten in the 29-boat fleet. A second Irish boat, Jonathan Bourke's Cloud, is 28th. Full results are here

The change in conditions brought a welcome change of pace with light to moderate breezes and plenty of hot sunshine. Races three and four of the eight race series, brought some surprise results and a significant shakeup on the leader board.

Just prior to the start of racing all attention was on the recovery of Peter Gilmour's Team Yanmar JPN56 following her sinking after yesterday's race. Excellent work by the club staff, Pedro Andrade of 8th Dimension Racing and a professional dive team saw her rapidly recovered. Fortunately, the boat had come off virtually unscathed and Gilmour has confirmed that they will be back with the fleet tomorrow.

Out on the race course, Cascais continued to offer superbly challenging sailing for this top-flight Dragon fleet, with lots of shifts and some tricky wave patterns to contend with.

On the starts the fleet struggled with current taking them over the line and it took three attempts to get each race underway. In race three the committee brought out the Uniform Flag and both Russia's Viktor Fogelson and Portugal's Pedro Mendes Leal had to take scoring penalties. In race four the committee went to Black Flag and four teams were disqualified, a move which was to have significant impact on the overall standings.

As always consistency is the key to success and Britain's Martin Payne, sailing with Ali Tezdiker and Antonio Matos, proved to be the most consistent performers of the day. A fourth in the opening race followed by a second in race four moved them nicely up the leader board from sixteenth to seventh.

Monaco's Jens Rathsack, crewed by Diogo Pereira and Frederico Melo also had a great day scoring a second and sixth. Scotland's Grant Gordon, sailing with Ruairidh Scott, James Williamson and Alex Warren took a third in race three and then a seventh, while Russia's Anatoly Loginov with Vadim Statsenko and Alexander Shalagin did the reverse with a seventh and then a third.

With overnight leader Gilmour temporarily out of the picture, Gordon jumps from fourth into the overall regatta lead by two points from Loginov who had come into the day in eleventh place, while Rathsack goes from seventh to third, a single point behind Loginov. Also scoring ten points for the day thanks to sixth and fourth places was Pedro Rebelo de Andrade, who remains in fifth overall by one point.

After racing Jens Rathsak spoke about how close the competition is: "Our third race was almost perfect. An easy start, we had good speed out of the start, we chose the correct side and ended up being second at the first mark. Normally it pays to go right here in Cascais, but today it was left so everything is changing. It was very close on the finishing line, we finished second tacking in just ahead of Grant Gordon. The fleet is closely matched, the points are very equal, so the championship overall is going to restart tomorrow and everything is still up for grabs."

Switzerland's Hugo Stenbeck won race four and with a twelfth in race three now lies in fifth place overall, one point behind Andrade and one ahead of Dutchman Pieter Heerema, who had a tricky day with a sixteenth and eighth place which pushed him down from second to sixth place overall.

Top French offshore sailor Gery Trentesaux got his day off to a great start with a win by the narrowest of margins in race three, but then fell foul of the Black Flag in race four.

Also caught by the Black Flag was fellow Frenchman Stephane Baseden, who came into the day in sixth place and took fifth in race three, but now drops down into ninth overall, ten points behind the leader.

In the Corinthian Division for the all amateur teams Portugal's Miguel Magalhaes, crewed by Jorge Pinheiro de Melo and Jose Magalhaes has taken a four point lead over his fellow countryman Manual Rocha crewed by Jose Bello and Bernardo Torres Pego. The Belgian team of Guy Celis, Willie Hambrouck and Steven Vermier are third Corinthians at this mid point in the regatta.

After racing the crews came together to enjoy some of the Clube Naval de Cascais' legendary daily hospitality and bask in the warmth of the late afternoon breeze on the club's harbour view terrace.

Two further races are schedule for tomorrow with the start time revised from 11.00 to 13.00 to again allow for the anticipated early afternoon arrival of the sea breeze. The regatta continues until Saturday 4 May with a total of eight races programmed.

Provisional Top Five After Four Races

Grant Gordon - GBR820 - (12), 1, 3, 7 = 11
Anatoly Loginov - RUS27 - (20), 3, 7, 3 = 13
Jens Rathsack - MON2 - (11), 6, 2, 6 = 14
Pedro Rebelo de Andrade - POR84 - 5, (8), 6, 4 = 15
Hugo Stenbeck - SUI311 - 2, (23), 12, 1 = 16

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Royal St. George's Dragon ace Martin Byrne is lying 11th in the second leg of the 2019 European Cup. As Afloat previously reported, crewed by Brian Matthews and Mark Pettit, the Dun Laoghaire trio scored a 15 and a ten in yesterday's opening rounds. Full results are here

The opening day of the 24th HM King Juan Carlos Trophy in Cascais produced the strong winds and big seas for which this open ocean venue is famous. After the success of the inaugural Dragon European Cup regatta in Cannes in early April, the top Dragon teams from across Europe and as far afield as Japan, Hong Kong and Russia have made the pilgrimage to Portugal for this second leg of the four regatta plus Grand Final series.

The Clube Naval de Cascais provided two excellent windward leeward courses as the wind built from mid teens at the start of racing to approaching 30 knots by the end of the day. The racing was superbly competitive and first blood went to the Japanese Yanmar Team, helmed by America's Cup and World Match Racing Tour legend Peter Gilmour, crewed by Yasuhiro Yaji and Sam Gilmour. They followed this up with a fifth in the second race to end the day with a three point overall lead on their nearest rivals.

Lying in second place after two races is the Dutch team of Vendee Glove veteran Pieter Heerema, crewed by the multiple Dragon championship winning Lars Hendricksen and George Leonchuck. They opened their series with a seventh and then added a second to put them three points behind Gilmour and three ahead of the Spanish team of Javier Scherk, crewed by Paulo Manso and Diogo Barros, who put an eighth and fourth on their score card.

The second race was won by Scotland's Grant Gordon, crewed by Ruairidh Scott, James Williamson and Alex Warren, and this combined with a twelfth in race one, in which they had ended up on the wrong side of one of the big shifts, to put them into fourth overall on thirteen points, one point behind Scherk. Also finishing the day with thirteen points and now lying fifth overall is top Portugal's Pedro Rebelo de Andrade who came into the regatta leading the European Cup after his victory in Cannes and as a home waters favourite.


It was a tough day both physically and mentally for the crews. The wind was very shifty and frequently varying in strength from the low teens to high twenty knots. After racing Grant Gordon's team noted that they had done the final race with their medium jib and settings as although it was topping out at around 28 knots, much of the time it was significantly lighter so having the flexibility to change gears rapidly was vital.

Whilst the majority of the fleet racing this week are extremely experienced there is one young team taking part in their very first Dragon European Cup event. The British Scaramouche Sailing Project takes pupils from The Grieg City Accademy in London's Haringey District, one of the city's most deprived areas, and uses sailing to encourage them to reach their full potential. During the Cannes event the project's Kacey Marfo raced aboard the winning boat with Pedro Andrade, and this week Andrade has lent one of his fleet of Petticrow V6 Dragons to a team entirely made up of Project Scaramouch sailors. The boat is helmed by Jahvarn Knight with Martin Evans, Jessey Opoku-Ware and Jaydon Owusu crewing. They did themselves proud with a 21st and 25th today, no mean achievement against such a strong international fleet in such challenging conditions. The grins on their faces as they came ashore said it all and Jahvarn Knight summed up the day for everyone when he described it simply as "Epic."

The strong conditions led to a few retirements with gear failure, including one broken mast which will be replaced overnight, but the more serious incident of the day actually happened after racing. A sudden very strong shifting squall hit the fleet on their final approach to the marina. Unfortunately, Peter Gilmour caught the squall at the same time as an awkward wave and he was knocked into the boat resulting in an involuntary tack. With the jib pinned to weather and the main on the runner, the boat was simply blown down by the wind and large waves. Fortunately, his is one of the latest designs with raised floorboards and increased buoyancy so the crew had time to clear themselves safely from the boat before she went down. It also gave them time to take their GPS position so they could subsequently mark the location and a dive team has been organised for early morning and hopes are high that they will be able to recover the boat and continue to race tomorrow.

With the wind forecast to be lighter in the morning, the Race Committee has published an amendment to the sailing instructions to delay the start of racing from the originally published 11.00 to 13.00. Although published prior to the sinking of Team Yanmar, this delay might just buy Gilmour the extra time he needs to get his boat back and ready to race.

Two further races are scheduled for today and the regatta continues until Saturday 4 May with a total of eight races programmed. Three races are required to constitute a series and a single discard will be allowed once five races have been completed.

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Royal St. George's Martin Byrne makes a welcome return to the Dragon in the second leg of the 2019 European Cup and will be crewed by Brian Matthews and Mark Pettit, who both have multiple Dragon titles to their names. Winner of the 2011 Dragon Edinburgh Cup, for the British Open Championship, Martin is looking forward to his return to international competition and, as a sailor who loves big seas and big breezes, is sure to find Cascais in Portugal to his liking.

The 24th HM King Juan Carlos Regatta, to be hosted by the Clube Naval de Cascais from 1 to 4 May 2019, will see the leading International Dragon crews come together for the second leg of the four regatta 2019 Dragon European Cup series.

After a stunning opening event in Cannes in April, the fleet moves on to Portugal’s Atlantic Coast for what promises to be another hotly contested regatta. Cascais offers spectacular open ocean racing with big waves and strong breezes. The top players from the Cannes event have made the trip to Cascais and with crews from Portugal, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Russia, Monaco, the United Kingdom and the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club all taking part it will truly be an international affair.

Portugal’s Pedro Rebelo de Andrade currently leads the series having taken victory in Cannes and goes into this regatta with home waters advantage. For Britain’s Grant Gordon Cascais is also familiar territory and having had to settle for third place in Cannes, following the abandonment of a race he was leading and a black flag in the penultimate race, he will be very much hoping to avoid incident and climb the rankings. Also hoping to move up the leader board are Switzerland’s Hugo Stenbeck and Russia’s Dmitry Samokhin, who finished fifth and sixth respectively in Cannes.

There are a number of new faces joining the fleet for this second leg including Britain’s Martin Payne, one of the fleet’s most experienced and successful sailors, who is teaming up with double and reigning Dragon World Champion Ali Tezdiker and top local sailor Antonio Matos. Martin has raced in Cascais for many years and knows the waters well, so this will certainly be a team to watch.

Fresh from a seventh place at the 2019 Dragon World Championship in Freemantle comes Charlotte ten Wolde from the Netherlands, who will race with her sister Juliette, Janka Holan and Francisco Rebelo de Andrade. Francisco represented Portugal at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics in the 49er class and also counts Cascais as home waters, so this team has huge potential.

Eight windward-leeward races are scheduled over the four days with courses set in either Cascais Bay or the Guia race area, depending on weather conditions. Ashore the Clube Naval de Cascais will offer a welcoming home from home for the sailors with après sailing gatherings each evening and a final prize giving on Saturday.

The 2019 Dragon European Cup circuit comprises four regattas plus a Grand Final. The four regattas are the Dragon Grand Prix Cannes (2-5 April), the 24th HM King Juan Carlos Regatta, Cascais (1-4 May), the Dragon Grand Prix Germany, Kuhlungsborn (3-6 July) and the Dragon Grand Prix Spain, Palma de Mallorca (11-14 November). The Grand Final takes place in Palma on 15 and 16 November. To qualify for the Final, teams must compete in three of the four regattas including the Grand Prix Spain. Twenty teams will qualify for the final and there will be a quota for Non-Corinthian and Corinthian sailors based on the proportion of non-Corinthian/Corinthian teams participating in all four qualifying events.

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Going into yesterday’s final two races at the Dragon National Championships at Glandore Harbour Yacht Club three boats were tied on 11 points, with the discard yet to apply, and any one of four teams had the chance to win the title.

Download overall results below

Race 5 on Sunday saw Kinsale YC’s Cameron Good on Little Fella and the Royal St George team led by Neil Hegarty on Phantom battle it out at the front of the 21 boat fleet. Phantom won this one so after the discard had been applied they remained tied with Little Fella going into the last race.

The other contenders, Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team and Danish sailor Paul Rickard Hoj Jensen on Danish Blue had their worst results of the event after a wind shift left them down the fleet in 5th & 6th respectively. However, Byrne had the better result after discard so he counted an earlier 3rd in his overall score. This left the Jaguar Sailing Team very much in contention for the overall title going into the last race.

The final Race 6 on Sunday afternoon was sailed in a 20-knot westerly breeze under the direction of Race Officer Alan Crosbie.

The start was a tense affair with the leaders keeping a very close eye on each other. Denis Bergin on Sir Ossis of the River took an early lead but was overhauled by Jaguar & Phantom on the 2nd beat. In the meantime, Little Fella was struggling in 4th and Danish Blue was further back in 6th.

Martin Byrne DragonMembers of the runners up Jaguar team Adam Winkelmann (left in blue jacket) and Martin Byrne (right with half model)

To win the title Phantom just needed to stay in touch with Jaguar, who extended their lead and take their first win of the series. And Jaguar needed Little Fella to drop to 5th in order to take the runners-up spot overall. This is in fact what happened as Little Fella took a flyer to the left on the last leg of the course in an attempt to catch up. But this allowed Tim Pearson on Zu to sneak into 4th place while Sir Ossis sailed their best race to stay in 3rd.

So the final leg of the final race saw the overall title retained by Phantom with Jaguar 2nd and Little Fella 3rd overall.

This was easily the most competitive Championship in years but the most positive feature of the event was the number of young people sailing Dragons. The Glandore fleet have a strong youth involvement in the Dragon Class both as volunteers and sailors.

It was acknowledged by all the competitors that the event was superbly organised by Glandore Harbour Yacht Club with the help of sponsorship from Fehily Timoney & Company and the Dragon Class will be back in 2019 for their South Coast Championships.

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Day three today and with just three races to go in the Dragon National Championships at Glandore Harbour YC, where 21 boats make up the fleet, it’s tight at the top.

Cameron Good on Little Fella from Kinsale YC leads on countback after winning both races yesterday.

Title holders Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring and David Williams on Phantom are still in the hunt with four-time National Champions Jaguar Sailing Team with Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and Mark Pettit.

This group are just ahead of Danish multi Olympic–medalist Paul Richard Hoj Jensen who is sailing with Simon Brien and Mick Cotter both former Irish Dragon National Champions.

Results downloadable below

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Kinsale Yacht Club victorious Dragon crew stopped off at the Bulman Buoy this evening on the way home from Cork Week. The purpose of the impromptu break in the voyage was to photograph RCYC's famous 'Thomas Lipton Trophy' – won earlier off Crosshaven – on the well known Kinsale mark. 

Helmsman Brian Goggin with Daniel and Sean Murphy in Serafina were one point clear after seven races sailed in Cork Week's second biggest fleet.

Another Kinsale boat, Cameron Good's Little Fella was second overall in a show of Dragon class strength for the West Cork club. 

Celebrations will continue tonight at Kinsale Yacht Club!

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Light and shifty winds combined with a sea left over from the big onshore breezes of the previous day created new challenges for the 28 teams competing in the Dragon Edinburgh Cup at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club writes Rupert Holmes.

The day's first race got away cleanly in 6-8 knots of breeze. Laurie Smith's Alfie tacked onto port early, which quickly gained him an early lead and he was soon followed by a number of others. Around 15 minutes after the start the wind began to swing to the right as a band of light rain moved across the course, giving those in the right a significant advantage.

Smith was first to round the windward mark, followed by Bocci (Atsushi) Aoyama's Yevis ll and Louise Racing. Peter Cunningham's Power Play rounded fourth, followed by the only lady helm in the fleet, Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, in Jerboa. However, Bailey – overall leader after the first two races – was unusually buried, languishing back in 16th place.

The leaders extended away quickly on the run, but the wind then eased as the sun returned, leading to a tricky balance between sailing high and gybing through less painfully large angles. Louise Racing rounded the right hand leeward mark first, followed closely by Power Play and Jerboa. However, Klaus Diederichs's Fever and Alfie were first to the advantaged left-hand side of the gate. Fever took first place, ahead of Jerboa and Alfie, while Power Play benefitted from being the left-hand most boat among the leaders to finish fourth, while Gordon took fifth.

"We were fourth or fifth on the first beat and on the downwind leg we got stronger wind coming from the right," said Diederichs. "Then we were first to get to the left hand mark at the gate. We protected our position form there, but Gavia had good speed and height, and challenged us hard."

The fourth race in the series started in more consistent conditions, with a 6-8 knot easterly breeze. Jono Brown's Storm and Peter Cunningham's Power Play appeared to be best placed of the boats near the pin and the fleet quickly tacked onto port as the wind shifted left after the start.

Aimee then flipped back onto starboard, becoming one of the left-hand most boats in the fleet in the early stages of the first beat. Meanwhile, Alfie remained on the right-hand side, while Louise Racing held a more intermediate position between the two. The latter rounded the windward mark first, followed by Tom Vernon's Badger, Alfie, Storm and Jerboa.

The boats on the right hand side of the first run again appeared to be advantaged. By the end of the leg Louise Racing had pulled out a 43 second lead on Storm, with Badger dropping down to third, while Alfie slid down to fourth place, 10 lengths further back. Gordon then continued to extend his lead for the rest of the race, finishing more than two minutes ahead of Eric Williams' Ecstatic. Alfie took third and Jerboa fourth.

A vibrant social scene is a core part of the success of the Dragon class and the day ended with a barbeque, prize giving and live band, hosted by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox. Among the daily prize winners, Grant Gordon won the spectacular Terry Wade Trophy for winning the fourth race of the series.

Gordon now holds the overall lead, one point ahead of Alfie, with Aimee retains third overall, a further 10 points adrift. Jerboa is fourth, on equal points with Power Play. Aimee still leads the Corinthian fleet, ahead of Storm and Bertie.

Results after Day 2:

PosSail NoBoatHelmCrew1Crew2Crew3R1R2R3R4Pts
1 GBR820 Louise Racing Grant Gordon Ruairidh Scott James Williamson Laura Dillon 1 3 5 1 10
2 GBR815 Alfie Lawrie Smith Joao Matos Rosa Goncalo Ribeiro Diogo Pereira 3 2 3 3 11
3 GBR782 Aimee Graham Bailey Julia Bailey William Heritage Wiliam Bedford 2 1 12 6 21
4 GBR761 Jerboa Gavia Wilkinson‑Cox Mark Hart Lauren Fry Carl Feeney 12 8 2 4 26
5 CAY9 Power Play Peter Cunningham Pedro Rebelo de Andrade Charles Nankin   7 10 4 5 26
6 GBR810 Badger Thomas Vernon Ollie Spensley‑Corfield Adam Bowers   4 7 11 7 29
7 GBR819 Fever Klaus Diederichs Diego Negri Jamie Lea   8 5 1 16 30
8 GBR770 Storm Jonathan Brown David Brown Lynette Brown Frances Wood 8.5 8.5 8 9 34
9 GBR763 Bertie Simon Barter Donald Wilks Joanna Richardson   5 4 7 21 37
10 GBR408 Joanna Dimitry Bondarenko Vadim Statsenko Alexander Shalougin   6 14 13 11 44
11 GBR682 Ecstatic Eric Williams Rory Paton Katie Cole   14 9 20 2 45
12 GBR818 Harry Mike Budd Mark Greaves Chris Gowers   15 11 9 10 45
13 JPN50 Yevis II Bocci (Atsushi) Aoyama Martin Stavros Payne Junichiro Shiraishi   11 29 6 8 54
14 GBR722 Avalanche Mark Wade Amanda Wade Nigel Cole   16 12 15 14 57
15 SUI318 CK1 Wolf Waschkuhn Andy Beadsworth Pete Cumming   10 6 29 15 60
16 GBR777 Furious Owen Pay Dr. Jonathon Mortimer Tom Hicks   13 13 23 12 61
17 GBR788 Quicksilver VI Rob Campbell Penny Anderson Paul Fletcher   20 19 22 13 74
18 GBR696 Good Grief! Patrick Lomax Georgina Dewar Simon Cash   17 20 19 19 75
19 IRL201 Jaguar Martin Byrne Conor Byrne Adam Winkelmann   9 29 17 23 78
20 GBR806 Vixen Tim Saunders Carole Holme George Davies   24 16 21 17 78
21 GBR753 Fit Chick Simon Raw Chris Grosscurth Emma York   25 18 14 22 79
22 GBR669 Suprmacy Andrew Millband Rob Goddard Rob Smith   18 29 10 25 82
23 GBR704 Ganador Martin Makey Tim Wilkes Teresa Wilkes   22 17 18 27 84
24 GBR617 FlameAgain David Hall Geoff Butcher Julie Thomas‑Page   19 21 25 20 85
25 GBR633 Fei‑Lin's Flirtation Ron James Julia Walsh Peter Aitken   23 29 16 18 86
26 RUS2 Riassa (809) Michael Cope Rob Eldridge Susie Delves Lomax Daniela Urban 21 15 26 26 88
27 GBR644 Tsunami Colin Brereton Chris Mills Andy Wilkins   29 29 24 24 106
28 FRA341 Nanouck IV Eric Le Bon Muriel Requet‑Barville Aurore Declerck   29 29 29 29 116
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