Puerto Portals Grand Prix & Finals…

 

Dragons are arriving in Puerto Portals for the Grade 1 and Finals 11th to 16th November. 

With nearly 50 boats already entered for the last Grade 1 of 2019 the beautiful Puerto Portals on the west side of Mallorca is ready to host what will be an enthralling ending to a wonderful International Dragon season…

Not only will there be 4 days of racing (11th to 14th Nov) in the centre of Palma bay, but the top 20 qualifiers (counting their best 3 results from all the Grade 1’s) will participate in the European Cup Finals 15th & 16th Nov. A perfect “finale” to see who will be crowned Champions!

With an extended entry opportunity , Puerto Portals invites all Dragon teams to join the fun and travel over to sunny Mallorca in the next few weeks….   A simple and fair priced overnight ferry from Toulon to Alcudia or Barcelona to Palma will provide easy access to this great location..

More information and registration (the Organisers must know you are coming before you enter the port) can be found on web site crpuertoportals.com    Or email   info@crpuertoportals.com

Come and join the Party instead of sheltering from the rain at home!

Higher, Faster, Longer……     Stavros.

 

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IDA AGM 2019 San Remo – Flash Minutes

* Jens Rathsack elected IDA Chairman to succeed Vasily Senatorov
* Justus Kniffka elected as a Vice Chairman to succeed Helmut Schmidt
* They join current Vice Chairmen Marc Castagnet and Gérard Blanc, and Treasurer Anne Vanneste to form new IDA board
* New entity IDA Events Association is successfully used as funding vehicle for 90th Regatta and improving race management
* Electric bilge pump rule tightened to stop water ballast management
* 2023 Worlds to be in Bodrum, Turkey
* Safety Task Force investigates ways to prevent Dragons sinking

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Denmark’s Jens Christensen Declared Champion at Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark

  • Denmark’s Jens Christensen, Anders Bagger and Thomas Schmidt are declared Champions at Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul and Shark
  • Ivan Bradbury, Malte Phillip and Claus Oelsen are Classic Dragon 90th Anniversary Champions
  • Dragon fleet say a fond farewell and thank you to the Yacht Club Sanremo at Gala Prize Giving Ceremony

For the 150 participating crews, the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark will live on in their memories for many years to come. The regatta concluded in spectacular style with two glorious final races in an 8-10 knot sea breeze and a prize giving party that matched both the Dragon and the Yacht Club Sanremo’s renowned reputations for warm hospitality and exceptional camaraderie.

The regatta has brought together Dragon sailors old and new from all four corners of the globe to celebrate their beloved class. The racing has been superbly competitive, but it has only been a part of the story. Just as important has been the opportunity to mark 90 years of a boat that Johan Anker originally designed to be an inexpensive inter-islands cruiser for young people. From those simple beginnings has grown a class that transcends generations; that safely negotiated the transition from wood to GRP; that not only survived deselection as an Olympic class but used it as a platform to launch a whole new era of growth and success; and that today is one of the strongest international sailboat classes in the world.

The final day of racing in Sanremo was an absolute cliff-hanger as the leading teams played snakes and ladders on the leader board. The quality of the sailors is so high that the slightest stumble is punished mercilessly and several of the leading teams found themselves well down the pack in the opening race, as Anatoly Loginov sailing RUS27 ‘Annapurna’ romped home to race victory.

Going into the last race just two points separated the three leaders, Jens Christensen in DEN410 ‘Out of Bounce’, Victor Fogelson in RUS35 ‘Sunflower’ and GER16 ‘Ingrid’ sailed by Dirk Pramann. With all races to count the regatta was still wide open. Even getting that final race started was nerve-wracking as the race committee battled to get the fleet underway before the 16.00 cut off time, something they impressively achieved with just minutes to spare despite a general recall. Once underway it was to be nip and tuck all the way and as the teams crossed the line, led by Eugenii Braslavets in ITA77 ‘Bunker Prince’, none of them was quite certain who had won overall. It was only on arrival at the dock that Danish Olympian, Dragon European and two-time H-Boat World Champion Jens Christensen, crewed by Anders Bagger and Thomas Schmidt, was confirm as the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta Champion by a seven point margin over Pieter Heerema in NED412 ‘Troika’ who had finished second in the race. Third place overall went to Christof Wieland helming GER69 ‘Dirndlwind’ with Braslavets fourth.

After racing Jens Christensen explained, “In the first race we got a terrible start and we kind of wiggled our way out and we saw who was up there, so it was not disastrous, and we fought our way back and got ten or fifteen boats, so we finished twenty something. In the second race we got a good start and were fourth at the top mark and we could see how things were playing out and it didn’t look too bad, so we were just trying to hang in there. But we were not 100% sure, but I felt it looked pretty good.”

Racing in the Silver Fleet was equally exciting with victory ultimately going to Per Arne Nilsen sailing NOR275 ‘The Knucker’ with Philipp Skafte-Holm in DEN394 ‘Blue Lady’ third and Richard Franklin in AUS216 ‘Liquidity’ third.

In the Classics Fleet, for planked wooden Dragons built prior to 1972, first place went to Ivan Bradbury sailing GBR375 Blue Haze, a beautifully restored and maintained 1959 Pedersen & Theusen, which also finished 26th in the overall classification.

At the prize giving there were two very special presentations. The first was a privately commissioned silver bowl which was presented on behalf of the Dragon sailors by incoming International Dragon Association (IDA) Chairman Jens Rathsack to Vasily Senatorov, who stands down as IDA Chairman tomorrow. Jens paid tribute to Vasily’s personal commitment to the class, and in particular to his determination in bringing this Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta to fruition. As he came to the stage, Vasily received a standing ovation from his fellow Dragonists.

The second special presentation was the Spirit of the Dragon Class Trophy which is awarded to a team from the Classic Division who embody the true spirit, fair play and seamanship of the class. The winner is elected by his fellow sailors and to rousing applause Ireland’s Don Street, who raced the oldest boat in the regatta IRL15 Gypsy, came forward to receive the trophy. Don kept his acceptance speech typically brief but entertaining saying simply, “I sailed a 1937 boat at the 75th Anniversary Regatta, here I’ve sailed an 86-year-old boat and I’m 89 years old, and I’m aiming to do the 100th Anniversary Regatta too!”

With the formalities completed the band struck up and the sailors enjoyed one final evening celebrating this unique milestone in their class’s history. America’s Cup veteran and four time World Match Racing Champion Peter Gilmour, who finished the week in fourth overall sailing event sponsor Yanmar’s JPN56 ‘YRED’, summed up the feelings of so many when he said; “This has been an extraordinary event, to see first of all so many Dragons all together and also to have that big race where we were all on the start line together. It’s been a difficult week to get all the racing in, but we have a winner and that’s exciting. I’ll never forget in 2001 when they held the anniversary event for the America’s Cup Jubilee in Cowes, and this is just as significant.”

Grant Gordon of event sponsor Glenfiddich, who also raced the regatta at the helm of GBR820 Louise finishing ninth overall, paid tribute to all the very many people who helped make the regatta happen. ‘San Remo did our Class, arguably ‘the world’s greatest classic one- design keelboat’, very proud. There was a wonderful atmosphere throughout the whole of the Dragon 90th regatta. Thank you to all the volunteers and organisers for an unforgettable event.’

Whilst the sun has now set on the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark, the season will continue for the Dragons, with the next major event in the calendar being the Dragon Grand Prix Spain and grand finals of the Dragon European Cup Series which take place in Puerto Portals, Mallorca from 11 to 16 November 2019.

Full results can be found at www.dragon90.com and updates from the regatta are available on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and at www.dragon90.com

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Light Airs, Big Seas and Close Racing on Day 4 of the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta

  • Opening race of the Finals series completed in light airs and big seas following Gold and Silver Fleet splits on fourth day of the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul and Shark
  • Denmark’s Jens Christensen wins Gold Fleet race to take three point overall regatta lead
  • Yanmar host delightful aftersail party as Dragon sailors continue to enjoy the perfect combination of great racing and warm hospitality at Yacht Club Sanremo

10 October 2019 – Sanremo, Italy – Day four of the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark saw the fleet divided into Gold and Silver groups following the initial qualifying rounds, with the boats carrying their overall ranking position from the qualifiers into the final series. Going into the day the forecast looked super light and there was a big question over whether sailing would even be possible. Luckily, just as the sailors were settling in for a morning of coffee drinking and chat, a light easterly sprang up and everyone was called afloat.

In the race area the teams found a nice 8-10 knot breeze from the north east accompanied by a large swell from the west and a strong west to east current which was pushing them over the line. Aware that the breeze may not stay long the race committee moved quickly and after a couple of false starts both fleets were underway. The wind held up the beat, but on the run, it began to drop. With the boats fighting against the current and big seas the effect was to compress the fleet, who found themselves gybing at acute angles to try and retain boat speed. As the wind began to die completely the committee wisely decided to stop both fleets after a single lap. It soon became clear that the breeze would not be returning, and further hopes of racing were abandoned for the day.

The Gold Fleet took two attempts to start, the second being under U Flag with only Britain’s Mike Budd being called over the line. The quality of the fleet is exceptional and despite the difficult conditions the boats remained closely bunched around the course. Jens Christensen in DEN410 ‘Out of Bounce’ took a narrow early lead from Germany’s Christof Wieland aboard GER69 ‘Ingrid’, and he then spent the rest of the race fighting off Wieland’s endless advances. On the line the two were separated by less than a boat length with Pedro Mendes Leal in POR87 ‘Uranus’ third, Nicola Friesen’s GER1207 ‘Kahleesi’ fourth and Pieter Heerema in NED412 ‘Troika’ fifth.

In the Gold Fleet overall standings Jens Christensen now counts three points, giving him a five-point lead over Pieter Heerema. Britain’s Mike Hayles aboard GBR764 ‘Naiad’ finished tenth in the race, which combines with his first place from the qualifiers to put him into third overall. American Mike Breivik in USA88 ‘Jupiter’ finished eighth and now counts fourteen points, putting him fourth overall with a two-point delta on fifth placed Christof Wieland.

In the Silver fleet the race winner was Ole Christian Gahr Vordahl sailing NOR300 ‘Still Crazy’, who now has a seven-point overall lead from Walter J Zuercher in SUI322 ‘Gitane Eight’. Per Arne Nilsen sailing NOR275 ‘The Knucker’ finished third in the race and is third overall, a single point behind Zuercher and a single point ahead of Richard Franklin in AUS216 ‘Liquidity’. The Silver Fleet top five is rounded out by Philipp Skafte-Holm’s DEN394 ‘Blue Lady’.

Back ashore the sailors were in complete agreement with the committee’s decision to shorten the race as Soling and 5.5 Metre World Champion Ron Rosenberg, sailing this week as tactician for Mike Breivik, explained. “The Race Committee has been doing an outstanding job here, managing two racecourses of nearly 80 boats each, it’s been really quite remarkable, they achieve such a high level of race management.”

For Rosenberg, a thirty-year veteran of the Dragon fleet, racing with Mike Breivik is turning out to be not only a personal pleasure, but also an unexpectedly competitive experience too, as Mike only started sailing just over two years ago. A mutual friend introduced the pair, explaining that Mike, a competitive skier in slalom and giant slalom and marathon runner, was interested in learning to sail better. Mike and his wife had previous powerboating experience but had only recently decided to learn to sail. He’d caught the bug and now wanted to improve quickly.

Rosenburg knew that the European Dragon class was the perfect fit for Breivik and last year they chartered a boat and did two regattas together. Breivik took to it like a duck to water and when Ron suggested they attend the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta he jumped at the chance. Asked about his experience of racing against multiple Olympians, World Champions and America’s Cup veterans and of taking on yesterday’s 150 boat Anniversary Race start line he said. “It’s been an unbelievable experience, a little bit nerve wracking out there today and with the big race yesterday, but a lot of fun and I really enjoy it. I’ll definitely be back for more!”

Whilst competitive racing lies at the heart of the Dragon fleet, camaraderie and fun are also an important part of class life. Back ashore the participants ensured they kept up that carefully nurtured balance by enjoying a delightful dockside aftersail party hosted by event sponsor Yanmar.

Racing for tomorrow’s final day of competition is scheduled to start at 11.00, there is a latest start cut off time of 16.00 and a maximum of three races remain to be sailed to decide the overall winner of the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta. This extraordinary week-long celebration of the International Dragon’s 90th Birthday will conclude with a spectacular final Gala Prize Giving party.

Full results can be found at www.dragon90.com and you can follow the regatta on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and at www.dragon90.com

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A Sailing Extravaganza on Day 3 of the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark

  • Day three of the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark featured a spectacular 90th Anniversary Race as 150 boats came together on a single start line
  • Gold and Silver Fleet splits announced for series finals.
  • Participants enjoy a gala dinner and birthday celebration evening

9 October 2019 – Sanremo, Italy – The Dragon is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful one-design keel boats in the world, and the spectacle of 150 Dragons coming together on a single start line to celebrate the class’s 90th Anniversary was truly a visual delight. For the 150 crews who have flown in from all corners of the globe to compete in the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul and Shark, the 90th Anniversary Race was the experience of a lifetime. For race winners Benedikt Gach, Johannes Schmohl and Florian Abele from Germany, it was quite simply a day that exceeded all possible expectation.

The Yacht Club Sanremo’s Race Committee had set a special course with a 3 mile beat to ensure fleet separation prior to the first mark. This was followed by a down-wind leg featuring two reaches and then a run into the finish. The fleet came close to getting underway at the first attempt, but a wind shift in the closing moments of the sequence forcing the committee to hoist the postponement flag and abandon. Within a few minutes the breeze had stabilised again, and the second attempt was stunningly successful with the huge fleet all hitting the line together.

With a north easterly breeze of around 12-15 knots Benedikt Gach sailing GER1216 got a good start, hit the left side of the beat and sailed superbly well to head the fleet at the first mark. Jens Rathsack in MON2 ‘Jeanie’ rounded the first mark 100 yards behind him with Ron James helming GBR633 ‘Fei Lin’s-Flirtation’ at the head of the chasing pack. From this point onward the leading three held position and were never seriously challenged, but the battle behind them for fourth place went down to the wire. Ultimately, Frank Berg helming DEN408 ‘Flawless’ took fourth, with Gerard Blanc helming FRA409 ‘Tsuica’ fifth and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox helming GBR761 ‘Jerboa’ sixth. As the rest of the fleet streamed over the line it was all the recorders could do to keep up as they came through thick and fast.

A former Laser sailor, Benedikt Gach is no stranger to big fleet starting but this was his biggest Dragon race by some way. His fortunes on the first day of racing had been mixed, leaving him in the lower half of the fleet, but today Gach and his team made a plan, executed it perfectly and kept their cool, as he explained after racing. “We decided basically to go for the left side and that it was more important for us to go left than get a good start. We had quite a nice spot there with free wind and we got some nice shifts on the left side and it worked out pretty well. Being a lake sailor, I’m not too used to sailing downwind in waves, so we expected that we would lose some of the lead, but amazingly we managed to hold everyone off! We are really enjoying the regatta, it has great organisation, great hospitality and the race organisation is great, so it’s just perfect.”

The fleet assembled truly represents the diversity of the Dragons. The Dragon is sailed in over 40 countries, there are 31 official National Class Associations and 26 of those nations from four continents are represented this week. The oldest boat racing is IRL15 Gypsy which was built in 1933 and the newest is but a few months old. Gypsy also perfectly demonstrates the wide age range of the crews, with her Skipper Don Street being the oldest competitor at 89 years and his crew Fin Bradburn being the youngest at 16. Dragon sailing gets into the blood and it’s no surprise to see many family crews here, with two and even three generations of the same family often racing together. With the option to sail three or four up, mixed, youth and ladies’ crews are common too. The longevity of the Dragon is also extraordinary with the classics (wooden Dragons built before 1972) regularly featuring among the top performers this week.

With the big Anniversary Race completed the fleet was divided for one off races, designed to highlight that diversity and quality. These included races for lady helms, juniors, masters, crews, classics and to decide the Champion of Champions. Results from the special group races can be found at www.dragon90.com.

The Classics race went to Aleksei Zigadlo’s beautiful RUS12 ‘Drug’. First lady was Laura Dillon helming GBR770 ‘Storm’. The first junior was Charlotte Ten Wolde in NED435 ‘Olinghi’. The crew’s race went to Caspar Dohse sailing with his family on GER1151 ‘Puck’ and the first family crew was SUI306 ‘Ozio’ owned by Fabio Trotta. After his third place in the Anniversary Race, Ron James was clearly on a role and also claimed victory in the master’s division.

It says something about the quality of the Dragon Class that the Champion of Champions fleet, for which you needed to be an Olympic, World or Continental Championship medallist from any class or from the Dragon Gold Cup, was the largest of the special fleets with 49 entries. The shifty winds made for a tough race and the leading four boats slugged it out all the way round the course, but on the line current Dragon European Cup Series leader Dmitry Samokin, sailing RUS76 ‘Rocknrolla’, took victory by a narrow margin from multi class dinghy champion Mike Budd in GBR818 ‘Harry’, with Alexander Ezhkov in RUS2 ‘Alisa’ third and Dragon Gold Cup and two time Dragon European Champion Anatoly Loginov sailing RUS27 ‘Annapurna’ fourth.

The crews returned ashore on a natural high and the fun continued into the evening with the spectacular Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta Gala Dinner, held at the elegant waterside Victory Morgana night club, a superbly preserved example of Italian Rationalism architecture. Alongside the prizes for the days special races there were also a number of special presentations.

The splits for the Gold and Silver fleets have now been decided and tomorrow the fleet will return to series racing. Two Finals races are planned with the scores from the two race qualifying series being carried forward. The regatta will conclude on Friday 11th October.

Full results can be found at www.dragon90.com and you can follow the regatta on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and at www.dragon90.com

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Sanremo Delivers Two Great Opening Races for Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark

  • Ireland’s Daniel Murphy and Brian Goggin head Fleet B and Britain’s Mike & Monique Hayles lead Fleet A after opening two races of Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark at Yacht Club Sanremo
  • Fleet prepares for Wednesday’s special 90th Anniversary Race in which all boats will come together and for the Champion of Champions Race featuring medallists from the Olympics, World and European Championships and World Cups in any class and the Dragon Gold Cup
  • Series racing will resume on Thursday 10th October

8 October 2019 – Sanremo, Italy – Day two of the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark brought beautiful hot sunshine and racing at last for the 150 strong fleet, who had been held ashore on day one due to strong winds and rough seas. The starts were initially postponed for a little over two hours to allow the wind to build, but by mid-afternoon a delightful 6-7 knots had filled in from the south east quadrant, enabling the Yacht Club Sanremo’s Race Committee to run two excellent qualifying series races.

The fleet has been split into two groups for the qualifiers, with each group racing on its own dedicated windward leeward course. The light airs gave the tacticians and trimmers a good work out as they tried to pick the best lanes and constantly change gears to maintain maximum speed. Consistency was hard to find though and by the end of the day four different race winners had been identified.

First blood in Group A went to Anatoly Loginov sailing RUS27 ‘Annapurna’ with Ivan Bradbury’s beautiful wooden classic GBR375 ‘Blue Haze’, built in 1959 by Pedersen and Theusen, second and Philipp Ocker’s GER1135 ‘Birscherl’ third. Race two was won by Charlotte Ten Wolde in NED435 ‘Olinghi’, with Helmut Muller’s GER810 ‘Zille’ second and Joergen Schoenherr in DEN411 ‘African Queen’ third. Overall however, the most consistent Group A performers were long standing International Dragon circuit supporters Mike & Monique Hayles’ GBR764 ‘Naiad’, and Jeroen Leenen’s UAE58 ‘Desert’, who both ended the day on 14 points. Alexander Ezhkov’s RUS2 ‘Alisa’ lies third with Bradbury fourth.

Charlotte Ten Wolde acknowledge that luck played a part in their second race victory. “The wind was steadier in the second race than the first. We had a pin end start and we just kept sailing until we reached the layline and managed to round first. Downwind we managed to get the shifts and had speed so stayed ahead of everyone else. I wish it worked like that every single time, but I guess we were just lucky!”

In Group B Vasily Senatorov, sailing RUS34 ‘To Be Continued’ won the opening race from Norbert Stadler’s SUI297 ‘Tachiston’ with Brian Goggin’s IRL180 Serafina, helmed by Daniel Murphy, third. The second Group B race was won by Evgenii Braslavets in ITA77 ‘Bunker Prince’ with Goggin and Murphy second and Jens Christensen’s DEN410 ‘Out of Bounce’ third. Overall Goggin and Murphy now lead Group B by two points from Christensen who took fourth in the opener, with Pieter Heerema’s NED412 ‘Troika’ in third thanks to a seventh and fifth place.

Daniel Murphy explained that starting was the key to success. “We had between 6 and 8 knots, reasonably steady but it built out to sea. We had a two and three today so a very good day on the water for us. Starting was everything. We got two very clear good starts right on the line with clear air and got a very nice jump straight away, so the start really was key.”

Back ashore the sailors gathered once again in the Regatta Village for the après sailing party which today was hosted by Glenfiddich. Glenfiddich’s Grant Gordon took the opportunity to make a special presentation to IDA Chairman Vasily Senatorov, the man who has personally been the driving force behind this 90th Anniversary celebration and who stands down as Class Chairman at the IDA AGM this coming Saturday, after two years at the helm. Coming on top of his race one victory, a clearly moved Vasily came to the stage to loud applause to receive his very special Glenfiddich gift.

The third day of the regatta will feature the special Dragon 90th Anniversary Race in which both fleets will come together for a massed start. A special course has been set for the race which it is hoped will get underway at 11.00. The Anniversary Race will be followed by a series of special races for Lady helms, Classic Dragons, Junior crews, Masters crews and the Champion of Champions. To qualify for the Champions race, helms must be medallists from the Olympics, World and European Championships and World Cups in any class and the Dragon Gold Cup. Series racing will commence again on Thursday 10th October and the regatta will conclude on Friday 11th October.

All around the regatta interesting stories are emerging from the participants. For example, three of the regatta’s lady helms have discovered that they have more in common than they first thought. Long standing Dragon sailors Gavia Wilkinson-Cox from the UK and Nicola Friesen from Germany were talking with fleet newcomer Anna Basalkina from Russia. Gavia Wilkinson-Cox takes up the story; “We have curiously found a very distant link that connects all of us and it actually goes back to 1972, the last year in which the Dragons sailed in the Olympic Regatta, in Kiel. Personally, I sailed in the British trials which were held in Torquay, my hometown, and subsequently I was invited to attend the Olympic Regatta with the British Team.” Nicola continued, “I was too young to sail but I was with my father on the race committee for the Dragons at Kiel”. Anna added, “I was born in ‘74 so I had no idea about the Kiel Olympic Games, but I sail now on the 1972 Gold Medal winning boat.” Anna subsequently went on to represent Russia at the 2000 Games in Sydney in the Yngling, making the final link in the chain of this Olympic story.

Full results can be found at www.dragon90.com and you can follow the regatta on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and at www.dragon90.com

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Frustrating Lack of Sailing but Great Camaraderie on Opening Day of Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark

  • Strong and shifting winds prevent sailing on opening day of International Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark
  • St Petersburg Yacht Club and Friends host spectacular Russian Party for the Dragon sailors and their friends
  • First races now scheduled to start at 11.30 on Tuesday 8th October

7 October 2019 – Sanremo, Italy – The weather gods provided wonderful warm sunshine for the 162 strong fleet from 26 nations on the opening day of the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark at the Yacht Club Sanremo, but unfortunately it was accompanied by strong and very shifty winds which created a nasty chop. Principal Race Officer Nino Shmueli held the fleets ashore and sent his teams out regularly to assess the situation, but by mid-afternoon it became clear that the wind would not settle sufficiently to lay a course and racing was abandoned for the day.

Whilst naturally frustrated not to race, the International Dragon teams, who have travelled from around the world to be here, took the opportunity to enjoy the Yacht Club Sanremo’s wonderful hospitality and each other’s company, to make new friends and to share their passion for the incredible Dragon.

One team which was formed specially for the 90th Anniversary Regatta and has travelled from across North America to be here is that of USA325 Mars, helmed by Clint Webb from Tennesse and crewed by Paul Lajos from Pennsylvania and Gordon Stephens from Florida.
Gordon Stephens explained how the crew came together saying; “I’ve raced with Paul’s father for over forty years in the Dragons, unfortunately he passed away a few years ago and we decided to carry on the tradition. Paul called me in January and said Dad would want us to do this regatta and we pulled it all together and here we are.” Paul picks up the story saying; “I remember sailing the 75th, I’ve sailed numerous times in the Med, we always had a spectacular time, but we never sailed in Sanremo so we wanted to give it a try, especially as the 90th Anniversary is a great excuse to do so. I’ve been sailing Dragons for over thirty years, what’s really amazing is all the different ages of the crews and skippers… the boats are so spectacular, they can endure quite a bit of breeze very easily. The class has been very successful over the years.”

All the way from Asia comes Lowell Chang who has been hugely influential in the success of the Hong Kong Dragon Class. Lowell and his wife Phyllis moved to Hong Kong as newlyweds in 1971 and began sailing in one of the old pre-war Dragons that formed the fleet at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. In 1983 Lowell went to the Worlds in Vancouver and saw modern GRP Dragons for the first time. He came home and set up his old Dragon with as many of the new ideas as he could and as a result won the 150 boat Hong Kong Round the Island Race overall. Suddenly all the Hong Kong Dragon sailors wanted better boats. One thing led to another and before long Lowell was shipping a set of Dragon moulds to Hong Kong to commence production. The new boats were an immediate success and the Hong Kong fleet has gone from strength to strength ever since. For Lowell and Phyllis, their love affair with the Dragon continues to this day. “The reason why we are here is because I won’t miss it! I want to support the Dragon Class. I’ve been sailing the Dragon since the early 70’s and we love the camaraderie of the class. The Hong Kong class is still growing with new boats coming in, so we love being here. There’s a lot of competition of course and a lot of sportsmanship being shown.” Explained Lowell.

Vilmos Naray heads up a four-boat team who have driven over 1000km from Hungary’s Lake Balaton to be here. “We have just completed the Hungarian Championship last week and four of us decided to come to Sanremo. We came to enjoy racing with a lot of Dragons at this one-time occasion. It’s wonderful to sail in such an elite fleet with sailors from all around the World. We very much enjoy being here and what we’ve seen until now is a very nice organisation and programme, and even though we’ve had no sailing yet we’re enjoying it very much.”

Andy Beadsworth, British Olympian, America’s Cup veteran and reigning Dragon World Champion, was disappointed not to race but understood the race committee’s decision and was loving the shoreside ambiance. “It’s fantastic to be here in Sanremo at this time of year. It’s one of my favourite venues of the past couple of years, and with 160+ boats it’s an amazing spectacle. It’s a bit like an old school reunion to see everybody. The social has been good fun in the evenings and it’s just a great event for the class. There are some great sailors here and we’re really looking forward to a great regatta.”

The daytime socialising slid neatly into a wonderful sunset party hosted by the St Petersburg Yacht Club and Friends. Vodka, caviar and blinis were served to some 600 Dragonists and their gusts as a live jazz band entertained. Speaking on behalf of the St Petersburg Yacht Club, Tatiana Kurbitova explained; “Hospitality for one’s friends is hugely important in Russian culture. There is great friendship between the members of the St Petersburg Yacht Club, the Yacht Club Sanremo and all the Dragon sailors of the world, so we are delighted to host this wonderful party to help celebrate our beloved Dragon’s 90th Birthday.”

Fortunately, the forecast for day two of the regatta is looking much more promising with light to moderate southerly winds and clear blue skies and a planned first start time of 11.30am. Every effort will be made to sail as many of the four planned qualifying races as possible in preparation of the fleet splits to Gold and Silver at the end of tomorrow’s races.

You can follow the regatta on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and at www.dragon90.com

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Yacht Club Sanremo Welcomes 162 Teams for Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark

  • International Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark attracts 162 teams from 26 nations around the globe
  • Regatta commences in style with spectacular Opening Ceremony at Yacht Club Sanremo
  • Fleet splits are confirmed for qualifying race series
  • Racing set to commence at 12.30 on Monday 7th October

6 October 2019 – Sanremo, Italy – The International Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark got underway in spectacular Italian style on Sunday 6th October at the Yacht Club Sanremo, with a gala opening ceremony at which the 162 participating teams were welcomed. Dragon sailors and friends of the class have travelled from across the globe for this unique celebration of the Dragon’s illustrious 90-year history, and the regatta is already infused with a wonderful sense of fiesta.

The Italian hospitality flowed freely and featured a host of local Ligurian delicacies such as Brandacujun (a delicious creamed fish dish), and Vermentino and Frizzantino wines, which are so local that the sailors will be able to see the vineyard from the racecourse. As the live band played and the sun set over the fleet moored around the village in the heart of Sanremo Old Port, it was the perfect opportunity for everyone to relax, soak up the incredible atmosphere and catch up with Dragon friends old and new.

International Dragon Association (IDA) President Vasily Senatorov will be racing aboard his Dragon RUS34 and is eagerly anticipating the week ahead; “After coming to Sanremo I got a strong feeling of a Birthday party. Almost everyone is here, and it is a wonderfully friendly atmosphere with the expectation to have the party of the decade. Happy Birthday Dragons!”

The fleet will initially be split into two groups. The first 30 of the IDA ranking list has been divided between Groups A and B with the rest of the entries being allocated to give 81 boats in each fleet. These two groups will race up to four qualifying races and then the fleet will be regrouped according to their overall positions with the first half of each qualifying group forming the Gold Fleet, and the second half the Silver Fleet.

The Yacht Club Sanremo is hugely experienced in running major regattas for large numbers of boats, but even by their standards this is a big keelboat event. The registration and launching of all the boats went exceptionally smoothly and the yachts are now moored on pontoons alongside the regatta village. The race committee will be operating two separate racecourses in recognition of the large fleet, and there will also be an International Jury to see fair play, chaired by French International Judge Yves Leglise.

“We are happy and proud to host this event, that is so much more than just a race, but a real celebration of this boat that made, and continues to make, history in sailing. We want to give our warmest welcome to the 162 teams from all over the world that are joining us in Sanremo.” Declared Yacht Club Sanremo’s President Beppe Zaoli.

Regatta sponsor Paul & Shark’s association with both the Yacht Club Sanremo and the International Dragons goes back many years, making them the perfect match as the event’s title partner. Each of the participants has received a Paul & Shark Dragon 90th Anniversary polo shirt and the Paul & Shark pop-up shop will be open throughout the week selling event regalia as well as a range of their lifestyle and technical apparel.

There will be a briefing from competitors at 09.30 and racing will commence at 12.00 on Monday 7th October with up to two races planned for the opening day. You can follow the regatta on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and at www.dragon90.com

Journalists wishing to attend the event or requiring additional information, video footage or images should contact IDA Press Officer Fiona Brown on fiona.brown@fionabrown.com or +44 (0)7711 718470.

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Dragons Gather In San Remo For Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta Powered by Paul & Shark

Some 160 Dragons from 26 nations are gathering at the Yacht Club San Remo, Italy, for the International Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark which will take place from 7th to 11th October 2019. Teams from across Europe, Australasia, Asia and North America will come together to compete in five days of spectacular racing and enjoy six nights of fabulous partying.

The incredible success of the International Dragon is rooted in the fact that it offers something for sailors at every level. From truly world class competition, via club racing and special events for the classics, to family sailing and cruising, the Dragon’s innate elegance, impeccable sailing characteristics and legendary fleet camaraderie make her the perfect vehicle for all types of sailor. This 90th Anniversary celebration will honour every aspect of that appeal with a wonderful mix of participants from across the nations, generations and interest groups.
Hong Kong sailing legend Lowell Chang summed up the special feeling for the regatta saying, “Racing amongst the family of Dragon sailors Internationally since 1983 has given both my wife Phyllis and myself great joy not only from sailing competitively (though those days are gone for us now) but from the fact that we became close friends with many fellow sailors from all over the world. I wouldn’t miss the 90th for the world. The class is strong because it is sailed by gentlemen and ladies who value honesty, good manners and sportsmanship above winning, people you want to spend time with. May it always be so.”

The racing programme incorporates a four day fleet racing series run across two separate race courses, in which the boats will initially be divided into qualifying groups for a round robin series on Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th October, before Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets race off in the Finals on 10th and 11th October.

Originally, the plan had been to sail the Classic Dragons (wooden Dragons built prior to the early 1970s) as a separate fleet, but one of the great strengths of the Dragon has always been that the boats have incredible longevity, with the older boats more than capable of holding their own against their modern counterparts. By popular demand, it has therefore been agreed that the Classics will race within the main fleet, adding still further to the sense of excitement and inclusiveness.

Top Australian Dragon sailor Richard Franklin admitted he couldn’t resist the lure of the event saying; “I’ve sailed a Dragon in Sydney for a number of years with the added attraction being the fabulous sailing and competition in Europe.  So much so, that I now also maintain a Dragon at Cannes Yacht Club.  The spectacle of the 90th Anniversary Regatta was too much to resist.  I’m looking forward to a great party that celebrates the wonderful boat we sail …. And also, to some fun on the water.”

Wednesday 9th October will be a very special race day as the fleet takes a break from series racing for some special birthday races, after which the sailors will come together at the stunning art deco waterside Morgana Victory restaurant.  The first special race will bring together all 160+ entrants on the same starting line for a spectacular one off 90th Anniversary Gala Race. This will be followed by races for Lady Helms, Junior crews (combined crew age of under 100 with the skipper born after 5.6.1986), Masters (combined crew age over 180), Family Crews (all crew members must be related) and a Crews race (crew member must helm). The special races will culminate with a Champion of Champions race in which winners and medallists of Olympic Games, World and European Championships and World Cups in any class and from the Dragon Gold Cup are eligible to participate.

Competing in the Masters, Ladies and Champion of Champions will be Britain’s Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, one of the most successful lady helms on the circuit. Gavia had crewed Dragons since her teens, but only started helming when she became a Dragon owner in 2003. “The Dragon 75th anniversary celebrations in St Tropez in 2004 introduced me to sailing my boat on the international circuit. For the past 15 years I have been enjoying some 16 international regattas a year and it is exciting to now be celebrating 90 years in San Remo, a venue we love.”

The Champion of Champions Race will include some of the biggest stars in sailing. From Australia comes Hamish Pepper, a four time Olympian, double Star World Champion, Farr 40 and Farr 30 World Champion. Fellow Australian Peter Gilmour, an America’s Cup veteran and four-time World Match Racing Tour Champion, will be sailing for Japan with his son Sam and Yasuhiro Yaji, as well as acting as brand ambassador for event sponsor Yanmar.

Jørgen Schönherr is a two-time Flying Dutchman World Champion, a 505 World Champion and in Dragons has won five Gold Cups and the 2005 World Championship and will be flying the flag for Denmark in the competitions.

British Olympian, Etchells World Champion and three-time Dragon World Champion Andy Beadsworth will race with Ali Tezdiker and Simon Fry, with whom he won the Dragon Worlds in Freemantle earlier this year and in Weymouth in 2017.

Russia is putting forward a strong team for the regatta and amongst their Champion of Champions entries are Yevgen Braslavetz, who won both the World and European Dragon Championships in 2015 and who comes fresh from victory at last week’s Regates Royales in Cannes. Dmitry Samokhin, who currently leads the 2019 Dragon European Cup Circuit series, and Anatoly Loginov, who has two Dragon European Championship and one Gold Cup win to his name, will also be hoping to claim Champion of Champions victory for Russia.

Leading the Portuguese challenge is Pedro Andrade, a Dragon sailor of twenty years standing with many victories to his name including the 2017 European Championship and this year’s Dragon Gold Cup in Medemblik. Pedro will be crewing for Pedro Mendes Leal in the series racing but will take the helm for the Champion of Champions race. Looking forward to the event he summed up the sailors’ feelings succinctly, saying “I am excited to be going to San Remo to celebrate this fantastic anniversary with so many sailors.  I think one of the main attractions is that the sailors that are coming are not so focused on sailing results, but want simply to be part of this amazing gathering and to enjoy this unique party to celebrate our class.  It will be a great gathering and will really show the spirit of the class.”

Registration for the Dragon 90th Anniversary Regatta powered by Paul & Shark opens at the Yacht Club San Remo on Saturday 5th October, the social programme commences with the Opening Ceremony on Sunday 6thOctober and racing will run from 7th to 11th October. The special 90th Anniversary Race and Gala Dinner will be held on Wednesday 9th October and the regatta will conclude with a spectacular Closing Ceremony and Prize Giving on Friday 11th October. Alongside main sponsor Paul & Shark the event will also be sponsored by Brugge Zot, Glenfiddich, Yanmar, OneSquare, Amer Yachts and the Royal Hotel San Remo.

Further information about the regatta is available at www.dragon90.com.  You can also follow the regatta on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Journalists wishing to attend the event or requiring additional information should contact IDA Press Officer Fiona Brown on fiona.brown@fionabrown.com or +44 (0)7711 718470.

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41st Regates Royal in Cannes.

The West Bay of Cannes was filled with almost 40 Dragons on Monday, as RUS 76 “Rock’nRolla” wins race 1.

In the lead up to a 160 boat festival of fun as the Dragons celebrate their 90th Anniversary, 39 teams are enjoying the hospitality of Yacht Club de Cannes before heading over to San Remo Oct 7th to 11th.

It’s the 41st edition of the Regates Royal and many of the Worlds top Dragon Sailors are fighting for the title here in Cannes. Day 1 was sailed in a brisk 12 to 24 kts of westerly breeze, which tested both the sailors and equipment … Two masts were broken and several boats retired as the breeze increased later in the afternoon. However, race 1 was won by RUS 76 Dmitry Samokhin, crewed by Kasper Harsberg & Andrew Kirilyuk and race 2 by RUS 27 Werner Fritz (who is standing in for Anatoly Loginov this week).

Winners of Race 2 RUS 27 “Anapurna” Werner Fritz, Vadim Statsenko & Alexander Shalagin.

Also showing great consistency on the opening day was POR 85 “Neptune” helmed by recent Gold Cup winner Pedro Andrade. Recording two 2nd places Pedro went to the top of the leader board and clearly enjoys the strong wind, flat water sailing conditions.

Leading Overall after day 1 Pedro with his brother Francisco, Rodrigo Paiva & Salvador Furlov.

On day 2 the wind dropped away and the Dragons moved over to the East Bay of Golf Juan, as the Classic Yachts began their racing in the West Bay. With two more races “eventually” completed after 7 hrs on the water, it was ITA 77  “Bunker Prince” who took two bullets and launched themselves into serious contention.

Winners of races 3 & 4, ITA 77, Evgenii Braslavets, Alexandr Mirchuk & Sergey Timokhov.

Day 3 arrived with another strong westerly wind which was forecast to increase throughout the afternoon. At 12.30 all racing was cancelled for the day, which upset a number of sailors, but in hindsight was probably the correct decision.

Day 4 was similar to day 2 not only in less wind and a long 8hr day on the water, with 2 more races completed, but also because ITA 77 won both races! There is no question Evgenii and his team are a formidable force in light to medium winds and are enjoying the continued development of their Zaoli Sails… 

So going into the final day of racing ITA 77 seems to have their names already on the Trophy, but as we all know in Sailing anything can happen. Two more races are planned and I’m sure 2nd place POR 85 and 3rd placed RUS 27 will still be pushing hard for the Podium Positions…

Higher, Faster, Longer……..  Stavros.

My thanks, as always, to ELENA RAZINA for the lovely photo’s..

 

 

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