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Royal St. George's Martin Byrne, fresh from British South Coast victory last week, is in the hunt for the Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2017 after two well sailed opening races for the sole Dublin Bay boat yesterday. Byrne is in ninth place in the 38–boat fleet. Cork interest in the regatta is focussed on Mark Mansfield's middle man role on Mike Budd's fifth placed entry. Download results below.

The International Dragon fleet is famed for the exceptionally close nature of its racing, but even in the Dragons a three-way tie for the overall lead of a regatta is truly extraordinary. But that is exactly the situation the top three boats have found themselves in. 

Following two wet and windy races in the Central Solent, reigning Dragon World Champions Andy Beadsworth, Simon Fry and Ali Tezdicker sailing TUR1212 Provezza Dragon, five time Edinburgh Cup Champion Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen sailing GBR813 Danish Blue with Hamish McKay and Paul Blowers, and Martin Payne sailing GBR585 Full Speed with Chris Britten and Gillian Hamilton, are all tied for the overall lead on six points.

Mansfield dragonRoyal Cork's Mark Mansfield (left) competing with Mike Budd and Mark Greaves are fifth. Photo: Fiona Brown

Hosted by the Island Sailing Club, this 69th edition of the prestigious Edinburgh Cup has attracted 38 entries from Russia, Turkey, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland and across the UK, for four days of windward leeward competition. The opening day of racing brought grey skies, a brisk south westerly wind ranging from 12 to 25 knots and a lot of rain. But, whilst conditions might not have been pretty, the racing was absolutely outstanding.

Race one produced a tight four boat tussle between Danish Blue, Full Speed, Graham Bailey's GBR782 Aimee, crewed by Julia Bailey, Will Heritage and Will Bedford, and Oliver Morgan's GBR791 Christianna, crewed by Francesca Morgan and Jamie Lea. On the line the four boats were separated by just 30 seconds with Aimee first, Christianna second, Full Speed third and Danish Blue fourth. A minute behind the leaders and just in front of the pack came Provezza Dragon in fifth, who'd correctly gone right early on the first beat, but then found themselves caught in heavy traffic from another fleet, which cost them dearly.

After their problems in race one, the crew of Provezza Dragon dug deep for race two, sailing a perfect first beat to lead by a comfortable margin at the weather mark. With the advantage of clear air, they were able to extend their lead throughout the race, winning by two seconds shy of a minute. In second was Danish Blue with Full Speed third and Ireland's Martyn Byrne sailing IRL216 Jaguar with son Conor and Pedro Andrade fourth.

In the overall standings the leading trio of Provezza Dragon, Danish Blue and Full Speed, who are all on six points, are followed by fourth place Aimee on eight points, Mike Budd sailing GBR793 Harry with Mark Mansfield and Mark Greaves is in fifth on fourteen points and Christianna sixth on 15 points.

Aimee also now leads the Corinthian competition for all amateur crews, with Owen Pay, Mark Daly and Jon Mortimer sailing GBR777 Furious third and Richard Leask, Willie Adams and Nevin Jaimeson, sailing GBR731 Kestra third.

Once back ashore and dried out, the competitors gathered for the daily prize giving, where not only did they were also invited to enjoy a relaxing head and back massage courtesy of Cowes based BeCalmed Wellbeing and Medi Spa. Caroline Hurley, owner of BeCalmed, present the daily prizes which included special gift baskets and bags from the company. Regatta Chairman Gavia Wilkinson-Cox then invited Race Officer Jill Smith to assist her with the daily draw into which all competitors are entered. Each evening three lucky winners receive one of more than £30,000 worth of prizes generously donated by local and marine companies. Later in the evening the visiting teams all attended "At Home" dinners hosted by members of the Cowes Dragon fleet.

The forecast for day two of the regatta promises to be much drier with lighter winds from the north. Two further races are planned with the first start scheduled for 11.00.

Published in Dragon

Martin Byrne's Jaguar Sailing Team won the British South Coast Championship as the warm up event ahead of the Edinburgh Cup where racing starts today on the Solent just off Cowes, Isle of Wight.

Only three races were completed in varying conditions over the two day event. Byrne's Jaguar Sailing Team were most consistent with results of 6,2,5 to win the Championship ahead of an international fleet of 38 Dragons which included the World Champions, Andy Beadsworth's, Provezza Dragon.

Byrne told Afloat.ie - "We were using this event as a warm up before the Edinburgh Cup and to familiarise ourselves with the tricky and very tidal race course on the Solent. Also it was important to re-acquaint ourselves again as a crew which includes my son Conor and Portuguese professional Pedro Andrade. However, we are under no illusions, that many of the other top teams were in the same mode and the competition will be much hotter for the main event".

Martin Byrne Conor Byrne Pedro Andradez2011 Edinburgh Cup Champion Martin Byrne (centre), with his son and past Irish Laser National Champion Conor Byrne (right) and top professional Dragon crew Pedro Andrade

The International Dragon fleet has gathered at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes for the 2017 Dragon UK South Coast Championship and Edinburgh Cup sponsored by Oliver Morgan Architects and Stoneham Construction Ltd. Thirty-eight teams from as far afield as Turkey, Russia and Switzerland and across the UK and Ireland are taking part in six days of top flight competition from 9 to 14 July.

For added Irish interest in the Cup, Mark Mansfield from Royal Cork is sailing as middle man with UK helmsman Mike Budd.

The programme opened with two days of racing for the South Coast Championship. Sunday 9 July brought extremely light winds and despite the best efforts of Race Officer Gill Smith only one race was possible. The light and variable conditions gave the tacticians a few headaches, with a number of people being caught out by a right hander near the top of the first beat, which caused them to over-stand the windward mark. Igor Goikhberg, sailing RUS98 Murka with Dmitry Berezkin and Roman Sadchikov, avoided the pitfall and led the fleet off down the run. But Goikhberg wasn't to have it all his own way with Graham Bailey, crewed by Julia Bailey, Will Heritage and Will Bedford aboard GBR782 Aimee, soon putting him under pressure. It turned into a game of cat and mouse with the two boats eventually coming to the line neck and neck, where only the Race Officer was able to confirm that Bailey had claimed the race by just a single second. Owen Pay, Jon Mortimer and Mark Daly sailing GBR777 Furious followed them home for third.

Dragon Jaguar craneImmaculately prepared Royal St. George Dragon Jaguar is hoisted into the water, ready for today's first race of the Edinburgh Cup at Cowes

Day two could not have been more different with a moderate south westerly already well established when the boats arrived in the starting area. The wind faltered slightly towards the end of the day's first race, race two of the series, and there was a short delay to allow it to settle before race three got underway. Once settled the wind built rapidly to over 20 knots, which combined with a building ebb to give some big waves at the top end of the course and plenty of thrills and spills for the watching spectators. Sadly, one of the casualties of the stronger wind was Igor Goikhberg whose rig came down on the final run.

Reigning Dragon World Champion Andy Beadsworth, sailing TUR1212 Provezza Dragon with Simon Fry and Ali Tezdiker, had been the wrong side of the race one shift and finished down in 19th place, but he wasn't about to make the same mistake twice. He led race two from start to finish and in race three was only briefly challenged by Martin Payne sailing GB585 Full Speed with Gillian Hamilton and Chris Britten. Whilst the two race wins were impressive the lack of a discard forced him to count his 19th which dragged him down the overall rankings into fourth.

Graham Bailey was unable to repeat his winning form of race one and having added a ninth and a sixth to his score card he took third place overall. Martin Payne and his team were on an upward trajectory and after an eighth in race one went on to finish fifth and then second, putting him one point ahead of Bailey and in second overall.

But ultimately it was consistency that paid and 2011 Edinburgh Cup Champion Martin Byrne, sailing this week, as Afloat.ie reported earlier, with his son and past Irish Laser National Champion Conor Byrne and top professional Dragon crew Pedro Andrade, took the South Coast Championship title with a 6, 2, 5 score line and a narrow two-point overall margin.

Following the South Coast Championship Prize Giving the crews came together on the terrace of the Island Sailing Club for the 2017 Edinburgh Cup Welcome Champagne Reception sponsored by Chris Bull, owner of GBR772 Jazz, being raced this week by his brother Adrian.

Event Organiser Gavia Wilkinson-Cox welcomed the teams and in particular thanked those who had travelled from overseas to join the British fleet for its prestigious National Championship regatta. Moored on the dock immediately below the club was Andy Beadsworth's World Championship winning Petticrow Dragon, and she thanked Andy and his team for making the effort to attend this event so soon after their Worlds victory in Cascais. Gavia also paid tribute to the dozens of volunteers who have made the regatta possible, to the race management team, to the generosity of the event sponsors and to regatta hosts the Island Sailing Club, who hosted the very first Edinburgh Cup some 69 years ago.

Gavia then handed the microphone to the Rev. Andrew Poppe, vicar of Holy Trinity Church Cowes to bless the event. Clearly a man who knows his sailing audience well, Rev. Poppe concluded his address by saying, "We pray for fine weather, fine winds and fine sailing, and for fine wines and a most excellent gathering at the end of the week to salute both the winning boats and all who come, to race, to sail and to rekindle the community and competition that is Dragon Class sailing. Tonight we pray for fine burgers, fine beer and fine banter. We ask, Lord, your blessing on this occasion in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen." And with the formalities complete the champagne corks popped, the BBQs were fired up, the band struck up and a fabulous time was had by all.

Racing for the Edinburgh Cup is scheduled to commence at 11.00 tomorrow with a south westerly breeze of 13 to 21 knots forecast. Sadly, the wind is to be accompanied by heavy rain so everyone's foul weather gear will no doubt get a good workout.

Published in Dragon
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Martin Byrne's Jaguar Sailing Team from the Royal St. George Yacht Club will be the only Dragon entry from Ireland in the 2017 Edinburgh Cup when racing starts off Cowes, Isle of Wight, on the 11th July.

Byrne, a former Edinburgh Cup winner and runner up, in 2011 & 2012 respectively, returns this year with a strong team including his son Conor and Portuguese professional Pedro Andrade.

"We expect a very difficult event given the quality of the international fleet which includes the 2017 World Champion Andy Beadsworth and his Proveeza Team from Turkey together with multiple former Edinburgh Cup winning teams. Add to that the vagaries of the tidal conditions on the Solent race course this makes for one of the most challenging competitions we will face this season", Byrne told Afloat.ie

Published in Dragon

Royal St. George Dragon Phantom sailed by Neil Hegarty, David Williams and Peter Bowring were winners of the seven–race Irish Dragon National Championships on Dublin Bay yesterday by two clear points.

The title win follows Hegarty's East Coast championship victory sailed at the same venue a fortnight ago.

The Royal St. George trio fought off a strong challenge from Kinsale's Cameron Good, Simon Furney and Henry Kingston in Little Fella who were runners up on 13 points.  

Defending champion, Martin Byrne, who was seeking his fifth title, sailing Jaguar, was third on 20 points in the 11–boat fleet.

Meanwhile, in Cascais, Portugal, Howth Yacht Club's Laura Dillon Jonathan Bourke, Rita Gonçalves and Antonio Gois finished 33rd from 70–boats at the Dragon World Championships.

Andy Beadsworth, Ali Tezdiker and Simon Fry won the World Dragon  title in the final and only race of the day.

Overnight the Russian team Annapurna skippered by Anatoly Loginov were given redress by the race committee for a collision on the penultimate days racing which caused them to retire from that race. Their redress score re-duced the gap to 7 points from the Turkish flagged boat overnight with Lawrie Smith (Alfie) another 2 points adrift.

The final race of the regatta started on time at 1305 hrs local time on yet an-other steamy hot day on the Guia race course off the coast of Cascais. The breeze from the N/NW was lighter than most of the week at around 10 - 12 knots at the start, up to 15 kts at the top of the course.

NED412 took the race bullet by a comfortable margin to move up to 6th in the overall rankings and RUS76 (Rocknrolla) Dmitry Samokhin improving all week to finish clear in 2nd. GBR803 (Gorgeous Worgeous) Quentin Srauss, sailing in the Masters category, just snatched third on the finish line in his best result of the regatta.

In fourth, also a regatta best was JPN50 (Yevis ll) with Bocci Aoyama at the helm. Fifth was a very popular result for the Portuguese as Patrick Monteiro de Barros declared this race his regatta his last with his intended retirement.

Lawrie Smith (Alfie) with his Portuguese crew, Hugo Rocha, Joao Matos Ro-sa and Goncalo Ribeiro crossed 7th to confirm third place in the overall podium. Anatoly Loginov in Annapurna had to count a 17th but held on to second overall. -- Jonny Fullerton

Overall World Results: (Top 10 of 70 boats after 8 races with 1 discard)

1. Provezza Dragon, Andy Beadsworth, TUR, 32 points
2. Annapurna, Anatoly Loginov, RUS, 36.2
3. Alfie, Lawrie Smith, GBR, 38
4. Desert Eagle, Hendrik Witzmann, UAE, 55
5. Rocknrolla, Dmitry Samokhin, RUS, 64
6. Troika, Pieter Heerema, NED, 65
7. Bunker Prince, Braslavets Yevgen, UAE, 65
8. Drago, Jose SM Matoso, POR, 68
9. Louise, Grand Gordon, GBR, 88
10. Jeanie, Jens Rathsack, MON, 88

2017 Irish Dragon National Championships Results 

1st Phantom 176 RSGYC Neil Hegarty David Williams Peter Bowring 1.0 1.0 2.0 4.0 1.0 2.0 (5.0) 16.0 11.0
2nd Little Fella 211 KYC Cameron Good Simon Furney Henry Kingston 3.0 3.0 1.0 1.0 (5.0) 3.0 2.0 18.0 13.0
3rd Jaguar IRL216 RSGYC Martin Byrne Brian Mathews John Simms 4.0 2.0 (8.0) 3.0 2.0 1.0 8.0 28.0 20.0
4th Whisper 206 RSGYC Clare Hogan C Murphy R Murphy (8.0) 4.0 7.0 6.0 3.0 4.0 3.0 35.0 27.0
5th Basilisk D GBR 515 AYC Patrick Gifford Fiona Gray Kevin Hayes 6.0 5.0 6.0 (12.0 RET) 8.0 5.0 1.0 43.0 31.0
6th Serafina 180 KYC Daniel Murphy Brian Goggin Harvey Tucker (7.0) 7.0 4.0 2.0 7.0 6.0 7.0 40.0 33.0
7th D-cision IR 195 RSGYC/ RIYC Chris Fleming Joey Mason Eddie Tingle 2.0 6.0 3.0 5.0 (9.0) 9.0 9.0 43.0 34.0
8th Zu 214 RStGYC Mark Bolger Charlie Bolger Conor Grimley (12.0 RET) 9.0 5.0 7.0 6.0 7.0 4.0 50.0 38.0
9th Aphrodite IRL 110 GHYC John Wyles Peter Hayes Michelle Hayes (12.0 DNF) 8.0 10.0 8.0 4.0 10.0 6.0 58.0 46.0
10th Grey Hare 187 KYC Shawn Kingston Antony O’Neill Tony Kingston 5.0 10.0 9.0 (12.0 RET) 10.0 8.0 10.0 64.0 52.0
11th Magic IRL 695 GHYC Eamon Timony Diarmaid O’Sullivan William Barry (alternate) (12.0 DNF) 12.0 RET 12.0 DNC 12.0 DNC 12.0 DNC 12.0 DNC 12.0 DNC 84.0 72.0

Published in Dragon
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The Dragon National Championships start today at the Royal St George Yacht Club with teams from Dublin Bay, Glandore, Kinsale, Abersoch & Cowes making up a smaller than usual fleet.

Martin Byrne's, Jaguar Sailing Team, are the defending champions and are seeking their fifth national title. However their competition will come from strong teams like fellow Club members Neil Hegarty on Phantom and Kinsale Yacht Club's Cameron Good on Little Fella. The UK teams are always a threat and veteran Dragon sailor Patrick Gifford from Cowes will be a strong contender.

The event, which follows the East Coast championships sailed at the same venue a fortnight ago and won by Hegarty, takes place over the next four days with seven races scheduled.

Meanwhile, in Portugal, Ireland's sole entrant at the Dragon World Championships, Laura Dillon sailing with Jonathan Bourke, lies in 15th place in a fleet of 70 boats after four races sailed.

Published in Dragon

As Ireland's sole representatives, Howth Yacht Club's Laura Dillon with Jonathan Bourke, Rita Gonçalves, Antonio Gois lie just outside the top third of the Dragon World Championships after three races sailed in Cascais, Portgual.

As Afloat.ie noted in its daily e–news yesterday, Dillon’s sailing record is nothing if not varied. Since 1996, when she clinched ISAF Youth Worlds bronze with Ciara Peelo and then became the first female ISA Champion Helm, the Howth sailor has campaigned in the RORC Series and Middle Sea Race at the wheel of the S&S41 Winsome, flown the flag as a Match Racing skipper, and this time last year was celebrating victory with Team Ireland at the UK Women’s Open Keelboat Champs

Dillon is counting 18, 25, 45 to be 25th overall, nine points off the top 20.

Full results for the 70–boat fleet are here

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Dublin sailors Laura Dillon from Howth Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire sailor Jonathan Bourke lie 18th after the first race of the  2017 Dragon World Championship in Cascais, Portugal yesterday. The sole Irish entry 'Cloud' is also crewed by Rita Gonçalves and Antonio Gois.

Andy Beadsworth sailing Provezza, the Turkish flagged entry with his team of Ali Tezdiker and Simon Fry won the first race of the in superb sailing conditions and warm sunshine.

70 Dragons from 19 nations tackled the challenging waters off Cascais, only 20 km down the coast from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. For the first day of racing one longer race was scheduled using a 2 lap windward/leeward course of 2.2nm in length with a final upwind leg to the finish.

The race was started in gutsy 16 - 20 knots of breeze from 330 degrees, accompanied by rolling waves and warm hazy sunshine.

Race Day 2 on Tuesday 13 June has 2 races scheduled with a first warning signal at 1300hrs local time.

Full results are here

Published in Dragon

In a repeat of last year's results, the Dragon East Coast Championships at the Royal Irish Yacht Club has been retained by by the Royal St. George Yacht Club's Neil Hegarty in Phantom crewed by David Williams and Kevin O'Boyle. One point behind in the 10–boat fleet was club-mate Martin Byrne's Jaguar with Conor Byrne and John Simms.

Third was Friday's overnight fleet leader Little Fella sailed by Cameron Good, Simon Furney and Henry Kingston. Full results are downloadable below as a pdf file. 

Published in Dragon

Kinsale Yacht Club's Cameron Good sailing with Simon Furney and Henry Kingston lead the Irish East Coast Dragon Championships at the Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

Given Saturday's downpours, the ten boat Dragon fleet got the best of the weather on Friday and sailed two races in light winds and great sunshine.

Good, steering Little Fella, has a four–point cushion over second placed Phantom (Neil Hegarty, David Williams, Kevin O'Boyle) of the RStGYC and Good's own clubmates Mar J (Adrian Bendon, Luke Kedney, Michelle Hayes) in third who both share seven–points overall. 

Results are downloadable below

Published in Dragon

The Kinsale Keelboat Regatta for one design fleets took place in Kinsale Yacht Club this weekend and Kinsale was delighted to welcome visiting Dragons from Glandore Harbour Yacht Club writes Michele Kennelly

Nine Dragons and twelve Squibs took to the waters on Saturday under grey skies and extremely blustery easterly winds. RO John Stallard made the wise decision to keep the fleets within the outer harbour. With winds peaking at 21 knots and choppy waters the 3 races provided a challenging day for the fleets.

Little Fella with Cameron Good, Simon Furney and Henry Kingston mastered the heavy conditions to take line honours in all 3 races. New to the fleet Serafina with Daniel Murphy, Brian Goggin and Mathias Hellstern were hot on their heels and were 2nd for all three races. Tenacious with Anthony O’Neill, Albert O’Neill and Eoghan O’Neill put in a very solid performance of 3, 4, 3 to end the day lying 3rd overall.
In the Squib fleet Allegro with Colm Dunne and Rob Gill were also masters of the waves to take 1st in all three races. Sensation, Denis and Brid Cudmore, Breakaway, David Matthews and Elizabeth Bond and Flora, Dave Ross and Bobby Nash battled it out on the course with Sensation just 1 point ahead of Breakaway at day’s end to lie in 2nd place overall.

Day two and conditions could not have been more different. Blue skies and no wind greeted the fleets as they rigged for another 3 races. With most of the fleet under tow by the Committee Boat and supports RIBs they arrived to the outer harbour to 5 – 6 knots out of the South East. RO John hopped aboard a RIB and went outside the harbour to see if there was more wind outside to discover there was none so he very wisely made the decision to stay in the outer harbour and take advantage of the local sea breeze.

In the Dragon fleet Race 4 saw Little Fella continue to his run of 1st’s with Mar J, Adrian Bendon, Eoghan O’Mahony and Bill Applebe in 2nd and Grey Hare, Shawn Kingston, Tony Kingston and Luke Kedney in 3rd. With the wind shifting to the east the Committee Boat moved and reset the course. Race 5 saw Mar J get off to a flying start which they capitalised on and they took line honours with Serafina in 2nd and

Aphrodite, John Wyles, Peter Hayes and Arthur Mehigan in 3rd. The light airs were bouncing all over the harbour and the Committee Boat had to move again to reset the course for the final race. Race 6 started under very light airs and Aphrodite took advantage of the middle of the course to take control from the start. Little Fella took 2nd and Mar J came 3rd.

In the Squib fleet Allegro continued her dominance in Race 4. Breakaway came 2nd and Pulpo, Julie Silfverberg and Commodore Tom Roche were 3rd. Race 5 saw three boats OCS and all returned. Those who decided to sail up the right side of the harbour made huge gains on the fleet and dominated the race from the first rounding of the windward mark. Sensation took the line with Bateleur, John & Mary Stanley, in 2nd and Allegro 3rd. Race 6 saw Pulpo coming down the run with Allegro closing in, Breakaway was lying in 3rd and Sensation was 4th. Though the title was secure the minor placings were still all to play for. Allegro won with Breakaway in 2nd and Pulpo in 3rd. Breakaway and Sensation finished the Regatta on equal points but Sensation came 2nd overall on count back.

Many thanks to RO John Stallard who provided excellent racing in very challenging conditions, Ger Grant for providing Loa Zour as Committee Boat and being an excellent Flag Raiser, Michele Kennelly timing and results, Mark Layers Mike, Finbarr, Tony and Luca and Barry Ryan Civil Engineering for the sponsorship.

Kinsale Keelboat Regatta overall results:
Dragons:
1st Little Fella – Cameron Good, Simon Furney & Henry Kingston
2nd Serafina – Daniel Murphy, Brian Goggin & Mathias Hellstern
3rd Mary J – Adrian Bendon, Eoghan O’Mahony & Bill Applebe
Squibs:
1st Allegro – Colm Dunne & Rob Gill
2nd Sensation – Denis & Brid Cudmore
3rd Breakaway – David Matthews & Elizabeth Bond

Published in Kinsale
Page 6 of 19

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