Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring - Cruising

Antigua Dragon YC Challenge on Falmouth Harbour

by Louay Habib on 14 Feb 2014
Antigua Dragon YC Challenge 2014 Shirley O’Hara Falcone
The inaugural Antigua Dragon YC Challenge comprised a week of gentlemen's racing in the tight confines of Falmouth Harbour and the exhilarating ocean swell of Antigua. Nine highly competitive races were held over five days with yachts representing world famous yacht clubs.

In view of crowds of spectators and the superyachts moored in Falmouth Harbour, the racing was cheered on by the sailing community of Antigua. Superyacht Imagine joined in the fun by blasting out the warning signals for the final medal race, much to the amusement of the competitors.

Racing in identical Petticrow Dragons, the boat on boat action was intense with points being won or lost by seconds. Stars of the Olympic Games, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race were attracted to the invitational event.

Poul Hoj-Jensen has been undefeated in any Dragon competition in Antigua for the many years, the Danish double Olympic Gold medalist and three-time Dragon World Champion spoke after winning the inaugural Antigua Dragon YC Challenge on behalf of the Mill Reef Yacht Club.


'This was a very good standard of competition.' commented Pol Hoj-Jensen dockside. 'I am sure the quality will be there next year for sure. Although I have been in the Dragon Class a lot longer than the rest, the speed of the boats was very close but with experience you know some little tricks that can give you a small advantage. I have a very good crew, which allows me to look around and see what is going on, whilst others, new to the class, have to concentrate more on the helm. However, at this level you can never take anything for granted, you have to work hard and keep concentrated. I will say very well done to Carlo (Falcone) for organising this event, it has been a showcase for the fantastic Dragon racing in Antigua and I sincerely hope it will encourage other Dragon sailors to come and join us in the future.'

Karl James skippered the Antigua Yacht Club entry took the runner up prize with an all-Antiguan team of Bob Green and Sean Malone.

'Racing a Dragon is not just about the driver,' commented Karl. 'The whole team has to click together and I have been racing with Sean a lot and Bob is very experienced, which makes a big difference, Sean and Bob performed very well. If you had offered me second before the event I would have taken it, the standard was exactly as I expected from Olympic and America's Cup sailors and Pol is the greatest Dragon sailor of all time. The racing was so close but I don't think our local knowledge was a real factor, it was so shifty that reading the conditions and reacting to them and the boats around you was crucial. One outstanding feature of this regatta was that it was so close to the Antigua Yacht Club and we had a lot of shoreside support, which was very encouraging.'


Carlo Falcone representing Monaco Yacht Club snatched third place by virtue of winning the final medal race. Monaco Yacht Club tied on points with the New York Yacht Club but claimed third by virtue of two wins in the series.

'We won the first race and we put a tremendous effort in for the last race, to prove we could beat Pol again.' smiled Carlo Falcone, helm for the Monaco Yacht Club team. 'We love racing at Nonsuch Bay, it is a beautiful place to sail, but racing in Falmouth this week has produced the best event since we started the Dragon Class. Falmouth Harbour and the coastline gives a great variety of courses. Racing near the superyachts with so many spectators watching was really great fun, it's like racing in a stadium.'

The intensity of the competition was evident right through the fleet. Harmony Hall Yacht Club, skippered by Shannon Falcone tied on points with Fort Lauderdale Yacht Club, led by Mike Toppa. On countback Harmony Hall Yacht Club won the duel.


After the medal race, the fleet staged a short sharp windward-leeward exhibition race. The Monaco Yacht Club was leading at the windward mark, positioned just a few feet from the restaurant at Antigua Yacht Club Marina. In the true spirit of the event, Carlo Falcone eased sheets at the top mark and let every single competitor pass, saluting each one.








The Prize Giving Ceremony was held at The Inn at English Harbour, honoured guests, competitors and their families enjoyed a welcome cocktail party with delicious canapes before Master of Ceremony's, Tommy Paterson opened the proceedings. Alight-hearted look at the strength in depth of all the sailors taking part in the event was followed by the awards. Each competitors was roundly applauded but the biggest cheer was reserved for Pol HoJ-Jensen and the Mill Reef Yacht Club team of Martin Beck and Pat Moore Watson.

The Date for the 2015 Antigua Dragon YC Challenge is yet to be finalised but likely to be held at the same time next year. Yacht Clubs and individuals are invited to contact: Event Website

T Clewring One DesignSchaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr