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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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Glandore Harbour Yacht Club (GHYC) will host the 2018 National Dragon Championship from 6-9 September.

Boats will come from all over Ireland, to enjoy four days of highly competitive racing between the top Irish Dragon sailors, joined by some boats from the UK adding an international flavour.

GHYC is preparing to support the largest number of Dragons participating in the National Championship for many years, due to the size of the resident fleet, and the attraction of the beautiful Glandore Harbour and its friendly pubs.

GHYC is currently home to the largest Dragon fleet in Ireland, with 16 resident Dragons, including one of the oldest racing wooden Dragons 'Gypsy', helmed by veteran Don Street.

Fehily Timoney, a Cork-based multidisciplinary management, engineering and environmental consultancy company has made it possible for GHYC to host this prestigious event through the sponsorship by their Managing Director, Eamon Timoney, himself an active Dragon sailor in the GHYC fleet and a generous supporter of local sporting events.

Download Notice of Race below

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Martin Byrne’s, Jaguar Sailing Team, travel to Torbay on the south-west coast of England later this week, as in 2017, the only Irish entrant in the Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2018.

This year marks the 70th Anniversary of this event which is the British Dragon National Championships. This famous trophy was presented by the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, in 1949.

While Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team from the Royal St George YC were winners and runners-up in 2011 and 2012 they have never fallen below fifth overall in their attempts to regain the trophy since. However, this year they return for the first time as a Corinthian team. Martin’s son Conor (a former Irish Laser National Champion) will renew his partnership with Adam Winkelmann at the business end of his dad’s Dragon.

At home, Byrne was the winner of last month's East Coast Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

Next week in Torbay they compete against the best of the International Dragon Fleet where their competitors include five former Edinburgh Cup winners, four World Cup Champions, two Gold Cup Winners and among the teams crewing, up to eight Olympic medalists.

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Racing was very competitive at the Dragon East Coast Championships on Saturday amongst the 11–Dragons racing on Dublin Bay in a decreasing NE breeze which allowed for many place changes in two races sailed in less than 12 knots.

Download results below

Martin Byrne’s, Jaguar Sailing Team, with Adam Winkelmann and John Simms on board from the host club Royal St George returned a 1st & 2nd in racing to take the overall lead ahead of British rivals Mike Budd sailing ‘Harry’ GBR818, who were 1st & 3rd.

"Four teams still in the hunt for the overall title today" 

The title holders, Cameron Good’s ‘Little Fella’ dropped from 1st to 3rd overall with a 3rd & 8th today.

Also in contention are the new Kinsale YC team ‘Serafina’ helmed this weekend by Brian Goggin. They finished 2nd & 4th.

Two races are scheduled to complete the series today with four teams still in the hunt for the overall title.

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Kinsale Yacht Club’s “Little Fella” lead the Dragon Fleet after day 1 with two races of the Dragon East Coast Championships completed at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

The Cameron Good crew lead the 11-boat fleet with a score of three pts with a first and second in 12 to 15 knots breeze from 300 degrees on Dublin Bay.

Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team are tied in second overall with top British contender Mike Budd after some tense racing which saw many place changes during both races today.

"The Cameron Good crew lead the 11-boat fleet with a score of three points"

However, the heros of the day were the ‘Serofino" team from Kinsale, helmed by Brian Goggin, who stole a first place in race two with some masterly tactics when they recognised a significant advantage by staying left on the last two beats to sail from 4th to 1st by the finish line in Race 2.

'Little Fella', 'Jaguar Sailing Team' & Mike Budd’s ‘ Harry’ were leading each race today at different stages to provide some close racing in champagne sailing conditions. In the meantime, National Champions, Phantom, remain closely in contention with two fifths today.

Its just two races into a six race series which continues on Saturday and Sunday sponsored by A stitch in Time Embroiderers.

In a race course incident, a crew member fell overboard from one of the Dragons and the next boat behind picked up the crewman. The result then was that one boat had four crew members aboard. A RIB in the vicinity came alongside, collected the extra crewman and returned him to his boat.

In a protest that followed, the boat which lost the crewman retired, and the boat with four crewmen was upgraded by one finishing place.

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The Dublin Bay Dragon Fleet host their East Coast Championships at the Royal St George Yacht Club this weekend.

15 entries are expected from the Dragon Fleets in Dun Laoghaire, Kinsale, Glandore and Abersoch in Wales in the first Championship event for 2018 sponsored by local Dún Laoghaire business, A Stitch in Time Embroiderers.

While the Glandore Dragon Fleet these days provide the greatest fleet numbers the teams from the Dublin Bay Dragon Fleet have for some time been taking the Class Championship titles.

In recent years, Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring & David Williams with Phantom have been sharing the National Championship title with Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team. These teams are both from the Royal St George YC. Also, Cameron Good in ‘Little Fella’ from Kinsale YC can always be found at the top of the fleet.

However, this weekend the Irish Dragons will have their biggest challenge from the number one ranked British Dragon team ‘Harry’ GBR 818 helmed by the legendary Mike Budd.

"Mike Budd’s reputation is feared amongst the sailors in most one-design fleets"

Mike Budd’s reputation is feared amongst the sailors in most one-design fleets as, over the years, he has won no less than eight UK National Championship Titles in various Classes in dinghies & keelboats. Also, he is often to be found as the tactician aboard Conor Phelan’s Class 1 racing keelboat ‘Jump Juice’ from RCYC.

However, after many attempts, he has yet to win the historic Edinburgh Cup which is the UK Dragon National Championship. This event was last won by an Irish team when Martin Byrne’s Jaguar took the title in 2011 & then finished 2nd in 2012. Budd arrives in Dun Laoghaire this weekend with a brand new Dragon and, by his own admission, claims he needs to pace himself against the fastest in the Irish Dragon Fleet if he has any chance at winning his first Edinburgh Cup in Torbay next July. At last year’s Edinburgh Cup in Cowes Budd finished eight overall whereas Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team finished 4th. In the previous years, Ed Cup in 2016 Phantom won the final two races to finish 5th overall. So Budd clearly sees the Irish Dragon Fleet as offering some meaningful opposition in his quest for the Edinburgh Cup.

The Dragons start racing in their East Coast Championship on Friday at 13.00hrs on Dublin Bay and continue until Sunday in the six race series.

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