by Fiona Brown
The 2013 Dragon World Championship is to be hosted by Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), home of the sailing regattas of the 2012 Olympiad, from 5 to 13 September 2013. With its combination of great sailing waters, purpose built shore facilities, ease of access and fabulous Dorset location on the Jurassic Coast, Weymouth was the obvious choice when the British Dragon Association looked at potential venues.
Dragon Worlds 2013
'The Dragon World Championship attracts the elite of international yacht racing, from World and Continental Champions to America's Cup and Olympic veterans, so we need championship venues that can meet their very demanding requirements. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the WPNSA for this prestigious biennial event and are looking forward to an outstanding regatta.' Explained British Dragon Association Chairman Martin Makey.
Since opening in 2000 WPNSA has established a well-deserved reputation for delivering outstanding events for both keelboats and dinghies. With unrivalled shore side facilities, a dedicated event marina and race management teams fresh from the Olympic and Paralympic Games it is a truly world-class venue.
Chris Knight, WPNSA Business Manager, noted 'The planning of the Dragon events in Weymouth during 2013 is in full swing. We feel passionately about the Academy's ability to deliver on such world-class events and look forward to welcoming this celebrated keelboat class. '
Weymouth is not only a great venue for the sailors but also offers a host of attractions for friends and families too. With its wonderful clear air, sweeping cliff walks, breathtaking views and historic towns and villages brimming with restaurants and shops, Dorset is a visitor's paradise. The Jurassic Coast- a stunning stretch of 200 million-year-old shoreline that has been designated a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO - is on the doorstep and the Dorset countryside is an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are great beaches for the kids to enjoy and plenty of fun attractions to keep them entertained .
Teams must qualify to take part in the Dragon World Championship and so only the very best sailors from each country will compete. Reigning World Champion Lawrie Smith, crewed by Ossie Stewart and Tim Tavinor, has confirmed he will defend his title. Amongst those expected to challenge are Russia's Dmitry Samokhin and Anatoly Loginov; Portugal's Jose Matoso; Germany's Tommy Mueller, Markus Wieser and Ulli Libor; Denmark's Lars Hendriksen, Jens Christensen and Joergen Schoenherr; Evgeny Braslavets from the Ukraine; Ireland's Martin Byrne and Simon Brien; Ben Van Cauwenbergh from Belgium; Ezio Gianni Murzi and Giuseppe Duca from Italy; Lowell and Phyllis Chang from Hong Kong and Richard Lynn from Australia. The British will field a very strong home team led by World Champion Lawrie Smith and including Klaus Diederichs, Ron James, Gavia Wilkinson-Cox and Graham and Julia Bailey.
For those keen to get in some advance training on the Worlds race area, the British Dragon Association will be holding the 2013 South Coast Championship and the Edinburgh Cup, for the British Open Championship, at Weymouth. The South Coasts will be held on 23 and 24 June and will be immediately followed by the Edinburgh Cup from 25 to 30 June 2013.