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NSW Dragon Championship 2011

by Peter Campbell on 10 Nov 2011
Fleet of Dragons sailing in Sydney Harbour © Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/
The 2011 NSW Dragon Championship victory was taken by Andrew York at the helm of Wizzardry. York has now successfully retained his International Dragon Class New South Wales Championship title after a closely fought battle with Carl Ryves helming Sidewinder.

Consistency is the key to success in this classic one-design keelboat class and that is exactly how York sailed on Sydney Harbour last weekend, with a scorecard that included three firsts, three seconds, a third, and a fourth as his discard race.

This level of consistency across vastly different wind conditions was really outstanding, giving Wizzardry a four point winning margin over Sidewinder which also had three firsts, two seconds and a third. Unfortunately, a sixth and a seventh had a big impact on Sidewinder’s final score.

Conditions last weekend varied from light and flukey on Friday with twenty degree wind shifts; Saturday saw a consistent nor’easter; while on Sunday the breeze varied in direction and strength, with a major swing to the north in the last race.

Nevertheless, racing was close throughout the championship, with seven different boats – Wizzardry, Sidewinder, Trio, Indulgence, Ascalon, FrenchConnection and Liquidity – each taking a top place in the eight races.

Third place overall went to Trio, with Matt Whitnall showing the quality of his steering skills with the beautiful and fast wooden boat owned by Michael Bartley. Trio had a win, a second, three thirds and two fourth places and a discard seventh place to finish four points behind Sidewinder.

The coveted fourth spot went to Indulgence (Robert Alpe), coming from ten points down on Saturday evening with a 2-4-2 score on Sunday edging FrenchConnection (Anthony Armstrong) out of fourth by one point.

Missing from the fleet was 86-year-old skipper Gordon Ingate who is currently out of sailing as a result of torn tendons that stabilise the joints in both shoulders through pulling on the mainsheet of his Dragon.

According to a report by Bob Ross, published on the MySailing website, Ingate is unlikely to contest the 2012 Prince Philip Cup in Hobart, where he won the prestigious trophy in 2008, at 82 the oldest skipper to win the trophy.

The RSYS’s International Dragon fleet is now looking forward to the Prince Philip Cup in Hobart followed by a special regatta in Pittwater in late February.

Sydney fleet boats likely to go to Hobart for the Prince Philip Cup include Andrew York’s Wizzzardry, Wolf Briet with Shapes and Norman Longworth with his new Ridgeway boat, Tom Thumb III, being built in Tasmania.

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