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Two final races in glorious sun and moderate breeze completed the six-race Dragon Gold Cup 2021 by Yanmar in Marstrand. The regatta ended on high drama when no less than five of the top ten boats were disqualified under black flag in the penultimate race, throwing the overall results wide open. Those on the wrong side of the line included Dirk Pramann, Dmitry Samokhin, Andy Beadsworth, Torvar Mirsky and Jens Christensen, who had gone into the day 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th respectively.

For overnight leader Pieter Heerema the sight of so many close challengers pulling out must have been a welcome relief. But with no discard in the Gold Cup there was still a lot of racing between him and victory so it was immediately back to the business in hand. Once again this hugely experienced team, which includes past Gold Cup and Double European Championship winning helm Lars Hendriksen and Ukrainian double 49er Olympian and past Gold Cup-winning crew George Leonchuk, sailed fast and smart to finish second behind Anatoly Loginov in RUS27. Loginov had been black flagged in the first race of the series so despite this being his third race win he had no realistic chance of making the podium and was sailing purely for the joy of it. Crossing the line in third came Belgium's Benjamin Morgen, with Demark's Frank Berg fourth and young Australian 49er sailor David Gilmour, helming for the Japanese YRed team in father Peter's absence, fifth.

Going into the final race Heerema and his team had a sixteen point delta on nearest rival Pedro Andrade so their focus was on starting cleanly and staying out of trouble. Andrade got a great start at the committee boat end, tacked right straight away and went on to lead the race comfortably all the way to the finish. Behind him a chasing pack soon broke off the front of the fleet and a tight battle ensued between Andy Beadsworth, Magnus Holmberg, Dmitry Samokhin, David Gilmour and Pieter Heerema. Despite winning the race in spectacular style Andrade knew his reign as Dragon Gold Cup Champion had come to an end as Heerema crossed the line in fourth behind Beadsworth and Samokhin. Holmberg took fifth and Sweden's Martin Pålsson sixth.

In the overall standings, Pieter Heerema claimed victory by thirteen points. Pedro Andrade took second and the Japanese team of David Gilmour, Sam Gilmour and Yashiro Yaju sailing YRed and representing event sponsor Yanmar finished third.

This will be a particularly sweet victory for Pieter Heerema who has spent some 30 years trying to win the Gold Cup and had developed something of a bridesmaid's reputation having made the lower slopes of the podium in 2013, 2018 and 2019, but never quite made it to the top step. But Heerema, a Vendee Globe Race veteran, is not a man to give in easily and that determination has finally paid off. After the prize-giving an elated Pieter Heerema summed up his feelings saying, "I've tried to win this thing a lot of times and I've been several times second, third and fourth, but finally it works!"

For Martin Pålsson his sixth place in the final race moved him up to fourth in the overall standings and confirmed him and his crew of Peter Lindh, Thomas Wallenfeldt and Gustav Gärdebäck as the 2021 Dragon Gold Cup Corinthian Champions. Second in the Corinthian Division was Denmark's Frank Berg with Germany's Benjamin Morgen third.

The Dragon Gold Cup also features a special competition for national teams called the Nations Cup. Three boat teams for each nation are selected based on their finishing position in the opening race of the series. The winners of the 2021 Nations Cup are the Russian team of RUS76 Rocknrolla (Dmitry Samokhin), RUS35 Sunflower (Viktor Fogelson) and RUS27 Annapurna (Anatoly Loginov). The deed of gift states that the trophy shall be held by the helmsman of the team member with the highest overall placing and so the Nations Cup will be returning to Russia with Dmitry Samokhin.

At the prize giving held outside the island's famous Societetshuset community hall the sailors were able to not only salute the victors, but also say thank you to the people of Marstrand, to the staff and members of the Marstrand’s Segelsällskap, the Göteborgs Kungliga Segelsällskap and the Swedish Dragon Class, to the Race Officer Mattias Dahlström and his team and to the event sponsors Yanmar and the many supporting sponsors and suppliers who helped make the event possible.

As the sun finally set on the Dragon Gold Cup 2021 by Yanmar Martin Pålsson summarised the event beautifully saying, "First Marstrand showed its bad side, I've never seen so many day's ashore here in my whole life, but finally we got three days with super sailing and we got all the races in and they were full length races. The Race Officers and everybody have done a tremendous job, the social life has been well organised and fun despite the COVID-19 restrictions and everything has been great. We've seen some impressive sailing from some young new crews and we've seen the Corinthian teams getting great results overall too."

The 2022 Dragon Gold Cup will take place in Ostend, Belgium from 21 to 26 August, while the next major event in the International Dragon calendar will be the Italian Grand Prix and the Dragon European Grand Prix Finals in Sanremo, Italy from 26 to 31 October 2021. And, as regular Afloat readers will know, the Dragon Gold Cup comes to Kinsale, County Cork in 2024.

Overall Top Ten

1st - NED412 - Troika - Pieter Heerema - 1, 2, 5, 3, 2, 4 = 17
2nd - POR89 - Pedro Andrade - Petti Portugal - 2, 6, 8, 7, 6, 1 = 30
3rd - JPN56 - David Gilmour - YRed - 13, 25, 2, 12, 5, 8 = 65
4th - SWE401 - Martin Pålsson - Nono - 14, 11, 9, 10, 25, 6 = 75
5th - SWE345 - Jan Secher - Miss Behaviour - 8, 27, 20, 5, 7, 9 = 76
6th - SUI311 - Magnus Holmberg - Sophie Racing - 20, 1, 30, 13, 9, 5 = 78
7th - DEN266 - Frank Berg - My Way - 28, 3, 14, 20, 4, 12 = 81
8th - RUS27 - Anatoly Loginov - Annapurna - BFD, 10, 1, 1, 1, 7 = 91
9th - GER1180 - Benjamin Morgen - Rosie - 12, 5, 33, 25, 3, 14 = 92
10th - GER1207 - Nicola Friesen - Khaleesi - 9, 8, 27, 16, 27, 10 = 97

Corinthian Top Five

1st - SWE401 - Martin Pålsson - Nono - 2, 3, 2, 2, 16, 1 = 26
2nd - DEN266 - Frank Berg - My Way - 12, 1, 5, 6, 2, 3 = 29
3rd - GER1180 - Benjamin Morgen - Rosie - 1, 2, 17 10, 1, 5 = 36
4th - BEL80 - Ben Van Cauwenbergh - FL4T OUT - 4, 8, 11, 1, 11, 9 = 44
5th - RUS35 - Viktor Fogelson - Sunflower - 7, 5, 9, 16, 4, 6 = 47

Click here for full results

Published in Dragon
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After the successful staging of The Sovereigns Cup in June, Kinsale Yacht Club is now preparing for another Championship in early September.

Over 15 teams are expected to battle it out for the O'Leary Life Irish Dragon national title, a title that has never been won by local hotshots "Little Fella" (Cameron Good, Henry Kingston, Simon Furney) having watched arch-rival "Phanton" (Neil Hegarty, David Williams, Peter Bowring) take the crown consecutively for the last number of years.

This year, however, Little Fella has won the South Coasts and East Coasts already this year so that the Nationals would give them the Grand Slam!

Racing starts on 2nd of September under race officer John Stallard.

Eight teams from the host club will compete, with another Kinsale crew "TBD" (James Matthews, Dave Good, Fergal O'Hanlon) expected to be in the mix if it's windy.

If conditions are lighter, "Serafina" (Brian Goggin, Daniel Murphy, Sean Murphy) or the beautifully restored "Titan" (Martin Byrne, Ben Cooke, Rui Ferreira) could be the ones to watch.

"Little Fella" (Cameron Good, Henry Kinston, Simon Fourney) carries local hopes of landing the National Dragon title"Little Fella" (Cameron Good, Henry Kingston, Simon Furney) carries local hopes of landing the National Dragon title

Kinsale Dragon crew "TBD" (James Matthews, Dave Good, Fergal O'Hanlon)Kinsale Dragon crew "TBD" (James Matthews, Dave Good, Fergal O'Hanlon)

Kinsale Yacht Club Vice-Commodore, Matthias Hellstern, commented, "We are delighted to welcome the Dragons to Kinsale for their National Championships next month in what looks like being a very hot fleet. The Dragon fleet numbers are continually growing in Kinsale, and two new teams are already actively seeking boats for next season. I am also delighted to see the initiative to attract young sailors from Glandore with a special reduced entry fee for the under the '30s. Special thanks to our sponsors O'Leary Life who has been a phenomenal supporter of our club over the last number of years, with multiple Sovereigns Cup sponsorships, and we are extremely grateful to have them on board for the Dragon Nationals."

Brian Goggin from sponsors O'Leary Life added, "As a Kinsale dragon sailor myself, O'Leary Life are delighted to support this event. Kinsale Yacht Club are a fantastic club, made up of some incredible volunteers who go above and beyond to ensure the continued success of the yacht club, and O'Leary Life is delighted to acknowledge the same with our support."

Notice of Race and online entry is now available here

Published in Dragon
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When Pedro Andrade and his crew lifted the historic Dragon Gold Cup on the 14 June 2019, little did they know it would be more than two years before they would be called upon to defend their title.

Traditionally held annually, the 2020 Dragon Gold Cup, was just one of thousands of major international sporting events cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis.

As regular Afloat readers know, the 2020 edition was bound for Kinsale Yacht Club before the West Cork was forced to cancel. Happily, however, Kinsale is already making plans to stage the 2024 Cup, an important international regatta for the Irish south coast.

After this unexpected hiatus and having received official approval from the Swedish Government, Marstrands Segelsällskap, Göteborgs Kungliga Segelsällskap, the Swedish Dragon Association, the International Dragon Association and the Clyde Yacht Clubs Association are delighted to announce that the 2021 Dragon Gold Cup by Yanmar will be raced off Marstrand, Sweden from 12 to 20 August 2021.

With over 80 entries from 17 nations already confirmed this will be a very special celebration for the 92-year young Dragon Class. International Dragon Association (IDA) Chairman Jens Rathsack summed up the feeling of the sailors in saying, “The past year and a half has been so frustrating for all sailors, and I want to pay tribute to all our Dragon friends worldwide who have tried to make racing happen wherever they are. It’s been especially hard to lose so many of our major championships, and that is why I am so delighted that the Swedish organisers have patiently worked to make this year’s Gold Cup happen. I know that it will be a fantastic event and I wish them and all competitors the very best.”

The Swedish organisers are truly pulling out all the stops to make this an event to remember. Afloat the race management team will be headed by Race Officer Mattias Dahlström, who’s experience includes the America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, Olympics, World Match Racing Tour and multiple World and Continental events. He leads an experienced team used to delivering regattas of outstanding quality. Ashore the International Dragon Gold Cup 2021 by Yanmar competitors and their friends and family can look forward to a superb social programme in the elegantly relaxed Swedish style.

Published in Dragon
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While Kinsale Yacht Club cruisers boats were racing around the Kowloon Bridge Buoy and the club also staged the Squib south coast championships, another West Cork Yacht Club was staging a Glandore Harbour race for Dragons and Squibs to Castletownshend.

11 Dragons and 11 Squibs sailed in the annual race in ideal sailing conditions of 10 to 12 knot breezes last Saturday.

In the Dragon fleet, Sonata, in her first major event since being relaunched by her new owners this week, was the winner, ahead of Aphrodite second and War Baby in third. 

Trojan was the first Squib home followed by Tequilla Chaser in second and Kingfisher in third place.

Fergus of Mary Ann’s Bar in Castletownsend provided bottles of wine for the prizewinners.

Diarmuid O’Donovan of Glenmar Shellfish donated lobsters for the winning boats in the race back to Glandore. The first Dragon was Aphrodite, the first Squib was again Trojan,

Published in Dragon

West Cork Dragon sailors dominated the podium of the Irish East Coast Dragon Championships 2021 at the Royal St. George Yacht Club today with Kinsale Yacht Club crews claiming first second and third overall in the 13-boat fleet.

Overall winner Cameron Good's 'Little Fella' ended the six-race series with three race wins and a five-point margin over clubmate James Matthews on 14 points.

Securing its position as the new force for Dragon sailing in Ireland, Kinsale yachts led from Friday's first day of racing with Matthews edged out by Good after Saturday's fourth race in 15-20 knot south easterlies on Dublin Bay.

From left -  Joey Mason Dublin Bay Dragon Class Captain, Winning skipper Cameron Good with crew Henry Kingston and Matthias Hellstern and Royal St. George Y Commodore Richard O'ConnorFrom left - Joey Mason Dublin Bay Dragon Class Captain, Winning skipper Cameron Good with crew Henry Kingston and Matthias Hellstern and Royal St. George YC Commodore Richard O'Connor

One time leader James Matthews finished second overall Photo: AfloatOne time leader James Matthews finished second overall Photo: Afloat

Third place was Tomas O'Brien's Scarlet Ribbons two points further back on 17 points. 

Tomas O'Brien's Scarlet RibbonsTomas O'Brien's Scarlet Ribbons

The top Dublin boat was Peter Bowring and David Williams' Phantom of the host club in fourth place on 19 points. 

Peter Bowring and David Williams' PhantomPeter Bowring and David Williams' Phantom of the host club

Kinsale will host the prestigious 2024 Dragon Gold Cup, a high point on the calendar after the disappointing cancellation of the 2020 Cup at that venue due to COVID. 

Results are here

Dragon East Coast Championships Photo Gallery

Published in Dragon

Kinsale entries continue to lead after five races sailed at the 2021 Irish East Coast Dragon Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

Friday's overall leader James Matthews from Kinsale Yacht Club has however been replaced at the top of the leaderboard by clubmate Cameron Good.

Good, who topped the first major Irish Dragon Championships since 2019 in June, now leads the 13-boat Dun Laoghaire event by three points. 

Cameron Good's Dragon 'Little Fella' leads on Dublin BayCameron Good's Dragon 'Little Fella' leads on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

Good's scoresheet includes two race wins secured in yesterday's 12 to 18-knot breezes from the southeast with a mist and fine drizzle.

Testing championship conditions for the fleet were completed with a good chop in the north of the Bay. 

Racing continues on Sunday. 

Results are here.

Published in Dragon

Kinsale Yacht Club sailors dominate the top three places overall at the Irish East Coast Dragon Championships 2021 at the Royal St. George Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour this evening. 

James Matthews leads by three points having scored 3,1 in sea breeze conditions on Dublin Bay. The Kinsale ace is followed by clubmate Tomas O'Brien in Scarlet Ribbons on seven points with Cameron Good's Little Fella in third place on 11 points.

The south-easterly breeze built from ten knots for the opening race up to 16-18 knots for the second race of the day.

IRL 201 Titan in her first race since refit wins the opening race of the Dragon East coast Championships. Photo: Adam WinkelmannIRL 201 Titan in her first race since refit wins the opening race of the Dragon East coast Championships. Photo: Adam Winkelmann

Host club hopes were high when former Royal St George Yacht Club Commodore Martin Byrne took the gun in the first race but retired in the stronger breeze of the second race.

Byrne, a former Edinburgh Cup winner, was sailing IRL 201 Titan in her first race since refit. Byrne is sailing with Ben Cooke and Rui Ferreira.

Racing continues over the weekend. Provisional results below.

Published in Dragon

The first major Irish Dragon Championships in Ireland since 2019 was hosted by Glandore Harbour Yacht Club with 19 Dragons on the racecourse under Principal Race Officer Ciaran McSweeney. 

Cameron Good's Little Fella from Kinsale and Neil Hegarty's Phantom from the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour were the pacesetters and after six races sailed were tied on eight nett points each. 

A winners tie break was settled in favour of Little Fella with third overall going to Good's clubmate James Matthews. 

The Championship Trophy and lots more race prizes were presented on the Glandore Terrace by GHYC Commodore Eamon Timoney and Fleet Captain Kieran O’Donoghue.

While local Dragon veteran Don Street did not race Gypsy in the event, he sailed out to the race area on Friday & Sunday to inspect the fleet.

Full results here 

Published in Dragon
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After two decades of printing hard copy yearbooks, the International Dragon Association has launched its first-ever digital edition. 

The bumper edition has 54 pages of entertaining and informative reading about one of the leading racing keelboats.

Despite many predictions over the years of the boat’s decline in the face of new technology, it has not just survived but prospered, and now numbers 1400 active registered Dragons.

The class will stage its 2024 Gold Cup in Kinsale following the cancellation of the 2020 Cup in the West Cork port due to COVID.

The new yearbook can be accessed from the Home Page of the International Dragon website here. It can be read on a tablet, phone or computer.

Published in Dragon
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Just as Ireland's one-design keelboat classes were gearing up for the last blast of the season this weekend, anticipated COVID-19 restriction hikes are threatening the staging of the annual regatta at Dromineer in County Tipperary.

Flying Fifteens, Dragons, Squibs and SB20s are all scheduled to compete.

Organisers of the traditional end of season freshwater regatta at Lough Derg Yacht Club (9-11th October) will be watching out for COVID-19 level announcements today. The much-anticipated hike in restrictions aired on Sunday night (NPHET advice for a countrywide Level Five lockdown) would bring the curtain down on the popular autumn event that typically sees boats travelling from Northern Ireland, Dublin, Cork and other ports for the three-day event.

Some of Dublin's One Design keelboat classes are hoping that current Level 3 restrictions due to expire this Friday will allow travelling out of the county for the last sail of the season. All Dublin club racing has been cancelled over the last three weeks due to the county-wide restrictions.

Lough Derg Yacht Club has posted a Notice of Race with the rider that the 'Club reserves the right to cancel this event with short notice and all fees will be refunded' if it cannot go ahead.

In Kinsale, Squibs were hauled out at the weekend in anticipation of the Squib Inland Championships that are being held as part of the Lough Derg event.

Published in Inland Waterways
Page 2 of 21

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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