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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Dragon

Glandore in West Cork is a picturesque international melting pot of folk of all types from many backgrounds, and like all melting pots, it can occasionally boil ever, particularly if you have someone like Don Street stirring the heated mix. American-born Don spent much of his 92 years becoming the acknowledged expert on cruising the Caribbean and the practice of traditional self-reliant seamanship, but having had a base in Glandore for decades, even he admits to the slowing effects of advancing age.

So for some time now, his attention has become largely local, and the Glandore axe he has been grinding is the beating of the drum (now there’s a mix of metaphors for your delectation) to celebrate the versatility of the International Dragon (whether plastic fantastic or classic wooden) for club racing and junior training, in addition to contesting hugely challenging international events.

The summertime demographic of Glandore is such that they have sailors of all ages in abundance, and Don reckons the Dragons can readily accommodate them all provided that Glandore Harbour Yacht Club can become a bit more relaxed about the trend towards Committee Boat starts, and rely instead on the convenient starting platform just below the village’s “veranda square”, where all-seeing but thirsty race officers can be sure of a handy pint from one of the excellent pubs.

Platinum oldies – Don Street at Dragon racing in Glandore. Photo courtesy GHYCPlatinum oldies – Don Street at Dragon racing in Glandore. Photo courtesy GHYC

Don and his mates want races to be easily available at all times and for all ages, and to do that you need to have the starting line which can be put in place with minimum fuss, which is something conspicuously absent when you need to get a fully-crewed safety-compliant committee boat into action

Being firmly of the opinion that there really is nothing more user-friendly than a shore-based starting line with very clearly marked transits, I readily go along with that - as indeed do thousands of people who race at Cowes every year. But whatever your view, there’s no denying that the Dragon class at Glandore is an impressively successful mix of boats and people of all ages, with Don setting the standard, as his youthfully-crewed boat Gypsy is at least 89 years old, which must make him the only owner of an 89-year-old boat who happens to be even older himself………

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Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team dropped to tenth overall after the final day of Dragon class racing at the Régates Royales, in Cannes on Friday.

Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team from the Royal St. George, Dun Laoghaire and Daniel Murphy’s Fortitude from Kinsale were fighting it out at the front of the fleet for most of the week, with Byrne crewed by Adam Winkelmann and John Simms as high as fourth overall before the penultimate day.

Murphy finished 13th overall from 32-starters.

 

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Two of the leading British Dragons teams moved up the at Régates Royales rankings today in declining breezes in Cannes. Chris Brittain on GBR 818 scored a 2nd and 7th to move up to 4th overall, while Gavia Wilkinson Cox on GBR 716 had a 4th and 5th as she moves up to sixth overall.

It was a frustrating day for Royal St. George's Jaguar Team skippered by Martin Byrne’s as they had a 10th and 17th (discarded) and dropped dramatically down the ranking to 9th overall.

Daniel Murphy's Fortitude had a better day with Irish National Champion Cameron Good helming, who scored their best results of the week with a 6th and 11th as they move up to 12th overall.

There was also a shake-up at the top as Swiss, Portuguese and French teams changed positions on the podium.

Two final races are scheduled for Friday, but very light winds are forecast, and racing might even be doubtful.

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An early morning start on Wednesday was delayed for the Dragon fleet at Régates Royales, in Cannes as the anticipated Mistral gale took its time to materialise.

Eventually, the fleet got away in a stiff 25-knot breeze that took its toll as many boats retired on the first leg with gear failure. Two of the casualties were Irish Dragons, Tarasque and Sir Ossis.

But Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team from the Royal St. George, Dun Laoghaire and Daniel Murphy’s Fortitude from Kinsale were fighting it out at the front of the fleet, eventually finishing fifth and 11th, respectively. The fleet was sent ashore after just one race.

Jaguar Sailing Team moved up to fourth overall and first Corinthian. Fortitude are now 13th overall.

Byrne told Afloat that he was disappointed with the decision not to hold the planned second race - “this was an important day for us as we anticipated a strong performance in the heavier breezes. We were hoping for two low-scoring results that might bring us into the top three overall. Our speed and boat handling were good, but we got caught out twice on the downwind legs where covering competitors cost us places”.

Racing continues on Thursday and Friday when more moderate breezes are expected to return.

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Three of the Irish Dragon keelboat teams had top ten results today in Cannes on day two of Régates Royales.

In race three, Cameron Good and Daniel Murphy on Fortitude finish seventh and move to 12th overall, while Mark & Selina Dicker on Tarasque started their regatta a day late due to a technical problem with an 8th.

In race four, Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team were seventh. This result, combined with a 13th in this morning's race, keeps them in the top five overall and within 2 points of the podium. They have moved to second in the Corinthian division as England’s Chris Brittain on GBR818 overtakes Byrne with a first & 16th today.

Points are very tight at the top, where French national champion Jean Breger moved into the lead overall.

Conditions were very light today, but up to 20-knot breezes are expected tomorrow, and the race committee have moved the scheduled start to an hour earlier at 10 am in an attempt to complete two more races.

Racing continues to Friday.

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Dragon racing commenced on the Bay of Cannes on Monday at the Régates Royales in a very shifty 10/12 knot easterly breeze with glorious sunshine all day.

The 10-country international fleet of 33 Dragons were grateful for some efficient race management aided by the use of GPS-controlled marks.

Martin Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team were in front of the fleet all day but were disappointed by the 10th place in race 1. But they made up for that with a convincing win in race 2, where they went from 6th to 1st on the first downwind leg and lead the fleet to the finish.

The Royal St George crew lie 4th overall with points at the top very close.

The two top French teams of Gerry Trentesaux, 3rd at the recent Gold Cup, and current French National Champion Jean Breger are 1st and 2nd overall after today's racing.

Switzerland’s Dirk Oldenburg is 3rd overall. Byrne leads the Corinthian, non-professional, Division.

Daniel Murphy’s Fortitude with new Irish Dragon Champion, Cameron Good helming, is 12th overall with an 11th and 10th scored.

Joey Bergin’s Sir Ossis with Declan Gordon helming are 23rd overall with a 27th & 20th today.

Racing continues until Friday with light winds expected, which might shake things up.

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Martin Byrne’s well travelled Dragon - Jaguar Sailing Team from the Royal St. George Yacht Club will be joined by another three IRL registered teams at this year’s Régates Royales in Cannes where racing commences on Monday next.

Byrne’s Jaguar Sailing Team which includes Adam Winkelmann and John Simms, have been the only representatives of the Irish Dragon Fleet in recent years on the International circuit of events.

But the recent, post-Covid, resurgence in the Dragon fleet at home where numbers are on the increase in Kinsale, Glandore and Dun Laoghaire sees other new teams travelling abroad for the first time in nearly four years.

Régates Royales is an iconic end-of-season event that is mostly dominated by the Classic Boats. But Dragons have always attended in big numbers there with fleets of over 100 in the past.

This year an international fleet of 35 Dragons from nine countries are joined by four boats registered in Ireland.

Byrne’s Jaguar Team are joined by Daniel Murphy from Kinsale in Fortitude together with Denis and Joey Bergin with Sir Ossis from Dún Laoghaire, and finally, Tarasque from Dún Laoghaire is entered with Mark and Selina Dicker.

Ten races are scheduled from Monday to Friday next on the Bay of Cannes in company with the Classic Fleet, which makes this such a unique and spectacular event.

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Leading the championships from start to finish, Kinsale Yacht Club crew Cameron Good, Henry Kingston and Matthias Hellstern, sailing Little Fella claimed the Irish Dragon National Championships at the Royal St. George YC on Sunday.

Royal St. George's Alistair Kissane, Ronan Murphy and Cian Hughes in Dragon number 180 SerafinaRoyal St. George's Alistair Kissane, Ronan Murphy and Cian Hughes in Dragon number 180 Serafina Photo: Afloat

Despite a strong challenge from the host club's Jaguar Sailing Team of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms and also Kinsale clubmates Colm Dunne, Colm Daly and Daniel McCloskey in Ghost, the Good crew prevailed on Sunday afternoon taking the title by a six-point margin with a final race win. 

The host club's Jaguar Sailing Team of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms finished third overallThe host club's Jaguar Sailing Team of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms finished third overall and top Dublin boat

In an exciting climax to the competition, second and third places overall were decided on the tie-break rule in Ghost's favour on 24 points, a score shared with the Jaguar Sailing Team in third.

Supremacy (Lee Miles) looks for a lane to the weather mark during race six of the Irish Dragon National Championships Photo: AfloatSupremacy number 122 (Lee Miles) looks for a lane to the weather mark during race six of the Irish Dragon National Championships Photo: Afloat

 Race Officer Con Murphy staged seven races for the Irish Dragon Nationals in conditions from light, medium to heavy weather on Dublin Bay Photo: AfloatRace Officer Con Murphy staged seven races for the Irish Dragon Nationals in conditions from light, medium to heavy weather on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

 The final two races for the 17-boat fleet were sailed in a 20 knot south easterly on Dublin Bay.

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After five races sailed at the Royal St. George YC Dragon hosted National Championships, Kinsale Yacht Club crew Cameron Good, Henry Kingston and Matthias Hellstern, sailing Little Fella, on 12 points, still lead overall by two points.  

But after today's single race sailed, it is the host club's Jaguar Sailing Team of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms that have moved up into second place overall.

The Jaguar crew took second in race five in a 20 knot south easterly on Dublin Bay and with two races left to sail the 17-boat championship is still an open contest with three points separating the top three.

Martin Byrne's Jaguar Sailing Team lies second after five races sailed Photo: Bob BatemanMartin Byrne's Jaguar Sailing Team lie second after five races sailed Photo: Bob Bateman

Third overall is Good's clubmate Colm Dunne, Colm Daly and Daniel McCloskey in Ghost on 15 points.

Race six is scheduled for 11.05 on Sunday morning.

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After four races sailed at the Royal St. George YC Dragon hosted National Championships, Kinsale Yacht Club crews occupy the top three overall. 

Cameron Good, Henry Kingston and Matthias Hellstern sailing Little Fella on 14 points, lead by two points overall on Dublin Bay from clubmates Colm Dunne, Colm Daly and Daniel McCloskey in Ghost. 

Third is KYC's MarJ (Adrian Bendon, Eoghan O Mahony and Jeff Cochrane), the recent winners of August's Glandore Harbour's Lar Casey Cup.

Conditions on the Dun Laoghaire race track have so far been light to medium southeasterlies and relatively flat seas.

The top Dun Laoghaire boat is the host club's Jaguar Sailing Team of Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and John Simms, who are on an equal 20 points with MarJ.

Racing continues on Saturday with races five and six and concludes on Sunday morning with one final race.

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The Dragon was designed by Johan Anker in 1929 as an entry for a competition run by the Royal Yacht Club of Gothenburg, to find a small keel-boat that could be used for simple weekend cruising among the islands and fjords of the Scandinavian seaboard. The original design had two berths and was ideally suited for cruising in his home waters of Norway. The boat quickly attracted owners and within ten years it had spread all over Europe.

The Dragon's long keel and elegant metre-boat lines remain unchanged, but today Dragons are constructed using the latest technology to make the boat durable and easy to maintain. GRP is the most popular material, but both new and old wooden boats regularly win major competitions while looking as beautiful as any craft afloat. Exotic materials are banned throughout the boat, and strict rules are applied to all areas of construction to avoid sacrificing value for a fractional increase in speed.

The key to the Dragon's enduring appeal lies in the careful development of its rig. Its well-balanced sail plan makes boat handling easy for lightweights, while a controlled process of development has produced one of the most flexible and controllable rigs of any racing boat.

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