Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

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

Mackay BoatsBakewell-White Yacht DesignSouthern Spars - 100

Related Articles

18ft Skiffs Yandoo Trophy – Ward, Marshall and West win first race
Young team had to withstand huge pressure from the fleet’s top crews before crossing the finish line with 40s to spare. Following last week’s brilliant performance with a brand new number one rig, Appliancesonline.com.au (David Witt, Tom Anderson, Tom Clout) again showed the skiff to be a major threat in the upcoming championships with a great second placing.
Posted today at 10:24 am
Vendee Globe – Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of Yukoh forced to retire
At 0240 UTC on Sunday, Kojiro, Skipper of Spirit of Yukoh contacted his shore team to tell them that he had dismasted. At 0240 UTC on Sunday December 4th, Kojiro Shiraishi, Skipper of Spirit of Yukoh contacted his shore team to tell them that he had dismasted. The boat Spirit of Yukoh was sailing in a moderate breeze (20 knots). Kojiro inside of the boat heard the sound of the mast breaking at around 0230 UTC.
Posted today at 10:11 am
Melges 24 World Championship –Day 5– Embarr and Taki crowned champions
The crew has shown an extreme solidity and constancy, fascinating everybody for its asset and conduction of the boat The crew has shown an extreme solidity and constancy all through the races, fascinating everybody for its asset and conduction of the boat in the downwind legs, that allowed them to take out amazing recoveries also when the starts hadn't been so good. Important it is to have a closely knit crew to succeed in events of such an importance
Posted today at 9:42 am
Meet the 2017-18 crew - Mike Kidwell
It’s nine months before the start of the race so I suppose it’s not dissimilar to waiting for a baby – both can be wet “It’s nine months before the start of the race so I suppose it’s not dissimilar to waiting for a baby – both can be wet, cold and miserable, but equally fun, warm and enjoyable!” says Mike Kidwell, a 63-year-old Business Developer from Queensland who is taking part in the full circumnavigation in the 2017-18 edition of the race.
Posted today at 7:39 am
Vendee Globe - Spirit of Yukoh has dismasted
Kojiro Shiraishi informed everyone at 0230 UTC today (Sunday) that his mast had broken above attachment for small jib. Kojiro Shiraishi informed everyone at 0230 UTC today (Sunday) that his mast had broken above the attachment for the small jib. The Japanese sailor is not in danger and is busy trying to set up a jury rig. Kojiro is fine and in contact with his shore team to judge the extent of the damage and to determine whether it is possible to continue the race. He is safely heading for Cape Town.
Posted today at 5:49 am
The Bridge – The Queen Mary – Essence of historical transatlantic race
The Bridge has invited the Queen Mary 2 to take part in an ocean challenge in a race against a fleet of giant trimarans On 2nd December, the press conference for the official launch of The Bridge was held in the prestigious setting of the Salle Turenne at the Hôtel des Invalides. The Bridge, a unique, festive, maritime, cultural and popular event, will take place from June 15th until the beginning of July 2017, in Nantes, Saint-Nazaire and New York.
Posted on 3 Dec
Tour de France à la voile to celebrate its 40th edition in 2017
Eight classes have served on the TFV since 1978, always based on the same principle : one-design. French sailing legends like Eric Tabarly, Michel Desjoyeaux, Jean-Pierre Dick, and more recently Franck Cammas, François Gabart, Armel Le Cléac’h and Loïck Peyron have all played a role in the history of this race, that became one of the biggest summer sporting events.
Posted on 3 Dec
RORC Transatlantic Race – Maserati Multi70 now 142 miles from Grenada
Phaedo3 sailed past the final waypoint at Grenada last night at 01.49 GMT to take multihull (MOCRA) line honours Phaedo3 sailed past the final waypoint at Grenada last night at 01.49 GMT (21.49 local time, 02.49 in Italy) to take multihull (MOCRA) line honours
Posted on 3 Dec
RORC Transatlantic Race - Day 8 - Phaedo3 victorious in Grenada
Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD70 Phaedo3 has taken Multihull Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic Race Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD70 Phaedo3 has taken Multihull Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic Race for the second year running. The American MOD70 completed the course in six days 13 hours 39 minutes and 55 seconds.
Posted on 3 Dec
Vendee Globe - Edmond de Rothschild makes up ground
For more than a week now, Sébastien Josse has been philosophically negotiating the weather systems For more than a week now, Sébastien Josse has been philosophically negotiating the weather systems, patiently accepting that his two closest adversaries were going to be able to steal a march on him thanks to the more favourable conditions at the head of the race.
Posted on 3 Dec