Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring AC72

Gazprom International Dragon Worlds - Competitors Poised

by British Dragon Association on 8 Sep 2013
Portugal in action at the Gazprom International Dragon World Championship ©Michael Austen Photography
This evening 77 teams from 16 nations and 3 continents are registered, measured, weighed and fully prepared to commence battle for the Gazprom International Dragon World Championship 2013.

'At least 20 teams could win.' notes Tim Tavinor, who will be defending the World title he won in Melbourne in 2011 with helm Lawrie Smith and fellow crew Ossie Stewart. 'Everyone is exceptionally well prepared and its impossible to identify a favourite. We'll just have to see what the conditions bring - its going to be a tough and very exciting regatta.'

Having completed two and a half days of registration and measurement, today the crews revelled in the opportunity to get out on the water and do some racing in the Save The Children Practice Race. Save The Children is a global charity working in 120 countries to save lives and protect the rights of children and entrants paid a discretionary 'entry' fee with all proceeds going to the charity. A significant number of the more superstitious competitors elected not to finish the practice race, but despite this it was clear that both the sailors and Weymouth Bay were on outstanding form.

Race Officer Tim Hancock and his team set up shop in the centre of the bay with around 15-18 knots from the SW, some lovely waves and glorious late summer sunshine. The first attempt at starting saw a big shift in the closing seconds of the countdown and this, combined with current taking the competitors up to the line, meant many were early and the general recall flag went up. At the second attempt the line was good but the fleet was again overly keen and once again they were recalled so out came the black flag and miraculously this time they got away with an individual recall.

The race was won by reigning European Champion Jose Matoso of Portugal with Hungary's Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi in second, double Dragon Gold Cup and European Champion Lars Hendriksen of Denmark third, Klaus Diederichs of the UK fourth, Russia's Anatoly Loginov, winner of the Gold Cup in 2010, fifth and Hans Liljeblad of Sweden sixth. Reigning champion Lawrie Smith found himself the wrong side of a premature starter - 'in the second row' as Ossie Stewart put it - so got off to a bad start, but despite this they were clearly on the pace and fought their way back up to finish eleventh.

Mark Dicker, who has only been helming the Dragon seriously for a season, confirmed that he will be one to watch as he finished eighth, just ahead of fellow Brit Martin 'Stavros' Payne - more familiar to many as one of the top professional crews in the fleet, but this week out to prove that he still has what it takes to win from the back of the boat too. Another young new face to the fleet, Holland's Charlotte Ten Wolde, had never helmed a Dragon in a serious championship fleet until today, but she didn't let that put her off. After racing her last minute crew addition Martin Liefeldt was very impressed 'She's a totally natural helm. Even in the big waves we didn't have to say a word, she just instinctively pick her way through them and she's very fast. Once she gets her confidence she could be amazing. Our aim is for at least one really good result this week.'

Of the 77 teams, 29 will be racing in the Corinthian Division where all members of the crew must hold ISAF's Classification 1 status for amateur sailors. Today's race also gave the Corinthians a chance to test their form and it was Dragon legend Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen who rose to the top of the heap winning Corinthian and also taking seventh place in the overall standings. Poul won't mind us pointing out that, now in his 70th year, he is most definitely one of the more senior members of the fleet, however he is by no means the oldest competitor here. That honour goes to 87 years young America's Cup veteran Gordon Ingate who continues to prove that the Dragon is a boat for all ages as he put in a very nice mid fleet performance.

At the other end of the age spectrum is 12 year old Will Heritage, who crews for Julia Bailey, a past Corinthian Gold Cup winner, who will be hoping not only to claim the Corinthian World Championship, but also to become the first woman to win the overall title too. She didn't complete today's race but looked to be on excellent form in training. Second Corinthian behind Hoj-Jensen was Australia's Willy Packer with Sweden's Martin Palsson, a past Corinthian European Champion, third, and Brits Mark Wade fourth, Rob Campbell fifth and Julian Sowery sixth.

This evening the crews enjoyed a very hospitable welcoming ceremony with British Dragon Association Chairman Martin Makey noting how delighted the class is to welcome the international fleet to the home of the 2012 Olympic regattas. He also announced that the fleet excitedly anticipates a visit from its royal patron, HRH The Princess Royal, later in the week.

Championship racing commences tomorrow with the first warning signal at 11.55. A single race is planned and with the forecast promising around 12 knots from the south-west the scene is set for an exciting first day. You can keep up with the latest from the race course via the Pantaenius Live Tracking, where you can also replay today's Save The Children Race. News, results and further information will be posted at the event website.

The regatta will continue until Friday 13 September with a maximum of eight races being scheduled.
Zhik Yachting 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Comanche sets new trans-Atlantic Record - Video of the Finish
High definition video of Comanche crossing the virtual finish line off the Lizard to set a new monohull trans-Atlantic r High definition video of Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark’s supermaxi, Comanche setting a new, provisional world record for crossing the Atlantic for a monohull, in a manually powered sailing vessel of 5 days, 14 hours, 21 minutes 25 seconds. The video was recorded on and off the boat as she crossed the virtual finish line off the Lizard, southern England.
Posted today at 1:06 am
Close fight around Wight on Day 6 of Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
20-25 knot winds and glorious sunshine made for one of the most memorable races around the Isle of Wight on record With a win for Eric de Turkheim's A13, Teasing Machine (despite destroying a kite), and a second for Daniel Andrieu's Sun Fast 3200, Cifraline 4, France Blue have leapt ahead in the overall results, now holding a 35.5 lead margin over the second placed Flanders North Sea Team.
Posted on 29 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Azzurra concludes with a win
Azzurra closes PPSW, the third event in the series with a win that feels like a wish for good luck in the events to come Azzurra closes the PPSW in Mallorca, the third event in the series, with a win that feels like a wish for good luck in the events to come. Quantum is the Series’ current leader, followed by Azzurra.
Posted on 29 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Week – Quantum Racing takes the prize
Quantum Racing wrapped up their third regatta title of the season with a race to spare on the Bay of Palma Quantum Racing wrapped up their third regatta title of the season with a race to spare on the Bay of Palma, winning 2016 Puerto Portals Sailing Week, Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec completed a notable comeback after a disappointing ninth at the Audi Settimana delle Bocche
Posted on 29 Jul
Oman Air faces some infamous challenges at Extreme Sailing Series
All teams made it onto the podium at some stage during the seven race programme, reflecting the degree of difficulty All seven teams made it onto the podium at some stage during the seven race programme, reflecting the degree of difficulty in achieving any sort of consistency in a very shifty and unstable breeze that topped out at a bracing 14 knots when all the GC32s catamarans took off on their foils and flew around the race course.
Posted on 29 Jul
Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy – 2 months to go to the 6th edition
The regatta is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition. The regatta, unique in its genre, is reserved to boats that are one hundred or more years old and in 2016 will celebrate its sixth edition anniversary. Over the years, the Centenary trophy has gathered some of the most gorgeous and best performing classic yachts from the past century.
Posted on 29 Jul
Vendée Globe – Sébastien Destremau – Simplicity as a credo + Video
A native of Toulon in the south of France, Sébastien Destremau can lay claim to one of the smallest budgets of the fleet A native of Toulon in the south of France, Sébastien Destremau can lay claim to one of the smallest budgets of the fleet. His credo is to keep it simple, inexpensive and effective. Interview with the skipper of faceOcean, winner of the Calero Solo Transat back in the spring.
Posted on 29 Jul
The Vendée Globe – 100 days and counting
With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever With some 100 days until the start, the first thing to note is that the fleet of participants is stronger than ever, since there are some twenty-eight skippers, registered and qualified, whilst ‘just’ twenty sailors took the start in 2012. As a result, we’re set to be close to or equal to the 2008 record (thirty skippers at the start)!
Posted on 29 Jul
Falmouth prepares for Henri Lloyd Half Ton Classics Cup 2016
With at least 30 teams expected to travel to Falmouth from across the UK, Ireland and Europe, competition will be fierce With at least 30 teams expected to travel to Falmouth from across the UK, Ireland and Europe, competition will be fierce as these historic little ships do battle against the spectacular backdrop of the Cornish coastline.
Posted on 29 Jul
Countdown begins to the RYA Sail for Gold Roadshow
During the Olympic sailing medal race week (14-18 August), the RYA will be hitting the road to visit six venues. During the Olympic sailing medal race week (14-18 August), the RYA will be hitting the road to visit six venues.
Posted on 29 Jul