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Royal St. George's Neil Hegarty sailing Phantom took the lead in the Dragon East Coasts yesterday in Dun Laoghaire winning both races in difficult sailing conditions.

Defending champions Martin Byrne on Jaguar Sailing Team were joint leaders overnight in the ten–boat fleet after day one but a 4th & 2nd left them 3 points behind Hegarty on Saturday.

Cameron Good from Kinsale in Little Fella is a further four points behind in third overall with the two final races to be sailed today.

Published in Dragon
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#DRAGON - Following on from the recent successes of the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway and the Tall Ships Races in Dublin, Kinsale Yacht Club is set to host another major international sailing event in the Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup from 8-14 September.

Over 60 boats and 200 sailors from Japan, Hong Kong, Russia, Ukraine, Sweden, Germany, Finland, France, Portugal, Denmark and Monaco as well as strong fleets from both Ireland and the UK will compete in the what is considered the World Cup of Dragon sailing.

Among the competitive fleet sailing in the open waters off the Old Head of Kinsale will be several world champions and former Olympians including current Dragon Gold Cup holder Marcus Wieser, Tommy Muller, Vincent Hoesch, Volvo Ocean Race veteran Lawrie Smith and current Irish National Dragon Champion Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen.

Between them, their accomplishments include two Olympic gold medals and Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup campaigns.

Also competing are Jorgen Schoner, winner of three Dragon Gold Cups; Lars Hendriksen, winner of two Dragon Gold Cups and two European Dragon Championships, and former British Olympian and America’s Cup sailor Andy Beasworth who will be joining Klaus Diedreichs. 

Closer to home, the Irish Dragon fleet will be well represented by the Edinburgh Cup winner Simon Brien as well as established campaigners Martin Byrne from Dun Laoghaire, Don O’Donoghue, Andrew Craig and Cameron Good from Kinsale.

“We are delighted to host the prestigious Dragon Gold Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club this season and look forward to welcoming a world-class fleet to Kinsale for a full racing and social programme,” remarked Good, Commodore of Kinsale Yacht Club.  

Meanwhile, the Irish Dragon South Coast Championships are taking place this weekend 1-2 September to serve as a 'warm up' event for the Gold Cup. Entries are still open for both events. See for regular updates.

Published in Dragon

#DRAGON SAILING – Ireland's Edinburgh Cup sailing champion Martin Byrne took fourth overall at last weekend's International Dragon Match Racing event in Cascais, Portugal.

The invitation only event included Dragon National Champions from across Europe.

Weather conditions were ideal with clear blue skies and moderate breezes for the three day event which was raced inside Cascais Harbour which drew a big crowd of specators on the shore. Having topped the round robin series of racing, Byrne faced Dutch Dragon and RC44 helm Pieter Hereema in the semi final.

After a penalty to Philipe Silva, Portuguese National Champion, in the 3rd/4th place race off the Irish champion who is also Commodore of the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire finished fourth overall.

Pieter Hereema went on to win the event beating Klaus Klaus Deidericks in the final.

2012 is a big year for the Dragon class in Ireland. Not alone are they hosting the Gold Cup in Kinsale but the Edinburgh Cup is to be held in Belfast Lough in July.

Dragon sailors from over 12 countries have already entered this year's Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup, to be held at Kinsale Yacht Club from 8th-14th September.

Already, entries from Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Scandinavia, Portugal, France and the UK have entered as entries are expected from Hungary, Estonia, and further afield - from the USA and Australia - making this a truly international competition.

Participants are encouraged to register early and to book their and accommodation in this busy seaside town on the south coast of Ireland.

Entries are welcome through the specially designated website:

The event is Sponsored by Private Client Investment Managers, Brewin Dolphin, who recently entered the Irish market with their acquisition of Tilman Asset Management.

Brewin Dolphin is also sponsoring the Grand Slam Series of Dragon events in Ireland this year which includes the Northern Area Championships and Edinburgh Cup in Belfast Lough in July, the Irish National Championships in Dun Laoghaire in August and the South Coast Championships and Gold Cup in Kinsale in September.

The Dragon Gold Cup was last held in Ireland in 1997, when the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire hosted the event.

Published in Dragon

#DRAGON – The Irish Dragon fleet have probably their biggest season this year in their 85 year history. Not alone are they hosting the Gold Cup in Kinsale but the Edinburgh Cup is to be held in Belfast Lough in July. With these two famous competitions anchoring a series which includes the British Northerns, the Irish Nationals and the South Coasts, a GRAND SLAM series has been established, sponsored by new fleet sponsor Brewin Dolphin.

Since the 80s Irish Dragon sailors have been frequent participants at overseas regattas, and in recent years they have consistently been winning major titles. Don O'Donoghue and Martin Byrne have both added their names to the Edinburgh Cup, and sailors such as Peter Bowring, Simon Brien and Andrew Craig are frequent top-scoring visitors at the top European and international events. This has helped the Irish Dragon Association to bid successfully to host the Dragon Gold Cup – the open world championship - in Kinsale this September.

Private Client Investment Managers Brewin Dolphin, who recently entered the Irish market with their acquisition of Tilman Asset Management, are continuing their recent history of sport sponsorship by backing one of sailing's most prestigious championships – the Dragon Gold Cup – which is to be held in Ireland in September - and are also sponsoring the Grand Slam Series.

Jamie Matheson, Brewin Dolphin Executive Chairman commented:

"We are very proud to add such a great event as the Dragon Gold Cup to our portfolio. We are not newcomers to the world of sailing, having successfully sponsored the Scottish Series for the past 11 years and more recently the Commodores' Cup. Sailing has provided us with an excellent platform to increase awareness of our brand to a wider audience and we are confident that the Grand Slam will develop this."

With the Edinburgh Cup and Gold Cup being held in Ireland in the same season, added to the normal Irish series of championships, this Grand Slam series is already attracting the attention of many top European and International crews. The GRAND SLAM is focused on Corinthian sailors with major prizes, thanks to the support of Brewin Dolphin, and is already attracting the attention of many top European and International crews. There will also be prizes for the professional teams, pre-2000 boats and wooden boats.

After the Edinburgh Cup in Belfast Lough in July, the focus moves to Dunlaoghaire where the Royal St George Yacht Club will host the National Championship – immediately after the ISAF Worlds.

The season culminates with the Dragon Gold Cup – which is the Dragon Class Open World Championship and one of sailing's most prestigious trophies. This is being hosted by Kinsale Yacht Club, renowned for its excellent sailing conditions and top-class restaurants and hospitality.

Cameron Good, Commodore of Kinsale Yacht Club said:

"We are striving to make it as easy as possible for sailors to participate in the Grand Slam and have negotiated discounted ferry crossing rates with Stenaline. Arrangements are also in place to tow visitors' boats between events so that they can just fly in to participate. There are also 'warm up' events strategically timed before for both the Edinburgh Cup (the Northern Area Championships) and the Gold Cup (the South Coast Dragon Championships)"

The Grand Slam events 2012:

• British Northern Area Championships

Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club

1st July – 3rd July

• Edinburgh Cup

Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club

4th July – 7th July

• Irish Championships

Royal St. George Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin

26th July – 29th July

• Irish Southern Coast Championship

Kinsale Yacht Club

1st September – 2nd September

• International Dragon Gold Cup

Kinsale Yacht Club

6th September – 14th September

Published in Dragon
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The 2010 Irish Dragon Boat Championship is sponsored by Belfast Harbour, North Down Borough Council and hosted by Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club.
The championship was a one, two, three for Royal St George Yacht Club in Dún Laoghaire with Martin Byrne and Jaguar coming out on top.
Full results listed below:
1st  JAGUAR RStG Martin Byrne 14.0
2nd SEABIRD RStG Don O'Donoghue 19.0
3rd CHIMERA RStG Andrew Craig 20.0
4th FEVER RORC Klaus Diederichs 24.0
5th KIN Simon Brien 40.0
6th DIVA Richard Goodbody 43.0
7th WHISPER Michael Cotter 46.0
8th PHANTOM Neil Hegarty 46.0
9th VARFOR DADA Tim Tavinor 50.0

10th CHRISTIANNA Olaf Sorensen 52.0


It was a one-two-three for Royal St George Dragon sailors at the 2010 Irish Dragon Championship, sponsored by Belfast Harbour, North Down Borough Council and hosted by Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club. 

Club vice-commodore Martin Byrne took the title, five points clear of Don O'Donoghue.



Royal St George Dun Laoghaire boat Jaguar has been named winner of the 2010 Irish Dragon Boat Championships held on Belfast Lough.  The prize was handed over by Len O’Hagan, Chairman of Belfast Harbour, the event’s principal sponsor and Simon Brien, Royal North Yacht Club, which hosted the championship. Over 20 vessels from home and abroad competed for the title across eight different races.  Left to right.  Simon Brien with the boat crew Pedro Andrade, Martin Byrne and Adam Winkelmann along with Len O'Hagan.

This was a another event that had the results live-blogged, with up-to-the minute reports posted online on the club website HERE. (Full text of the reports pasted below)


1st  JAGUAR RStG Martin Byrne 14.0
2nd SEABIRD RStG Don O'Donoghue 19.0
3rd CHIMERA RStG Andrew Craig 20.0
4th FEVER RORC Klaus Diederichs 24.0
5th KIN Simon Brien 40.0
6th DIVA Richard Goodbody 43.0
7th WHISPER Michael Cotter 46.0
8th PHANTOM Neil Hegarty 46.0
9th VARFOR DADA Tim Tavinor 50.0
10th CHRISTIANNA Olaf Sorensen 52.0


Sunday 25th

1345 - Results posted

1255 - all through the gate and heading up the beat to the finish, Martin Byrne, looking like he might have closed the gap.

1235 - Andrew Craig holding on at the top of the second beat, his lead cut to a much tighter 9 seconds from Klaus on Fever.

After thos two thre was a gap of 40 seconds then a tight bunch, with Martin Byrne improved to 3rd, Dono on Seabird up to 4th and Tim Pearson losing a place or 2 and dropping to 5th 6 and 7 are Cameron Good and Olaf Sorensen respectively.

1202 - Chimera with a good lead of 25 seconds, Simon lost out, to quite a few there, next is Klaus on Fever followed by Tim Pearson on Zu, he just squeezed in and closed the door on Martin Byrne who had to dip him, good close tussle among the leading boats, next to emerge was Olaf on Christianna

1157-Andrew Craig on Chimera lookin good on the beat, Simon Brien also in decent position crossing ahead of most that I can see, mark rounding in 5-10 mins.

1147 - 210 OCS, but I think he went back, good early showing for Tim Tavinor on VARFORDADA.

1142 - Moved the course around a bit and we are off again

1105 - General recall

1100- In sequence for an on-time start

1030 - Much better wind today, 10kts from WNW. PRO has positioned himself closer to the club today, so I should get some more updates.

All competitors are now afloat, hopefully starting at 1100.


Saturday - 24th

1810 - all ashore......a bit of drizzle to welcome them, boo hoo, a few sunburned faces and tired lookin' yotters about the bar

1640 - Results posted R6

1455 - Race 6 underway

1430 - Results posted for R5, apparently the committee boat is on the move hopefully a bit closer to me, so i can relay some more info.

1305 - Race 5 is underway, unfortunately with low cloud and the chosen race area I cannot see the start line, I hope that as the fleet comes to windward they will be visible.....but....


1245- Still looking for a steady breeze bit of a rain cloud over the race area  as well YUK YUK. Although radio chat is of wind steady at 12 kts so it might be nearly ready

1150 - All competitors are afloat and making their way towards the race area, breeze is still light (3-6 kts) and coming from SW so it could be another flukey one although the it does look pretty constant across all of the lough that I can see from here.

Here we go again!

Another delay this morning, but at least that gives a little more time for hangovers to settle and for any dancing injuries to heal. Also gives a bit more time for Greg Bell to dry his clothes afer his wee swim yesterday!

One hour postponement at least so no sailing until 12:30, lots of coffee and newspaper action at the club at the moment.


Friday 23/7

All finished - Martin held on - results now published for R4.

Off to the bar.... more tomorrow

1705 - Martin Byrne now hith a huge lead, course shited by a few degrees again , Simon brien escapes a huge car-park of hole at the spreader mark to lead away from the pack, it is a run now and a beat to finish.

1650 - Top of the second beat  and Martin Byrne extends his lead over Simon Brien who just squeeeeezed in fromt of Tim Tavinor, Klaus Diedreichs and Garry Treacy are next with Cameron Good still improving in 6th

1635 - Bottom of the 1st run of R4, Martin Byrne still holding on from Simon Brien, breeze definitely steadier now, Klaus Diedreichs and Olaf Sorensen also having a great tussle for third spotwith Garry Treacy also in the hunt

1624 - Top of the first beat, That man againMartin Byrne in Jaguar leading from local boat Kin with Simon Brien on board, third is Garry Treacy and fourth is Tim Tavinor on VARFORDADA. Also up there is Clare Hogan on CHAOS.

1610 - Best line break there seems to be Tim Pearson , Martin Byrne on Jaguar and also Cameron Good on THE LITTLE FELLA

1610 - R4 underway ALL CLEAR

1602 - In sequence R4

1550 - Results from the slightly topsy turvy R3 now posted,

1530 - Yep he stopped them there, race 3 now over for the leaders, as soon as the fleet finishes I will post results

1525 - Martin Byrne looking pretty good now, hard to tell exactly as they are on opposite gybes but up at the front with him are Garry Treacy, Olaf Sorenson and Andrew Craig also up in the hunt is Tim Pearson.

This is only their second downwind leg, but it might be an early finish for the fleet due to the soft conditions

1452- At the back of the fleet the last few boats round are, Anthony O'Neill on Tenacious, Cameron Good and Clare Hogan with Ben Hancock on ASA last to drop. A wind shift has forced the OOD to move the windward marks by a few degrees.

1445- The leaders on their way down the first leeward leg, Better day for Olaf Sorensen on Christianna as he leads from theIrish Phantom, Neil Hegarty, he is being followed by Seabird with Dono at the helm and fourth is Garry Treacy in Dublin Bay having more luck today.

1435 - Still soft but progress being made

1425 - All away - one over but he went back, but it is verrrry soft out there. all very gentle and wrinkly baggy sails

1415 - In sequence - Blue peter start

1410 - AP down -Whoo hoo, looks like a shifty one though flags barley lifting.

1345 - All competitors afloat, comittee boat on station breeze just holding

Afternoon all, lovely sunny day in Belfast lough. Unfortunately the wind is somewhere else! Several AP's have been flown, however a decision just taken to get afloat, as a light 5-8 kts of breeze has filled in from the North West. Boats will all be light because the boredom forced most competitors to eat lunch hours ago! Sun cream definitely required as the first crews board their boata



1740 - All ashore after a decent days sailing. Two races in the bag, breeze pressure stayed reasonably constant all day, although there were quite a few shifts around. Results are posted as provisional.


What should be the last lap of the day and as they round the lee mark still 201, 192, 758 and 159 leading the fleet with 205 Mick Cotter and local team 212 helmed by Simon Brien picking up a few places. 

The slipway now full of kids and toppres as the instructors sensibly get the cadet course cleared away before the big boys come ashore.


At the windward mark the leaders seem to be 201 Byrne, 192 Craig, 758 Piederichs and 159 Pearson.  Unfortunately Garry Treacys day isnt getting any better after his OCS in the first race he is now retiring to Carrick harbour, I hear on the radio they felt like they hit something underwaterand want to check keel


second race got away clean as far as I could see in a steady force 3 from the east.  At the leeward marks the fleet has split with martin byrne 201, Tim Pearson 159, Andrew Craig 192 and Neil Hegarty 176 going for port and Piederichs 758 and Dono Donoghue 204 leading round starboard


Race officer now resetting the course for race 2 - the wind is picking up a bit and most of the committee have coats on and hoods up so it must be fresh enough out there.  Back on shore results for race 1 are available to view now.  Andrew Craig gets the first bullet, and as expected 3 boats OCS 


they are rounding the leeward marks and heading for the firnish of the first race now.  It is hard to tell who is leading with a chioce of 2 marks, but first to drop kites were IRL 192 Andrew Craig, GBR 758 Klaus Boederichs, IRL 211 Cameron Good and IRL 201 Martin Byrne


Kites are popping as they round the windward mark for the first time.  Still all to play for as GBR 744 Tim Taviner rounds in a bunch of about 5 IRL boats including our own Simon Brien. 

Welcome to a slightly drab day on belfast lough - but fairly good wind which is the important thing.

Race Officer Alan Crosbie has done a great job to get the first gun fired on time at 12.30.

They are a keen bunch - plenty of close action on the line and I see the individual recall flag up.  No one coming back so there will be a few disappointments when the first set of results show OCS!


Published in Racing

Three Irish Dragons made the top five at the Northern Area Championships last weekend, just across the water in Abersoch. South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club hosted a small fleet, sailing in gusty conditiond of up to 25 knots. Royal St George YC vice-commodore Martin Byrne topped the Irish entries with five seconds in seven races, but couldn't edge out ahead of Tim Tavinor and his crew who pocketed a brace of bullets to walk away deserved leaders.

Just thirteen boats lined out for the event, with Kin (Simon Brien) and Phantom (David Williams) the other two Irish boats alongside Jaguar.

Results HERE

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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.


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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