POR 66 “Drago” Win’s in Cascais….

Drago TeamWinner’s of the Portuguese Nationals, Jose’ Matoso, Gustavo Lima & Frederico Melo.

POR 66 “Drago” won the Portuguese Nationals with a race to spare! During 3 fantastic sunny days from July 10th to 12th, Jose’ Matoso, Gustavo Lima and Frederico Melo dominated the 11 boat fleet with superb racing both in the Cascais/Estoril Bay and on the western “outside” area of Guia.

The event run by the Club Naval de Cascais completed all 7 races in excellent north-westerly conditions between 13 to 16 kts, with gusts up to 20 kts on the second day. Teams from Monaco and Germany joined in the fun with Jens Rathsack helming MON 2 “Jeanie” and Michael Zankel helming “Pow Wow”. Both teams sailed well and are regular participants in the Cascais Winter Series.

2nd overall was indeed GER 1123 “Pow Wow” and crewing for Michael Zankel was local expert Pedro Andrade and Phil Blinn. In 3rd place helming POR 67 was Olympic Finn Sailor Ed Wright from the UK, crewed by local sailors Vincente Pinheiro Melo and Luis Brito.

The 2017 World Championship will be held in Cascais, preceded by the POR Nationals…Many teams are already planning to participate in the Club Naval’s next 2 winters series…so why not join in the fun and spend some quality time surfing the Atlantic Waves in the Portuguese Sun ?  There can’t be many better ways to spend a cold European winter   …………   :-)

Higher, Faster, Longer…………   Stavros.




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Gold Cup…… Will you be there ?

G4253The amazing “Gold Cup” is waiting to be won in Kuhlungsborn, in August 2015..

66 boats are already registered for this year’s Gold Cup which promises to be a fantastic regatta based on the amazing Baltic Sea fronting perfect beaches in this relaxing picturesque town. However, there is still time to enter as more entries would make it an even better spectacle and add more flavour and excitement to the event. Organisers have extended the entry date until the end of July in the hope that some of our French or British friends will join in the party. Looking at the entry list there is only one boat registered from FRA or GBR so come on fellow sailors, lets rally around and make the effort to travel to Northern Germany…..

You will not be disappointed as the town of Kuhlungsborn offers ample parking, accommodation, beaches, restaurants, bars and much more. With the Grade 1 German Grand Prix preceding the main event, there is plenty of time to adjust and adapt to the local sailing conditions to be ready for the 6 race, no discard, Gold Cup…..  Will you be there  ????????

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

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Edinburgh Cup Winners Julia & Mike

Martin “Stavros” Payne interviewed 2015 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Edinburgh Cup winners Julia Bailey (overall) and Mike Budd (Corinthian) at the final prize giving for the regatta.

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Julia Bailey Claims Historic Victory At 2015 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Edinburgh Cup

TeamAimeeFor 66 years the names engraved on the Dragon Edinburgh Cup have had two things in common.. They have been the names of some of the finest sailors in the world and they have all been men. Julia Bailey was already recognised as a great sailor, but today she made history by becoming the first woman to claim the Edinburgh Cup. For Julia and her crew of Pedro Andrade, Keith Tippell and Will Heritage aboard GBR720 Aimee the victory must be made even sweeter for knowing that they didn’t just win the regatta, they positively stormed it with a race to spare.

Asked how she felt about her momentous win Julia replied, “Brilliant. It took a little time to sink in. They’re a great team and I love to sail with them. I’ve sailed with Pedro for the last ten years in all sorts of things and he knows my strengths and weaknesses and plays to them. We’re over the moon.” At the prize giving again Julia paid tribute to her crew and to her fellow competitors and also asked fourteen year old Will, who she told the audience she had had to loose ten kilos this year to keep on board, to step forward and help with the thank you speech. Will acquitted himself admirably thanking everyone involved in laying on the regatta and in particular Julia, Pedro and Keith for the incredible opportunity and learning experience.

TeamHarryWhilst Aimee’s overall victory was secured early, the battle for the remaining podium places was only decided in the closing stages of the final race. Ultimately second place was secured by Mike Budd, sailing GBR793 Harry with Mark Greaves and Sam Gardner, who added a first and second to their scorecard to trail Aimee by two points. Third place went down to a tie breaker with Martin Payne, Gillian Hamilton and Donal Small sailing GBR789 Bear, and Tom Vernon, Adam Bowers and Oliver Spensley-Corfield, both finished the regatta on thirteen points with Bear taking third place on count-back.

Mike Budd and the Harry crew also claim the Corinthian Cup for the leading all amateur crew. Second placed Corinthian was GBR764 Naiad sailing by Mike and Monique Hayles and Julian Brooke-Houghton, and GBR515 Basilisk, sailed by Patrick Gifford, Michael Spall and Alan James were third.

The regatta, hosted by the Largs Sailing Club in association with the Scottish Sailing Institute, was agreed by all to have been one of the most demanding Edinburgh Cups in many years. It opened with a near gale, lost a day through lack of wind, had a race abandoned because of the sudden appearance of a nuclear submarine and featured five of the most challenging keelboat races you could hope to experience. For the 20 strong fleet from across the UK and as far afield as Japan it’s been a marathon and every race saw surprises and upsets as the crews took on this stunning venue.

After racing the crews came together for a gala prize giving dinner to honour their winners and celebrate the return of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup to Scotland and the Clyde after an absence of 12 years.

As well as the major trophies a number of special awards were also made including the Jordan Bell for the boat with the highest overall position that does not include a top 6 finish which went to Martin Makey’s GBR704 Ganador, the Classic Boat prize which went to Helen Horsfall’s GBR343 Whizz Too, the First All Girl Crew prize which was won by GBR509 Kismet’s Cathy Sedeworth and crew, and the Puffin Plate for the leading boat over 25 years old which went to Patrick Gifford’s Basilisk. There was also a very special presentation to the best Scottish Country Dancer from Wednesday’s Scottish Night which was won hands down by Donald Milne of GBR790 Flotation!

British Dragon Association Chairman Ron James took the opportunity to thank the event sponsor Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, the host organisations Largs Sailing Club and the Scottish Sailing Institute, Largs Yacht Haven and the people of Largs for making the Dragon’s return to the Clyde such a memorable one and for their outstanding Scottish hospitality.

The 2016 Edinburgh Cup will be held in Abersoch in early July. Further information about the event will be published shortly at www.edinburghcup.org.

You can recap the action at the event via the British Dragon Association Blog and the British Dragons at Facebook.


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Stop Press – Julia Bailey Makes History In Largs

IMG_7948Huge congratulations to GBR720 Aimee helmed by Julia Bailey.. with crew Pedro Andrade, Keith Tippell and Will Heritage on winning the 2015 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Edinburgh Cup with a race to spare.  Julia becomes the first woman to claim the right to engrave her name on this historic trophy.

Mike Budd, Mark Greaves and Sam Gardner sailing GBR793 Harry take second place overall and become Corinthian Edinburgh Cup Champions 2015.

Full Results

Full report to follow

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Drama Aplenty On Day 3 Of The Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Edinburgh Cup 2015

IMG_7776_2After two days of light airs trials and tribulations, the third race of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Edinburgh Cup was finally completed in Largs on the penultimate day of the regatta..  A lack of breeze continued to dog the event meaning only one race was possible, but that one race has ensured that the championship is now valid and a Dragon Open British Champion will be declared.

The day kicked off with a light but fairly steady south-south-westerly and after just a short postponement to tweak the course the fleet was ready to go for the long awaited race three. At the first attempt their eagerness results in a general recall, but the boats were quickly turned around and got away cleanly at the second time of asking, with the aid of the black flag.

So far…. so good. That was until the security flotilla surrounding a nuclear submarine outbound from Faslane hove into view and instructed the race committee to abandon the race and the boats to clear the area. To add insult to injury the wind began to die and it then took until late afternoon before enough wind returned to allow a re-start.
Once underway the fleet finally got to enjoy a full race in a 9-10 knot southerly. Martin Payne sailing GBR789 Bear made the best of the first beat by going right and even managed to cope with a minor drama when the weather mark went adrift just as the fleet approached and a mark boat had to recover and stand in for it.  He extended his lead on the next five legs, but allowed the fleet to creep back up on him when he chose to go left on the final beat. Julia Bailey, sailing GBR720 Aimee went the other way to pull up from third to second, although she was unable to break through Bear’s cover  Tom Vernon sailing GBR795 Excite followed Aimee across the line with Mike Budd in GBR793 Harry fourth and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox in GBR720 Jerboa fifth.

IMG_7769As the Dragons finished the wind died in that area so, keen to get another race in if at all possible, the committee upped sticks and took the boats in to the channel between Largs and Great Cumbrae where a building 10-15 knot southerly was blowing.  The committee attempted to set up for the fourth race but it was not to be and they sent the fleet home after another very long day on the water.

As the boats came ashore it was in the expectation that Aimee now led the regatta by three points from Jerboa with Bear one point behind in third and Bocci Aoyama sailing JAP50 Yevis II fourth. But the day’s drama was far from over and back ashore Cathy Sedgeworth’s GBR509 Kismet lodged a port/starboard protest against Jerboa which Kismet won. As a result Aimee continues to lead the regatta on 7 points with Bear now second on 11 points, Yeavis II third on 17 points, Patrick Gifford’s GBR515 Basilisk fourth overall and leading Corinthian on 22, Excite fifth and Jerboa now sixth.

IMG_7765_2The start time for tomorrow’s final day of racing has been brought forward to 10.00 and the committee will attempt to sail the remaining three races before the 15.00 final start cut off.  Once a fourth race has been sailed the single discard will come into play, something both Jerboa and Excite, who was OCS in race two, will be particularly looking forward to. With so much racing still to come Aimee’s four point lead is far from unassailable so tomorrow’s finale promises to be a thrilling one.


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No Wind And No Racing On Day Two Of The Edinburgh Cup In Largs

image005Day two of the 2015 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Edinburgh Cup in Largs proved to be a long drawn out and extremely frustrating affair as the wind gods played cat and mouse with the fleet.  After yesterday’s strong winds the opposite was delivered today.  Early morning brought sunny skies, unusually warm temperatures for the region and a forecast for good sea breezes in the low to mid teens. The fleet went afloat on time and with every hope of rapidly completing the two planned races, races three and four of the six race series.

At the published start time of 11.00 northerly and south easterly winds were vying for supremacy over the race area and the race committee announced the first of the day’s postponements. Initially the wind looked as if it was going to favour the south east as forecast, but then it flipped back to the north and began to build.  With what appeared to be a reasonably solid 7-9 knots from the same direction at both ends of the course Race Officer Chris Hadden and his team got the fleet underway smartly.  All looked very good until about a third of the way up the first beat when the wind turned itself inside out and the race had to be abandoned, much to the frustration of Gavia Wilkinson-Cox in GBR761 Jerboa who was leading at the time.

The AP was rehoisted and the boats slowly drifted back towards the committee boat. By this time the sky was decidedly overcast and hopes for a true sea breeze were fading, so when the wind showed signs of stabilising from the north again the race committee immediately leapt to take advantage of it. Once again a course was set up and once again the fleet got underway. And once again they got a third of the way up the beat only to have the wind gods turn the fan off again.  This time it was Martin Payne sailing GBR789 Bear who was leading when they had the rugged pulled out from under them.

image004There was a further period of postponement, but with conditions showing no sign of improvement and the afternoon wearing on the decision was made to send the fleet home for a much needed cold drink on the Largs Sailing Club balcony. Whilst very disappointed not to sail it was clear that the competitors were in full agreement with the race committee’s decisions.  “He did everything he could and the mark layers must be exhausted, but the conditions just never gave him a chance.” said Martin Payne after racing. BDA Chairman Ron James, helming GBR633 Fei-Lin’s Flirtation, wryly concurred, “He didn’t miss an opportunity to try to start a race. There were only two and he went for it on both of them!”

The Piping Of The Haggis

The Piping Of The Haggis

As some compensation for today’s missed races the competitors are this evening enjoying a wonderful Scottish Supper featuring delicious local fayre and music. The festivities opened with the Piping of the Haggis and entertainment is being provided by local folk band Heritage Soundz.

One question that has cropped up a number of times this week is why the “Edinburgh” Cup, is being raced for just outside Glasgow. To clear up any confusion we should explain that the Edinburgh Cup is so named because it was presented to the class by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, and not because of any geographic connection with the City of Edinburgh. The Duke presented the trophy to the class, which is awarded annually to the winner of the Dragon British Open Championship, after he had been given a Dragon in 1948 by the members of the Island Sailing Club. This was also incidentally the first year in which the Dragon was an Olympic Class. The Duke was a keen sailor and his Dragon Bluebottle was to play a part in the Edinburgh Cup competition under various sailing masters, finishing second in 1954 with Lt. Commander Hewitt, second again with Graham Mann in 1956 (also the year in which Mann won an Olympic Bronze Medal in the Dragon) and third with Ross Coles in 1960. The Edinburgh Cup is rightly regarded as one of the most prestigious trophies is British yachting and a glance at the winners plaques reveals the names of many illustrious sailors.

Naturally the overall standings remain unchanged tonight with Julia Bailey, sailing GBR720 Aimee, and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, sailing GBR761 Jerboa, on equal points at the head of the leader board with Aimee ahead on count back. Bocci Aoyama’s JAP50 Yeavis is three points behind in third, Martin Payne in GBR789 Bear a further two points back in fourth and Patrick Gifford sailing GBR515 Basilisk one more point adrift in fifth overall and leading the Corinthian (all amateur) competition.

With up to six races remaining to be sailed before the regatta concludes on Friday, the Race Committee has published an amendment to the schedule to allow for up to three championship races to be sailed on Thursday and two races to be sailed on Friday. If all the championship races have been completed the second race on Friday will be the traditional Edinburgh Cup Crews Race. Tomorrow’s forecast is similar to that for today and so everyone has fingers crossed that this time one of the wind directions will prevail and give some decent racing.

You can follow the action at the event via the British Dragon Association Blog and the British Dragons at Facebook.


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It’s Ladies First in Largs…..

dcda3dbb-ece6-44c7-902d-c94b4ad8e32bGBR 720 “Aimee” helmed by Julia Bailey wins the opening race of the Edinburgh Cup..

Mixed conditions of zero wind then “full on” 27+kts of wind tested the 20 boat fleet in Largs, Scotland yesterday at the 2015 Edinburgh Cup. It was a day of sailing that all the crews will remember for a variety of reasons as they crawl out of their beds this morning aching from head to toe, bruised, battered but very happy to be been part of this exciting competition.

 The first race was won by Julia Bailey helming “Aimee” with her 4 person team of Pedro Andrade, Will Heritage and Keith Tipple. This top team did an excellent job of keeping good speed and making no mistakes in these difficult conditions. 2nd was GBR 795 helmed by Tom Vernon who is fresh back from his race win in La Rochelle. 3rd was GBR 761 helmed by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox who also did a good job to keep the boat below the mast :-) and finish well in these extremely testing conditions.

The seconded race of the day was started in completely different conditions, with the left side of the course favoured (or so we all thought), many boats battled to win the pin. This caused a little bit of chaos as some boats had to round the pin boat and re start, which meant dipping the whole fleet. Fortunately this actually turned out to be not a bad thing, as GBR 793 and GBR 761 were soon to make a substantial gain out to the right. However, it was our good friend Bocci Aoyama from Enoshima, Japan helming his beautiful Petticrows “Jevis II” who stole the show !  Seeing the huge gains the first boats on the right had made, tactician Kasper Harsberg took Bocci all the way out to the right and had a lead of 400m by the top mark…  :-)

20150630_172521 (640x360)Winners of race two, 2015 Edinburgh Cup, Kasper Harsberg, Bocci Aoyama & Igen Notion.

As the wind continued to drop the last beat saw GBR 761 “Jerboa” just slip past GBR 793 “Harry”, helmed by Mike Budd from Abersoch, to take 2nd place right behind JAP 50, with Mike having to settle for a solid 3rd.

This was the first competitive race Bocci has won outside of Japan in his 30 years of Dragon Sailing, a fantastic achievement and very well deserved. It is races like this and seeing the smiling faces on this happy team that brings home the reason we all love sailing the Dragon. The boats are so evenly matched but it takes time to learn the skills and techniques to achieve success. However, if Bocci lives to be 100 years old I bet he will never forget the day he won the 2nd race of the 2015 Edinburgh Cup ! … Congratulations again to his excellent team.

So overall its Ladies First as Julia and Gavia are equal on 5pts and Bocci is 3rd with 8pts.  With 4 more races to go there is still lots of sailing to do, so lets see what Scotland can offer us today ……..

Higher, Faster, Longer…………    Stavros.   (Bear GBR 789).



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GOLD CUP, in Kuhlungsborn, Germany.. (reminder).

G4253The original    GOLD CUP     on it’s new and recent mounting, a spectacular trophy…

Quoting from the original 1937 rules the intention of the Gold Cup  was to “bring together as many competitors of different Nationalities as possible in a friendly spirit”.  It was donated to the Dragon Class by the Clyde Yacht Clubs and has been supported most years by between 80 to 100 boats.


The magnificent “EBB TIDE” our Committee Boat for the Gold Cup in Kuhlungsborn.

This is simply a reminder to you all that entries are now being accepted for this prestigious event that takes place immediately after the German Grand Prix in Kuhlungsborn, late August.  The organisers have kindly requested Dragon Sailors to complete the registration form so that numbers can be co-ordinated…

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Some of the Organising Teams and helpers at last years successful Grand Prix.

The Gold Cup is the one opportunity for all sailors both Professional & Corinthian to come together without “qualification” and test their skills over 6 races with no discard, to see who will lift this wonderful historical trophy..

As I had the pleasure of being in Kuhlungsborn last year I can confirm it is a great place to visit, sail and relax.  With well maintained golden beaches, a super town and sea front and a fantastic sailing area, it should be a “must do” regatta on your 2015 calendar. So please take the time to send in your entry if you intend to compete…


The Marina and Beaches of Kuhlungsborn… This photo speaks for itself, will you be there?


Higher, Faster, Longer…………   Stavros.


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It’s the “Phantom” of Dublin Bay….

20150621_151137 (640x360)Irish National Champions, IRL 176 “Phantom” David Williams, Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring

Neil Hegarty helmed “Phantom” to victory yesterday and won the Irish National Championship, with David Williams & Peter Bowring for the impressive 5th time. This brilliant Irish Team finished the championship in style after 4 days of wonderful racing in Dublin Bay, hosted by the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire.

The final day began with an 11am start in a stiff westerly breeze of 15 gusting 22 kts and the beginning of a strong flood tide. The excellent PRO Con Murphy set an intelligent line, with a slight starboard bias knowing that the fleet would all want to go left towards the port of Dun Laoghaire so as to catch the maximum tidal advantage. Whilst the “Phantom” team started well towards the pin end, the 3 boats who were still able to win a podium place, “Chimera” (Andrew Craig), “Little Fella” (Cameron Goode) and “Bear” (Martin Payne), all started nearer to the committee boat trying to take control of the fleet. However, as soon as “Phantom” reached the main advantageous current they were launched, leaving the rest to fight for 2nd place….

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Tight racing in Dublin Bay after rounding the right-hand gate mark in final race.

The “Bear” rounded the top mark in 6th position but just ahead of “Chimera” and “Little Fella” and so the race was on to settle the runner’s up spot and 3rd overall. On the first downwind leg the wind increased to 20 kts and made the first leeward gate interesting, most boats opted for the right-hand mark so as to head left again for the current. A few teams took the left mark to keep clear air, but were soon to realise the left side of the course was favoured.

In the end after some exciting “tactical” covering and positioning it was the “Bear” helmed by Martin Payne, crewed by John Mortimer & Matt Walker who finished in 2nd place and were runner’s up overall. “Chimera” with Andrew Craig, Brian Matthews and Mark Pettit stayed ahead of “Little Fella” to take the final podium position…

IMG-20150621-WA0000 (640x360)

Runner’s Up, “BEAR” a very happy Matt Walker, Martin Payne and John Mortimer.

The port of Dun Laoghaire has three magnificent Yacht Clubs and a superb inner harbour who’s high walls protect an area which offers the most perfect sailing for young sailors to hone their skills. It was a sheer joy to see so many sailing schools & clubs providing a host of activities on this wonderful venue. Ireland is a fantastic country to visit with excellent facilities and sailing opportunities. There are very competitive Dragon Fleets in Kinsale, Glandore and Dublin so why not consider a visit and experience the friendly atmosphere of the Irish way of life, you will never regret it…….



3rd overall, “Chimera” Brian Matthews, Mark Pettit & helm Andrew Craig (former IDA Treasurer).

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






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