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Displaying items by tag: Dragon

#dragon – The British Dragon Fleet is currently converging on Largs, Scotland for the start of the 2015 Dragon Scottish Championship and the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Edinburgh Cup, which get underway this Saturday 27 June. The twenty strong fleet of Dragons from across the UK and as far afield as Japan but unfortunately none from Ireland is making a historic return to Scotland, which last hosted the Edinburgh Cup back in 2003.

The events are organised by Largs Sailing Club in association with the Scottish Sailing Institute and the British Dragon Association. Racing for the Scottish Championship takes place from Saturday 27 to Monday 29 June with up to five races scheduled. The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Edinburgh Cup, for the Dragon British Open Championship, will be raced from Tuesday 30 June to Friday 3 July with up to six championship races scheduled.

The Dragon's connection with Scotland goes back to the very start of the class in the UK in 1933 when A H Ball, a member of the Clyde Yacht Club, was on a cruising holiday in Scandinavia, where he was much taken with the design of the Dragon. He returned from his holiday with a copy of the plans and the idea of establishing a class caught on. The first Dragon to come to Britain was Anita in 1936, owned by J.Howden Hume. The same year McGruer built 9 Dragons at Clynder and regular class racing began with 14 boats, including an international regatta won by a Swedish boat.

In recent years the Dragon fleet in Scotland had dwindled, but interest is once again growing in Scotland, which has precipitated the running of the Scottish Championship for the first time in over a decade and the return of the Edinburgh Cup north of the boarder. The fleet is delighted to welcome four Scottish Dragons to the events in the shape of Henry Boyd's GBR343 Wizz Too, Richard Leask's GBR489 Kestra, Cathy Sedgeworth's GBR509 Kismet and British Dragon Association Chairman Ron James sailing GBR633 Fei-Lin's Flirtation. All four of these boats will be racing under the flag of the Royal Forth Yacht Club.

Leading the visiting fleet is defending Edinburgh Cup Champion Julia Bailey at the helm of GBR720 Aimee. Julia is also the current Corinthian Edinburgh Cup Champion, the element of the competition open to all amateur crews, and will be very much hoping to become the first person to ever won consecutive Edinburgh Cups in both overall and Corinthian divisions. Others who have the potential to prevent Julia in achieving her aims include Martin "Stavros" Payne at the helm of GBR586 Full Speed, who first engraved his name on the Edinburgh Cup in 1999 and will be hoping to do so again this time out; Gavia Wilkinson-Cox sailing GBR761 Jerboa, who has come close to claiming this prestigious trophy on several previous occasions and must surely feel that this year its her turn to be the bride; and Mike Budd, who already has a number of dinghy national championships to his name and travels to Largs from Abersoch with high hopes of adding the Edinburgh Cup to his CV.

Racing will take place on windward leeward courses to the north of Great Cumbrea Island and there will also be an excellent programme of social events with the Scottish hosts going all out to prove that their reputation of great hospitality is well deserved.

Published in Dragon
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#dragonsailing –After a weekend of intense Dragon keelboat action on Dublin Bay, Class Captain Conor Grimley writes that after eight decades in the making, the Dragon class is breathing new fire into the Irish sailing scene – and it’s much more accessible than it appears

The Dragon class has never been so strong in international waters as it is today. At over 80 years old, the classic design has endured – and its popularity has ensured that build quality is second to none.

True enough, the class has been somewhat elusive on the domestic scene, with international competitions tending to take precedence over regional events and club racing.

Still, the Irish Dragon fleet has a strong core spread between Dublin Bay, Kinsale and Glandore, where Corinthian sailors mix it with professionals, providing for exciting racing.

Into the bargain is the fact that newer boats don't have it all their own way, such is the quality of older models. And now momentum is coming back to the domestic scene as well.

Take the eighth and final race of the 2014 season at Kinsale, where Lawrie Smith, the Whitbread Round the World legend and current Irish champion, pipped the all-amateur Dublin Bay crew of Phantom – a 10-year-old boat – in a virtual photo-finish. You can't get better than that for club sport.

Sleek design
There are few better sights in yacht racing than the sleek lines of a fleet of Dragons, with their beautiful hull shape and timeless sail plan.

To sail one is just as great a pleasure. Surprisingly responsive at the helm, the Dragon moves beautifully upwind and downwind in all conditions. If a little over-canvassed in heavier conditions, simply drop the main sheet down the track, crank on more running backstay, and you'll find its performance is very reassuring indeed.

Crew weight is a consideration, but it's not the whole story – and over time Dragon sailors develop a strong body core. Sail trim is aided by fine-tuning on the main and genoa sheets.

Contemporary designs are brilliantly thought-out overall, with modern-specification rigging systems that are second to none.

Running costs
Appropriately enough, the basic running cost of the Dragon sits midway between that of dinghy keelboats and cruiser-class yachts.

At eight metres, it is bigger than the average six-meter dinghy keelboat but a tad smaller than the nine-meter cruisers. The Dragon is dry-sailed, and club parking, like marina berths, tends to be priced on a per-metre basis, so size really counts here.

A new suit of sails for the average Dragon costs up to 5,500 for genoa, spinnaker and main. The difference? That’s about 30 per cent up from the keelboat dinghy, but 30 per cent less than what you’d pay for cruiser racer sails. Again, there’s nothing unfair in any of that. In fact, these figures may come as something of a surprise. Dragon sailors, however, bemoan the common observation that it’s a beautiful boat but unduly expensive.

Outlay

So where’s the catch? Well, a new Dragon, complete with its wonderful German-made trailer, will set the buyer back a cool £82,500 but like any boat there is great value to be had in the second–hand market where a race ready competitive boat could be found for as little 18000.

So yes, a brand new Dragon is not a giveaway, but endure they most certainly do. The level of build quality is truly a testament to the strong professional interest globally that’s driven innovation in the class, particularly over the past 10 to 15 years.

The future

Corinthian sailor Tim Pearson of the Royal St George Yacht Club takes over as international class secretary in 2015, a measure of the esteem in which the Irish fleet is held.

He takes up his role at a time when the class is having much debate about the balance between the amateur side and the professional, where there is no shortage of worldwide participation.

Both sides are expected to mix it up in the busy 2015 season that awaits. Moreover, the endorsement of Kinsale for the 2019 Gold Cup raises the incentive for one of the international fleet's great events to return to Irish waters.

“Another challenge everywhere,” says Pearson, “is to encourage more owners in the 37-year-old age bracket.”

Undoubtedly, changing lifestyles and a proliferation of yacht designs are challenges in themselves to all yacht racing, the Dragon included. But the issue of cost may be particularly misrepresented for this class.

Peter Bowring, co-owner of Phantom, concurs. “The Dragon fleet has possibilities for all comers,” he says. “We just have to fly the ‘D’.”

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Close competition during the 2015 Dragon East Coasts  – Photo: Michael Keogh

Irish Dragon fleets

Dublin Bay: The Dublin Bay Dragon fleet had 15 active boats in 2014. Not all boats opt to register for club sailing, although the National Championships in Dublin and the Dun Laoghaire Regatta looks set to change that in 2015.

Kinsale: The Kinsale Dragon fleet has a long-standing tradition of competition, and the popularity of the Cork town saw an influx of Abersoch-based Dragons for the 2014 Irish Nationals. In 2012, Kinsale hosted the prestigious Dragon Gold Cup, and the success of that event looks set to win the endorsement of the International Dragon Association for the 2019 event.

Glandore: The Dragon and Glandore are a long-standing family tradition. The fleet celebrates its Corinthian legacy, and the annual Rose Bowl Trophy is often an all-Cork affair between the Kinsale and Glandore fleets. Before the establishment of the Glandore Harbour Yacht Club, the South Coast Championships, which moves by rotation with Kinsale, was hosted by the local hotel.

 DRAGON KEELBOAT SPECIFICATIONSdragon_international_drawing.jpg

Hull Type: Fin Keel

Rig Type: Fractional Sloop

LOA: 29.17' / 8.89m

LWL:19.00' / 5.79m

Beam: 6.42' / 1.96m

Listed Sail Area: 286 ft2 / 26.57 m2

Draft (max.) 3.92' / 1.19m

Disp. 3740 lbs./ 1696 kgs.

Ballast: 2200 lbs. / 998 kgs.

Designer: Johann Anker

Construction: Wood or FG

First Built: 1928

This article also appears in Summer Afloat magazine 2015

Published in Dragon

#Dragon – Local sailors continue to lead the Dragon National Championships in Dun Laoghaire this morning. After six races sailed in the 13–boat fleet David Williams and Peter Bowring are three nett points clear of Kinsale's Cameron Good on 15 points as the event reaches its conclusion in gusty north–westerly conditions on Dublin Bay. Full results after six races at the National Yacht Club are below. 

Dragon Nationals after six races sailed

Rank Fleet Boat SailNo Club Skipper Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Total Nett
1st PHANTOM IRL 176 R.STGYC BOWRING/WILLIAMS 2.0 (4.0) 1.0 4.0 4.0 1.0 16.0 12.0
2nd LITTLE FELLA IRL 211 KYC GOOD FURNEY KINGSTON 4.0 2.0 5.0 2.0 (6.0) 2.0 21.0 15.0
3rd CHIMAERA IRL 216 R.STGYC ANDREW CRAIG 3.0 (5.0) 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 20.0 15.0
4th BEAR ESP 71 SALCOMBE MARTIN PAYNE/ 1.0 6.0 4.0 (10.0) 1.0 4.0 26.0 16.0
5th JAGUAR IRL 201 R.STGYC MARTIN BYRNE 5.0 7.0 6.0 (13.0) 2.0 6.0 39.0 26.0
6th DUBLIN BAY IRL198 R.STGYC MAXWELL TRACY 12.0 3.0 7.0 1.0 (14.0 RET) 7.0 44.0 30.0
7th ZU IRL 214 R.SRGYC TIM PEARSON 6.0 1.0 8.0 (12.0) 7.0 8.0 42.0 30.0
8th BASILISK 515 ALDEBURGH PATRICK GIFFORD (14.0 RET) 14.0 DNC 2.0 5.0 5.0 12.0 52.0 38.0
9th DIVA 210 RIYC R.GOODBODY 8.0 (11.0) 9.0 8.0 8.0 5.0 49.0 38.0
10th TENACIOUS IRL 157 KYC ANTHONY O.NEILL 9.0 8.0 (12.0) 6.0 9.0 9.0 53.0 41.0
11th DECISION IRL195 R.STGYC J.MASON 7.0 10.0 10.0 7.0 10.0 (13.0) 57.0 44.0
12th ZinZan 127 RIYC TIM CARPENTER 10.0 9.0 (13.0) 11.0 11.0 11.0 65.0 52.0
13th AMSTAD GBR 585 R.STGYC RONAN MURPHY 11.0 12.0 11.0 9.0 (14.0 RET) 10.0 67.0 53.0

Published in Dragon

#dragonnationals – After three races sailed at the Irish Dragon National Championships at Dun Laoghaire, local Royal St. George yacht Phantom skippered by David Williams leads a 13–boat fleet. Four points adrift in a three way tie for second is Spanish yacht Bear steered by Paignton's Martin Payne, Kinsale's Little Fella sailed by Cameron Good and Andrew Craig's Chimaera of the Royal St. George YC.  Racing continues today on Dublin Bay in moderate to light westerlies. 

PROVISIONAL RESULTS IRISH DRAGON CHAMPIONSHIPS

1st PHANTOM IRL 176 R.STGYC BOWRING/WILLIAMS 2.0 4.0 1.0 7.0 7.0
2nd BEAR ESP 71 SALCOMBE MARTIN PAYNE/ 1.0 6.0 4.0 11.0 11.0
3rd LITTLE FELLA IRL 211 KYC GOOD FURNEY KINGSTON 4.0 2.0 5.0 11.0 11.0
4th CHIMAERA IRL 216 R.STGYC ANDREW CRAIG 3.0 5.0 3.0 11.0 11.0
5th ZU IRL 214 R.SRGYC TIM PEARSON 6.0 1.0 8.0 15.0 15.0
6th JAGUAR IRL 201 R.STGYC MARTIN BYRNE 5.0 7.0 6.0 18.0 18.0
7th DUBLIN BAY IRL198 R.STGYC MAXWELL TRACY 12.0 3.0 7.0 22.0 22.0
8th DECISION IRL195 R.STGYC J.MASON 7.0 10.0 10.0 27.0 27.0
9th DIVA 210 RIYC R.GOODBODY 8.0 11.0 9.0 28.0 28.0
10th TENACIOUS IRL 157 KYC ANTHONY O.NEILL 9.0 8.0 12.0 29.0 29.0
11th BASILISK 515 ALDEBURGH PATRICK GIFFORD 14.0 RET 14.0 DNC 2.0 30.0 30.0
12th ZinZan 127 RIYC TIM CARPENTER 10.0 9.0 13.0 32.0 32.0
13th AMSTAD GBR 585 R.STGYC RONAN MURPHY 11.0 12.0 11.0 34.0 34.0

Published in Dragon

#dragon –  The final day of the Dragon worlds in La Rochelle began with a short delay to allow the wind to settle after an overnight front had seen rain move up from Bordeaux. This more or less prevented any chance of two races, so when the fleet eventually left the marina we all knew it would be just one final race.

With an overnight lead of 10pts UAE 8 only had to keep a couple of boats in their sights to guarantee victory... indeed that is exactly what they did.

The race started with a westerly breeze of around 10kts, boats that chose the right side of the course made out better than the left. However, go too far right and it was possible to over-stand the first mark and that is exactly what a large group of competitors did. The three boats that sailed the first beat perfectly were UAE 7 Markus Wieser, RUS 27 Anatoly Loginov and GER 1123 Michael Zankel. Although there were a few place changes throughout the race, this was the finishing order of the top three boats

Meanwhile UAE 8 made their way up through the fleet to finish 10th, RUS 76 had a fine race to make it to 8th place and take the Silver Medal spot, but GER 11 dropped back to 22nd and thus out of the top three overall. However, Markus Wieser's excellent final race win, rewarded his team with the final podium position and the Bronze Medal at this fantastic Championship.

Final top five

1. Bunker Boys, Yevgen Braslavets / Aleksander Mirchuk / Sergiy Timokhov, UAE, 26 points
2. Stange Little Girl, Dimitri Samokhi. / Andrey Kirilyuk / Aleksey Bushuev, RUS, 45
3. Bunker Queen, Markus Wieser / Sergey Pugachev / Georgil Leonchuk, UAE, 47
4. BBXXL Vincent Hoesch / Markus Steinlein / Marc Pickel , GER, 48
5. Desert Eagle, Hendrik Witzmann / Henrique Anjos / Markus Ko, 75

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#dragon – Andrew Craig's Chimaera topped a 13–boat Dragon fleet to win the East Coast Championships at the Royal St. George Yacht Club at the weekend. Second on the Dublin Bay race track was Craig's club mate Phantom skippered by Neil Hegarty with Kinsale Yacht Club's Little Fella Cameron Good third overall. 

Counting five top three results, including two races wins, Craig of the host club, emerged two points clear of Hegarty after discarding an eighth in the final sixth race. Full results downloadable below.

Published in Dragon

#dbsc – BENETEAU 31.7 Echo- 1. Prospect (Chris Johnston), 2. Levante (M.Leahy/J.Power), 3. Extreme Reality (P.McSwiney/E.O'Rafferty)

BENETEAU 31.7 - 1. Prospect (Chris Johnston), 2. Levana (Jean Mitton), 3. Crazy Horse (F Heath & I Schuster)

CRUISERS 0 Echo - 1. Tsunami (Vincent Farrell), 2. Aurelia (Chris Power Smith), 3. Wow (George Sisk)

CRUISERS 0 - 1. Tsunami (Vincent Farrell), 2. Wow (George Sisk), 3. Aurelia (Chris Power Smith)

CRUISERS 1 - 1. Ruth (L Shanahan), 2. Jalapeno (P Barrington et al), 3. Something Else (J.Hall et al)

CRUISERS 1 Echo - 1. Ruth (L Shanahan), 2. Jalapeno (P Barrington et al), 3. Something Else (J.Hall et al)

CRUISERS 2 Echo - 1. Jester (Declan Curtin), 2. Antix (D Ryan), 3. Peridot (Jim McCann et al)

CRUISERS 2 - 1. Jester (Declan Curtin), 2. Peridot (Jim McCann et al), 3. Jambiya (Ryan & Lattimore)

CRUISERS 3 A Echo - 1. Hard on Port (F O'Driscoll), 2. Quest (B Cunningham), 3. Cries of Passion (B Maguire)

CRUISERS 3 A - 1. Quest (B Cunningham), 2. Hard on Port (F O'Driscoll), 3. Cries of Passion (B Maguire)

CRUISERS 3 B - 1. Asterix (Counihan/Meredith/Bushell), 2. Cacciatore (M Ni Cheallachain), 3. Taiscealai (B Richardson)

CRUISERS 3 B Echo - 1. Jiminy Cricket (M Tyndall), 2. Small Wonder (H Kelly), 3. Saki (Paget McCormack et al)

Combined Classes Echo - 1. White Mischief (Timothy Goodbody), 2. Rupert (R & P Lovegrove), 3. Jester (Declan Curtin)

Combined Classes - 1. White Mischief (Timothy Goodbody), 2. Rupert (R & P Lovegrove), 3. Jester (Declan Curtin)

DRAGON - 1. Diva (R.Johnson/R.Goodbody), 2. Phantom (D.Williams), 3. Zinzan (Daniel O'Connor et al)

FLYING FIFTEEN - 1. Ignis Caput (David Mulvey), 2. Betty (D & S Gorman), 3. Fflogger (Alan Dooley)

GLEN - 1. Glenmiller (P Cusack), 2. Glenmarissa (F.Elmes), 3. Glendun (B.Denham et al)

RUFFIAN 23 - 1. Shannagh (S.Gill/P.MacDiarmada), 2. Diane ll (A Claffey/C Helme), 3. Bandit (Kirwan/Cullen/Brown)

SB20 - 1. Venuesworld.com (Ger Dempsey), 2. Sin Bin (Michael O'Connor)

SHIPMAN - 1. Jo Slim (J.Clarke et al), 2. Euphanzel lll (M Muldoon), 3. Gusto (Heath, Miles, Crisp, Duggan)

SIGMA 33 - 1. White Mischief (Timothy Goodbody), 2. Rupert (R & P Lovegrove), 3. Leeuwin (H&C Leonard & B Kerr)

SIGMA 33 - 1. White Mischief (Timothy Goodbody), 2. Rupert (R & P Lovegrove), 3. Popje (Ted McCourt)

SQUIB - 1. Perfection (Jill Fleming), 2. Sidewinder (R&R Westrup), 3. Femme Fatale (V Delaney)

WHITE SAIL CRUISERS Echo - 1. More Mischief (Eamonn Doyle), 2. White Lotus (Paul Tully), 3. Just Jasmin (Philip Smith)

WHITE SAIL CRUISERS - 1. Persistence (C. Broadhead et al), 2. White Lotus (Paul Tully), 3. Act Two (Michael O'Leary et al)

Published in DBSC

#dragon – Saturday saw two competitive races for Dragons out of Scotsman's Bay on the southside of Dublin Bay. Winds were Light to moderate in a Northerly direction. The fleet welcomed back Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks, with Paul Maguire, aboard 198. As well as guest crew with Phantom (176), ZinZan (127) and Sir Ossis (1). Great credit goes to Vice-Captain Ronan Murphy Race Officer for the day, who set two excellent courses (about 50 mins. duration) from a RIB assisted by a mark-laying RIB from the Royal St George YC. A good day out - a tad chilly - this format will be repeated again over the season!

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#dragon – The weekend's Cannonball Trophy saield on Dublin Bay is an annual team racing event sailed by Dragon sailors from The Royal London Yacht Club in Cowes, The Royal Netherlands Yacht Club in Muidan Holland and The Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. Occasionally the Dragon sailors from Deauville Yacht Club in France also compete but they were unavailable to travel this year.

Racing is held on a Friday & Saturday in April.

This year they sailed in glorious conditions on Friday in Scotsmans Bay with about 10knots of breeze. We used an equalised fleet of 1720's from three of the waterfront Clubs in Dun Laoghaire for the event. Two Rounds were sailed on Friday where the London Dragons ended up with just one extra race win ahead of the Dublin Bay Dragon Fleet. The fleet were expected to go into a five race final against each other on Saturday but this was not to happen as the Race Officer deemed the 20–knot conditions to be unsafe for racing.

The event is as much about the socials as it is about racing. The sailors were treated to a night of traditional Irish entertainment in Johnny Fox's Pub in the Dublin mountains on Friday evening. On Saturday after racing was cancelled they headed on the DART to Howth for a long lunch in Aqua Restaurant before returning to the Royal St George for a dinner & prize giving.

The Dublin Bay Dragon helms were: Martin Byrne, Andrew Craig & Tim Pearson.

Published in Dragon
17th November 2014

Dragon 'U-Boat' at Cascais

#dragon – The popular European International Dragon Winter Series at Cascais in Portugal got off to a spectacular start over the weekend.

After a week of strong winds, the breeze had eased, but a huge leftover sea still running in the Atlantic was a timely reminder that further along the Portuguese West Coast, they have a breaker which rivals Ireland's mighty Aileens off the Cliffs of Moher.

For those who could handle the conditions, the sailing was spectacular.

However, the word is that it was an un-released runner which caused a mark-rounding German Dragon to be knocked on its side and fill.

Whatever the reasons, quips about U-Boats in the Battle of the Atlantic were thought to be in the worst possible taste.

cascais1.jpg

Big seas, big sunshine – the weekend's Dragon Racing at Cascais as it might have been...

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