The Marvellous Marblehead Trophy..

Marblehead_Logo_03_9427b6eeedThis magnificent Trophy will be raced for in Kiel as the current holder Tommy Muller tries to retain the cup yet again !!!!!!!!

However, this year sees one of the most competitive fleets ever! With Jorgan Schonherr, Frank Berg and Markus Wieser showing up it will not be so easy for Tommy this time….

Also in the mix is the current “Corinthian” Champion Jan Woortman and top Lady Helm Tanja Jacobsohn from Germany. The first race is a long distance race of around 25miles. It begins at Strande and then out around the Kiel Light House, passing a few other race marks on the way back…. This race counts double points, alongside 5 windward/leeward.

The Marblehead Trophy was presented upon the 300th Anniversary of the founding of their town by the people of Marblehead, Massachusetts. It was first raced for in 1929. Each year any recognised club can challenge the holder in a series of races designated by the current holder in his or her country. Tommy Muller has his work cut out this year as he once again has chosen to defend the cup in his home Yacht Club in Kiel.

Another interesting introduction in this series is the first competitive sailings of the new PCT Dragons from Dubai, no doubt the rest of the world will be watching to see how these boats shape up….  Tommy has held the Marblehead Trophy for many years now, so it will be really interesting to see who comes out on top ??  Could we see the 2015 event shift to Dubai ??  Or will one of the top Danish teams take it home ?? All will be recorded here fellow sailors, so keep watching and I’ll let you know, day by day………..

Higher, Faster, Longer………….   Stavros.

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Team “Jerboa” win Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.

_3XS9717Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, Mark Hart and Tim Tavinor win a fantastic Cowes Week.

Over the last 8 days the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Combined Yacht Clubs of Cowes on the Isle of Wight organised an exciting Cowes Week, sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management. With superb races every day apart from Thursday and Friday (cancelled due to lack of wind), Gavia and her team led overall from start to finish.

2014-08-08 18.59.40 (320x180)                       Tim Tavinor, Gavia and Mark Hart at the Royal Yacht Squadron.

The “Solent” is the most challenging water in the world to master, with a massive tide that changes hourly, regular ferries, random shipping, ever changing winds and over 1500 boats of various classes all racing hard !!

With daily starts from the Royal Yacht Squadron Line, that see hundred’s of spectators shudder to the noise of the loud cannons and wipe their eyes clear of the blinding smoke, races take place around a variety of yearly laid “fixed” marks. So that superb navigation and sublime tactics also add to the overall skills required by any winning team.

2014-08-08 18.49.45 (320x180)           Donal Small and Martin Payne (3 race winners), with Colonel Tony Singer RYS.

2nd overall was the current Edinburgh Cup Winner Graham Bailey and 3rd Eric Williams, who knows the Solent like the back of his hand… full results and daily updates can be seen on the Aberdeen Management Cowes Week, web site..

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Graham Bailey (2nd), Gavia Wilkinson-Cox (1st) and Eric Williams (3rd)

Many congratulations to Gavia, Mark and Tim, great sailing…

Higher, Faster, Longer…………..    Stavros.  (GBR 585).




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Ted Sawyer Shines On Final Day Of Edinburgh Cup

The final day of the Edinburgh Cup.., supported by Aberdeen Asset Management, served up another tantalisingly close race in challenging conditions. The day started with an hour’s postponement while a sea breeze became established – a decision that delivered another stunning day, making best use of the afternoon’s limited amount of decent wind.

With Graham and Julia Bailey not sailing today, having won both the Edinburgh Cup and the Corinthian title, and Laurie Smith having craned out, two helms dominated the front of the fleet – Ted Sawyer and Tom Vernon. They were never more than a few seconds apart until the end of the final beat. Lawrie Smith took second overall and Quentin Strauss third. His top result today saw Sawyer retain fourth overall, two points adrift of Strauss. In the Corinthian Division a 10th place was enough for Mark Wade to take second overall, while Eric Williams secured third.

“There’s something really special about the Edinburgh Cup,” said a delighted Graham Bailey, who won the event on his 13th attempt. “It’s an iconic trophy, one of the three classics in British yachting, along with the Burton Cup and Prince of Wales Cup. I won the Burton Cup when I sailed National 12s and I don’t sail International 14s, so I’ll never get the Price of Wales Cup, but it really means a lot to have won this.”

Race Detail

Quentin Strauss’s Rumours started the day as the only boat that could beat Smith into second place. With the first start having had a general recall, and a strong ebb tide pushing the fleet over the line, Strauss took a cautious approach – he was closest to the pin but some 10 seconds back. The move came as no surprise, given his OCS in race three. Strauss had shown good speed earlier in the week, but wasn’t able to pull away from the pack today and finished eight, just hanging onto third place overall, two points ahead of Sawyer.

IMG_8905-3The fleet split on the first beat with eight or nine boats on each side of the course, plus a handful closer to the middle. However, when the two sides came together there was almost nothing to choose between the two options and the fleet was very tight at the top mark, with many boats overlapped three deep.

It was made all the more interesting by the spreader mark being almost a boat length above the layline from the windward mark. Mike Holmes’ Hands Off found a small gap for a hitch onto port to weather the mark, and Eric Williams just managed to luff round the mark, but Jenny Stutley’s Chime ll had to gybe clear, losing a lot of ground. IMG_8922-4Tom Vernon’s Excite led at the first top mark, but having been OCS on two occasions earlier in the week he was not in contention for a podium spot.

At the leeward gate, Vernon had lost his lead to Ted Sawyer, who now held a 25 second advantage, with both boats pulling progressively further away from the fleet. However at the next windward mark Sawyer was only 15 seconds ahead, and Vernon gained a further seven seconds in increasingly light airs on the final run. With the wind continuing to drop, as cloud cover moved over the race course, the final beat was shortened to 1.4 miles.

The leaders split tacks for much of the last leg and it was only close to the finish that it was clear that Sawyer had extended his lead in the light airs to win by 40 seconds. IMG_9112-7Sawyer, an 81-year-old from Captiva YC in Florida, has been sailing for less than 30 years, but certainly doesn’t allow age to slow him down. As soon as his boat reached the dock he zoomed off to dinner and a show in London, leaving crew member Martin “Stavros” Payne to talk about today’s race. “We had a nice start mid-line then went furthest left, where there was probably more favourable tide. We did well on the downwind legs, but on the beats there were times we crossed less than two or three lengths ahead of Excite – we were too close to be able to cover them, but Ted did an excellent job on the helm.”

At the prize giving Graham Bailey praised the race organisation at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club, saying: “…we owe special thanks to PRO Roger Wilson and his team, who made use of every inch of Christchurch Bay to give us great courses.” British Dragon Association Chairman Ron James then thanked sponsors Aberdeen Asset Management, Pantaenius, Harken, Zhik and Williams Shipping. After a successful 2014 event, the class is enthusiastically looking forward to next year’s Edinburgh Cup in Largs, Scotland.




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Aimee Does The Double With A Day To Spare At Edinburgh Cup

Today saw tensions rise in an incredibly close race in unstable winds that saw the top five boats separated by just 12 seconds at the start of the final beat.

To add to the drama, it was this leg that decided the overall winners of the event: after a consistent four races Graham and Julia Bailey, crewed by Keith Tippell and Will Heritage, started the day in a position to win both the Edinburgh Cup and Corinthian Trophy with a day to spare, providing they finished fourth or better.

The final leg saw a fierce battle between Lawrie Smith, who led round the bottom mark, and the Baileys, with Smith tacking on top of his opponents more than a dozen times. However, although they slipped back one place on the final leg, the Baileys held on to fourth place to cement their victory.

All to play for tomorrow
While the overall winner may have been decided with a day to spare, there is everything to play for in the final race tomorrow. There are only four points between Smith and Strauss in the battle for second and third places, while the next five boats are separated by only seven points. In the Corinthian Division, Mark Wade’s Avalanche is in second place two points ahead of Eric Williams Ecstatic, with Julian Sowry’s Scimitar just three points adrift in fourth place.

Race 5 detail
After two postponements due to the gusty and shifty offshore wind, the first start resulted in a general recall. In the restart the Baileys were not in a great position, a little back from the line and with boats to windward. They split with closest rival Lawrie Smith, heading hard left for much of the first beat, arriving at the windward mark in fourth place.

“We managed to just survive the start,” says Graham. “I’ve never subscribed to the idea that you have to stay with the fleet and we felt much happier once we were in our own water with the freedom to make the most of the conditions on that side of the course.”

In the second, and third beats, however, Smith denied them the luxury of being able to choose where to head: Graham says “Lawrie did a terrific job of making it difficult for us.” The unstable wind also added to the difficulty in posting a consistent result: “There was a lot of pressure on us out there,” says Julia. “One minute you were in second place and the next you were fifth – we were repeatedly ahead of, and then behind, other boats as we crossed tacks.”

This effect was particularly apparent in the later half of the second beat, when a large number of boats fell into a hole on the left-hand side of the course, which again shuffled the order of the fleet. By the time they reached the finish Smith had extended his lead over Mark Dicker to 12 seconds, while Quentin Strauss took third place, seven seconds later and just four seconds ahead of the Baileys.

The second race today was for the Crew’s Trophy. It was won by Rory Paton sailing Ecstatic, with Lisa Guy second on Quicksilver lV and the Bailey’s 13-year-old bowman and genoa trimmer, Will Heritage, third. Heritage also won the Under 30 division – a trophy that has the potential to have his name engraved on it for many years to come.

The overall results of the Chairman’s Decanter series have also been announced. The winner is Selina Dicker with three points, with Mike Foster second on four points and Jenny Stutley third with seven points.

More photos

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Aimee Leads The Way After Day 3 At The Edinburgh Cup

The third day of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup, supported by Aberdeen Asset Management and hosted by Royal Lymington YC, delivered fickle winds with a mix of showers and sunny spells for race three of the series.

Boats on the right hand side of the first beat gained an advantage they would hold until the finish, although the final beat saw a diminishing breeze that threatened to upset the order of the front runners. Graham and Julia Bailey nevertheless maintained their lead, finishing 12 seconds ahead of 81-year-old American visitor Ted Sawyer. Mark Wade, followed by Jenny Stutley, were next to finish, with Lawrie Smith, overall leader at the start of the day, having to settle for sixth.

Halfway through the regatta the Baileys lead both Open and Corinthian divisions, by five and nine points respectively. Smith is second overall in the Open division and Sawyer third, while Wade is the second Corinthian helm and Simon Barter third.

Race Detail

After a 15 minute postponement, the fleet got away today on the first start in 6-7 knots of west-southwesterly breeze. However, no one responded to the individual recall at the start and three boats – Tom Veron’s Excite, Grant Gordon’s Louise and Quentin Strauss’ Rumours were scored OCS.

Before long the fleet was spread across the first beat, with boats hitting both corners and all experiencing big shifts and holes. However, the defining feature of this leg was a big right-hand windshift that strongly favoured those on the right hand side of the course. In a slow-motion rounding of the windward mark, the furthest right boat, Chime ll, owned by a newcomer to helming Dragons, Jenny Stutley, led by 20 seconds at the windward mark, to a huge cheer from the boats nearby.

Graham and Julia Bailey’s Aimee was second to round, 25 seconds ahead of Sawyer. There was then a large gap before Mark Wade’s Avalanche and Japanese visitor Bocci Aoyama’s Yevis ll rounded the weather mark together, with Martin Makey’s Ganador just a couple of lengths astern. To what extent did luck play a part in the gains made by the boats on the right? Not at all according to Martin “Stavros” Payne, one of Sawyer’s crew. “All the clouds were on the right hand side of the course, so we always wanted to be on that side of the fleet,” he says. “We started closest to the committee boat, then tacked onto port with Graham Bailey a little after the start.”

Most of the first run saw the fleet gybing through big angles. The Baileys were first to gybe onto port, making a useful gain on Stutley, before then gybing back onto starboard and sailing high towards a band of increased wind near a shower cloud. As they approached the leeward gate for the first time Sawyer was also very well placed, having apparently sailed lower than the Baileys and Stutley, while still maintaining good speed.

The leaders split at the gate, with the Baileys turning left just five seconds before Sawyer rounded the right-hand mark. The rest of the leading pack followed the Baileys, with the exception of Lawrie Smith’s Tigger, who by now had climbed to sixth place after a disappointing first beat. On the second beat, with the wind now at 10-15 knots, the Baileys manoeuvred themselves into a commanding position from which they were effectively covering the top five boats. On the final run both the Baileys and Sawyer extended their lead on the pack, while Wade closed the gap on Stutley and Smith continued to climb through the fleet.

The final beat saw the wind reduce, with bigger shifts that threatened to upset the order of the front-runners and, had it not been for an unfavourable windshift close to the finish, Sawyer might have won the race. However, the Baileys maintained their lead, approaching the finish on the port layline, with a 12 second advantage. Wade was next across the line, more than two and a half minutes later, followed by Stutley in fourth place.

Unfortunately, the second race of the day, for the Chairman’s Decanter series, had to be abandoned when the wind finally failed to cooperate.

Day 3 Results

Overall Open Division results

Overall Corinthian Division results

More photos


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Tigger Takes Control On Day Two Of Edinburgh Cup 2014

IMG_7976The second day of the 2014 Dragon Edinburgh Cup supported by Aberdeen Asset Management and hosted by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club provided champagne sailing in bright sun and 10-15 knots of breeze. Today’s was a closer race than yesterday’s, with the lead changing on every leg and new faces appearing at the front of the 24-strong fleet.

Lawrie Smith’s Tigger emerged ahead of the pack on the final beat, to take victory in the Open division, 24 seconds ahead of Graham and Julia Bailey’s Aimee, with Mark Dicker’s Rackham finishing third. With Aimee again the first boat in the Corinthian Division, Jono, David and Lynette Brown’s Storm took second place and Mark and Amanda Wade’s Avalanche third.

With two races completed Lawrie Smith shares equal points with Graham and Julia Bailey but claims the overall lead on count back. Quentin Strauss sailing Rumours, finished fifth today, moving up to third overall. The Baileys continue to lead the Corinthian Division with a four-point margin over second placed Jono Brown, with Eric Williams three points adrift in third.

In today’s race the fleet split after the start, with the main pack going up the middle of the course, while smaller a group of 10 boats went well to the right. Simon Barter’s Bertie, a boat he bought from Lawrie Smith last year, started nearest the pin and was first to find a vein of increased pressure on the mid-left hand side of the course. Near him was Smith, yesterday’s Open and Corinthian division winners, Graham and Julia Bailey, Eric Williams’ Ecstatic and Mark Dicker’s Rackham.

All were well positioned as they approached the end of the first beat, but it was Barter that reached the top mark first, followed just four seconds later by Smith, then Williams after a 30 second gap, and Dicker a further five seconds later. At this stage the Baileys were in fifth place, very close behind Dicker.

Two thirds of the way down the first run, the Baileys gybed onto port and pulled away from the boats nearby, but Barter and Smith were still clear ahead and almost overlapped. Smith took the slightly advantaged right hand side of the gate, while Barter went left, five seconds behind. 12 seconds later the Baileys followed Smith round the right hand mark.

By the time they were approaching the top mark at the end of the second beat, the order had changed again, with the Baileys having gained 40 seconds on Smith during the leg. They rounded first, 15 seconds ahead of Dicker, with Smith in third place eight seconds later.

The Baileys continued to extend their lead on the final run, again taking the right-hand side of the gate at the end. The entire top half of the fleet followed suit, with the exception of Smith who took the left hand mark, rounding 40 seconds after the Baileys. Although it looked to observers as though he might have planned to split from the fleet, he tacked back after a couple of minutes. There followed an intense battle, with Smith eventually tacking ahead and to weather of the Baileys, forcing them to tack off.
By this time the fleet was split right across the racetrack, with the leading trio of boats towards the far left. At the finish Smith was 24 seconds ahead of the Baileys, with Dicker taking third and the first of the boats coming from the right hand side of the course, Grant Gordon’s Louise, fourth.

The first race for the Chairman’s Decanter was also held today, with Mike Holmes’ Hands Off crossing the line first, ahead of Eric Williams’ Ecstatic and Selina Dicker, who was helming Rackham. Final results for the race depend on the application of a handicap, when these are available they will be posted here.

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Aimee Leads The Fleet Home On Day 1 Of The Edinburgh Cup 2014

6 July, Lymington UK, Reporter Rupert Holmes – The opening day of the DragonEdinburgh Cup supported by Aberdeen Asset Management and hosted by the Royal Lymington Yacht Club provided a sparkling day on the water with winds building to give gusts of more than 20 knots.

Despite a strong challenge from Lawrie Smith’s Tigger, Graham and Julia Bailey’s Aimee led the 24-strong fleet for most of the two hour 20 minute race, finishing with a 43 seconds advantage to win both Open and Corinthian divisions. Smith took second place and Quentin Strauss’s Rumours third in the Open Fleet, while a fifth for Julian Sowry’s Scimitar and sixth for Eric Williams’ Ecstatic saw them take second and third respectively in the Corinthian division.
The start sequence got under way on schedule, as the sun started to break through the thin cloud above Christchurch Bay. With 40 seconds to go the entire fleet was stacked up on the line, but despite adverse tide, 10 seconds before the gun it was clear a large number of boats would be over – the general recall came as no surprise.

The restart saw the fleet get away cleanly, with boats opting for the left and right hand side of the beat in roughly equal numbers. Half way up to the windward mark, Graham and Julia Bailey’s Aimee, the boat that started closest to the pin and remained furthest left, had a clear lead on that side of the course. On the right hand side Julian Sowry’s Scimitar, Ted Sawyer’s Hombre and Martin Makey’s Ganador were all looking well placed, as was Jenny Stutley’s Chime ll.

The Baileys remained at the left hand most side of the course until they headed across to the starboard layline, where they tacked slightly ahead of and a little below the boats already laying the mark. Aimee rounded first, followed 10 seconds later by Chime ll approaching on port tack. However, Chime ll hit the mark and with the next boats, Lawrie Smith’s Tigger and Scimitar, only 10 seconds behind it was an expensive mistake.

On the first run, with the fleet now bathed in bright sun, Aimee consolidated her lead, taking the left hand mark at the gate 20 seconds ahead of second placed Lawrie Smith. The first dozen or so boats initially stayed to the right on the second beat, heading towards a shower cloud over Christchurch town. Aimee was first of the leaders to tack, nearly half way up the beat, followed shortly afterwards by Smith. At the windward mark, however, Smith had a five second lead on the Baileys, having gained 25 seconds on the 2.2 mile leg.

However, it was not long before the two boats were neck and neck on the final run. They were then overlapped for most of the leg, followed closely by the jury boat, with the rest of the fleet falling ever further behind as the leading duo fought for every inch of advantage. The two split at the leeward gate, with the Baileys taking the right with a meagre two-second advantage. It was 75 seconds before the next two boats, Hombre and Scimitar rounded, again both splitting tacks.

A windshift initially favoured those on the left hand side of the long final beat, which further benefitted Aimee, putting her in a controlling position. Smith tried to break her cover but could only do so by taking the disadvantaged tack, which only served to enhance the Bailey’s lead and they finished 43 seconds ahead of Smith. Rumours (Quentin Strauss Martin Collen Nigel Young) took third a minute and 21 seconds later. They were followed five seconds later by Ted Sawyer, who celebrated his 81st birthday yesterday, Martin ‘Stavros’ Payne and Mark Hart in Little Hook.




For further information about the event please visit or contact Kirsty Timmis, Events Manager, Royal Lymington Yacht Club, Email, Tel +44 (0)1590 672677 or Ron James, Chairman British Dragon Association, Email


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Keep Up With The Latest From The Edinburgh Cup

The Edinburgh Cup, for the British Dragon Open National Championship, gets underway from Lymington today.  With 24 teams racing including defending Edinburgh Cup Champion Lawrie Smith and defending Corinthian Champion Julia Bailey its going to be a great regatta.  You can keep up with all the latest from the event via the British Dragons Blog and Facebook.

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photoCorinthian Champions GER 1144 ”Sapphire”, Soenke Bruhns, Jan Woortman & Rainer Goerge.

Deauville Yacht Club (sponsored by the mergers and acquisitions firm ”LINKERS”) held the first ever Corinthian “Only” Championship last weekend and it was won by a very good team from Germany, helmed by Jan Woortman, crewed by Soenke Bruhns and Rainer Goerge in “Sapphire” GER 1144.

However, this excellent team did not have it all their own way as they were pushed to the very limit by “Tigger” GBR 799 helmed by Martin Paulson(SWE)  crewed by Nicola & Thomas Wilton, who just lost out on count back!

In 3rd place overall was GBR 763 “Bertie” helmed by Simon Barter from Cowes, crewed by Donald Wilkes and Edwards Martins who finished 4pts behind on 11pts. It was a great event despite loosing two of the 4 days due to light or no wind. Try as he may, the brilliant French PRO Yves Leglise could not conjure up wind, but he did managed to get in a series of 4 races, which allowed for one discard. Both “Sapphire” and “Tigger” ended on 7pts, but with Jan Woortman having two 1st places, he took the title….

This was a fantastic event and so many of the competitors have contacted me to say how much they enjoyed Deauville and the Corinthian “Only” Sailing. Next year we will “probably” hold the event in Germany, venue and dates to be decided. However, there is no doubt that the support is out there for such an event and it is hoped that the 2nd Corinthian Championship will attract 50+ boats…..

In closing and on behalf of the 23 boats competing boats we wish to thank Eric Labon and his many helpers and volunteers at the Deauville Yacht Club, with Yves Leglise PRO and Tony O’Gorman Head of Jury, it was always going to be a great event….. 

Final words from the winner Jan Woortman “This has been a great experience and a pleasure to sail in and I look forward to it becoming a permanent fixture on the Dragon Circuit. Wherever it is sailed…we will be there”!!

Higher, Faster, Longer………….   Stavros.





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Lawrie wins Irish on count back…..

10487564_679494062123577_7510575470594159394_n (320x213)The Kinsale Yacht Club Commodore and the winning team from “FINITO” at prize giving.

What an end to the Irish National Championships……….   with two more races completed yesterday, it came to an exciting climax as the top three boats all ended up on 15pts! Yes it’s a “true story” fellow sailors, with a total of 6 races sailed Lawrie Smith helming “Finito”, Neil Hegarty in “Phantom” and Martin Payne in “Little Hook” all ended up on equal points, with just the count back to decide the overall Champion… and that went to Lawrie Smith crewed by Adam Bowers & young Jack Wilson after a superb last day with two 1st places!

10489746_679494042123579_8196606830922359334_n (320x213)Runner’s Up the team from “Phantom”, David Williams, Neil Hegarty & Peter Bowering.

Neil Hegarty and his team (above) also had a great last day recording a 2nd and 3rd, to just edge out my team from “Little Hook” on count back.

10378915_679494038790246_7482520976792004311_n (320x213)

3rd Overall, Martin Payne, Olivier Bakker (the Commodore & Karine) Dominic Bakker.

The Kinsale Yacht Club did an excellent job in organising this top event, both on and off the water. How the PRO Alan Crosbie managed to get in a 6 race series when the wind was so light and shifty is a true reflection of his fantastic experience and natural ability as a Race Officer. So a big thank you to all the mark layers, committee boat helpers and ladies back in the office. You did yourselves and the Kinsale Yacht Club proud….

Higher, Faster, Longer………..  Stavros.   (Little Hook).



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