Please select your home edition
Edition
Protector 728x90

Dragon Gold Cup - The salvation of a light wind

by Véronique Guillou Le Bivic on 23 Aug 2013
Dragon Gold Cup 2013 Jacques Vapillon © www.vapillon.com
The fourth day of racing at the Gazprom International Dragon Gold Cup finally started after a long wait out on the water. Not a whisper of a breeze on the horizon until 17h.

Jean Coadou and Jean Gabriel Le CLéac’h, his right-hand man, were keenly studying the horizon and awaiting the arrival of the light wind that had been expected, but which really made them wait, 'We knew that it would come, we just had to be patient, but it was really worth it,' admitted Jean Coadou. And when it came in, the south-westerly wind of ten knots relieved the bay of the searing heat and freed up the 77 teams. After a first general recall, a good start was given to the race under a black flag, but without any disqualification.

At the first upwind mark three boats had gained some advantage on a very staggered fleet DEN 406, GER 88 and GER 1133, and they were all still dominating the game on the second mark rounding. It was an absolutely fabulous performance from Jorgen Schönherr from start to finish, who crossed the line with his two chasers.

'These are excellent sailing conditions, the best we have had in the Gold Cup so far,' the Committee was happy to declare, 'There is wind, sun and beautiful light. Everyone loves it. This is a real race, with a stable wind, not shifty and complicated like we had yesterday.'

At the beginning of the afternoon, Jorgen Schönherr (DEN 406) admitted that he was sailing for pleasure and wasn’t looking to be ranked among the professionals, 'I won the Gold Cup three times put I’ve never been ranked as a pro, and I don’t want to. And I also want people who sail with me to do it for pleasure. If you have a passion, you will commit to it and with a lot of commitment you can achieve good results. We have a good team here and a good spirit.'
Jorgen is a triple winner of the Gold Cup (2003, 2004, 2005).

Dragon sailors are civilised. And as Catia Everhall-Blom (FIN 88) confides,'They are real gentleman.' As one of the few women participating in the Gazprom International Dragon Gold Cup, and in a world often considered very male-dominated, the Dragon class is apparently the exception to the rule, 'We are really treated like princesses,' continues Catia, who sails with an all-female team, 'I think that the Dragon sailors really appreciate the presence of women in the class and unfortunately there aren’t more of us. I take part in all the races every year, and there are probably about 10 females to 150 men sailors.'

Jean Sébastien Ponce, crew member of ITA 56, Giussepe Duca’s Italian boat, had sailed on numerous circuits and a whole number of different classes before he finally settled on the Dragon,'The Dragon class is made up of many owners, who might take on a 25 metre boat if they wanted, but who prefer to join this series, where we can all just go out racing on equal terms. You just need two crew, a car, a trailer and of course a Dragon. It’s a fun international class and there is mostly a really high level of sailors.'

Abram de Wilde (NED 311) sums up quite well the spirit of the series, 'The Gold Cup is a Gentleman’s race, yes,… well, except at the start. The start is so important, that it’s war on the line!' (laugh)

'We have the feel of the Gentleman spirit when we are in a port / starboard priority situation. We generally discuss out on the water to know what the other is going to do. And usually the priority boats cross without the other one having to manoeuvre; and that can happen two or three times in a race. Another example is that a crew will not tack on you to put you in their dirty wind. All this is better for both crews, the race is better if you give each other room. It’s a competition still, but not an aggressive one'.

Jorgen Schönherr (DEN 406) : 'We had a perfect start at the pin end of the line. We went on the left, as I said I would do it this morning and then we’ve been leading, increasing the distance on our competitors during the race. We had a good speed and good tactics in perfect medium conditions. I’m sure this win will make our evening even more enjoyable even though we had a long day! We’ll certainly have a good sleep tonight.

Jorgen Schönherr (African Queen – DEN406) - Before the start : 'I was not happy about our first race. On the second one we were a bit unlucky, we picked the right side, tacked three minutes before the layline on one leg and... it was too early! The boat which went further to tack, grabbed a major shift and passed us. I’m trying to stick to the top 10. That’s the charm of the Gold Cup, you can be at the top of the ranking with 70 (a lot of) points. We’ve been learning a lot since the beginning of the week and we managed to get plenty of information from local sailors - it helps a lot to know the tricks in the bay of Douarnenez!'

Ranking Before Jury (Day four)

1- Jorgen Schönherr (DEN 406)
2- Peter Koenig (GER88)
3- Markus Wieser Dragon Gold Cup website

North Technology - Southern SparsBarz Optics - Kids rangeZhik ZKG 660x82

Related Articles

Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman's thoughts on his incredible performance
Colman was the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels After finishing 16th in the Vendee Globe, crossing the finish line under the jury rig which had carried him the final 720 miles of his race since he was dismasted, Conrad Colman was greeted by a hero's welcome into Les Sables d'Olone. The first New Zealander to complete the race he was also the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels.
Posted on 24 Feb
More winners announced in RORC Caribbean 600
As dawn broke on day five, crews who had finished the race were beginning to arrive back in Antigua. At Dawn on the fifth day, the leading Class40s were approaching the finish. Throughout the race, the battle in the class had been intense, with three yachts taking the lead at various points along the course.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman finishes under jury rig
Colman constructed and stepped a remarkable jury rig which has allowed him to sail the final 740 miles of 27,440nm race New Zealander Conrad Colman wrote a new chapter in the storied history of the Vendée Globe when he crossed the finish line of the eighth edition of the non stop solo round the world race under a makeshift jury rig.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendée Globe – Romain Attanasio takes fifteenth place
French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the solo race around the world French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the non stop solo race around the world this morning (Friday 24th February) when he crossed the finish line at 1006hrs UTC.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman finishes under jury rig - First images
New Zealand solo sailor Conrad Colman has finished the Vendee Globe race under Jury rig. New Zealand solo sailor Conrad Colman has finished the Vendee Globe race under Jury rig. Here are the first images from the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne
Posted on 24 Feb
International Maxi Association 2017 program full due to new events
The 2017 calendar, open to owners of all maxi boats (ie 60+ft LOA), features two new events in the Mediterranean. The 2017 calendar, open to owners of all maxi boats (ie 60+ft LOA), features two new events in the Mediterranean.
Posted on 24 Feb
Clipper Race Coxswain Training commences
We often tell the stories of the 40 per cent of crew who take on the Clipper Race with no previous sailing experience We often tell the stories of the 40 per cent of crew who take on the Clipper Race with no previous sailing experience, but there are also many talented and experienced sailors amongst the fleet.
Posted on 24 Feb
Tawera Racing joins Extreme Sailing Series line-up in Muscat
Team has been formed to give New Zealand's sailors a launch pad into the cutting-edge world of foiling multihull racing. The seventh challenger for Act one is announced today in the form of New Zealand-flagged Tawera Racing, which will compete as a full season entry.
Posted on 24 Feb
JJ Giltinan Trophy - Images from the Invitation Race
Michael Chittenden, was on Sydney Harbour this afternoon for the Invitation of the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs Top Sydney skiff photographer, Michael Chittenden, was on Sydney Harbour this afternoon for the Invitation of the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship. Winds were light to non-existent, until a bit of puff appeared out of Rose Bay allowing the fleet to sail a three leg course. Here's the images from the day
Posted on 24 Feb
EFG Bank Monaco sets sights on rivals in EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour
French sailing star Thierry Douillard says his EFG Bank Monaco (MON) crew will focus firmly on defending their title French sailing star Thierry Douillard says his EFG Bank Monaco (MON) crew will focus firmly on defending their title from arch rivals Team Al Mouj Muscat (OMA) as the Arabian classic approaches its climax.
Posted on 24 Feb