Please select your home edition
Edition
Seamo Xmas Top

International Dragons – Golden Girl returns from 1956

by John Curnow on 14 Jan 2011
Racing back in 1956. - Dragon World Championships SW
After 55 years, the 1956 Olympic Gold Medal winning International Dragon, now known as Galejan II, but still with her original S(WE) 194 Sail Number, has made a return to Melbourne.

Crewed now by Johan Palmquist, Christofer Edström (co-owners) and Margareta Palmquist-Carlsson, the story is as fantastic as it sounds. At the 1956 Summer Olympic Games, the Dragon Class was sailed out of the Royal Brighton Yacht Club, which is also home for the 2011 World Championships. Back then, Slaghoken II as she was known, was skippered by Folke Bohlin and crewed by Bengt Palmquist with Leif Wikström.


16 countries were represented at these Olympic Games and records from the day, say ‘The Dragon class was hotly contested in every event and the result was always very open. The Danish Boat, Tip, which was skippered by O.V.H Bersten, led throughout the series until the last race, when she finished sixth. This produced a tie with the Swedish boat, Slaghoken II, which ultimately won on count back. Bluebottle, owned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, was sailed by G.H Mann and placed third. Its performance on the heavier days was outstanding.’

Palmquist would go on to skipper the same boat in the 1960 Tokyo Olympic Games, with the boat now known as Galejan. Success was not repeated, however. He continued to own the boat up until 1980, when it was sold to Norway. During those years, he introduced his son, Johan and daughter, Margareta, to sailing in the boat.

The CEO of Volvo bought the boat back after some time and donated the boat to the Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club as a youth training vessel. By 1994, she had ended up onshore in a barn with cows and without much love. Johan and Christofer bought her back in 1995 with a view to competing in her in the 1997 Dragon World Championships in Maarstrand. Both of them had been competing in fibreglass Dragons for some time and it was fitting that it all began in 1995, which was the year that Bengt passed away.


‘When we got there, we could see through the planks, as all the glue had gone. In the first year, we put a new, modern rig and running gear on her. In year two, we took care of all the glue and in the third, we took on the varnish of her wonderful Mahogany construction’, said Christofer. ‘There was a confused cat and a horse that had grown accustomed to their inanimate co-habitant and looked on somewhat bewildered when we took the boat out of the barn.’


‘She's still fast and all original construction, which is amazing. Galejan II is true to form and close to class minimum weight.’ On Day two and by way of example, Galejan II and her crew were first to the top mark of the course. She is made from one Honduras mahogany log in the carvel plank method. Back then, there were no issues with shipping her to Australia, but this time, her materials are on the endangered species list and it took four months to get the paperwork sorted between Stockholm and Canberra.

Galejan II came on her trailer on a Roll On/Roll Off ship on the bottom deck, where it is a more stable temperature. After five heats, the crew are sitting in sitting 37th position amongst the 75-boat fleet.

Galejan II is one well-travelled boat, having been in Melbourne, Tokyo, Lake Ontario in 1975 and Martinique in 1999. Two and half years ago, Johan, Cristofer and Margareta made their commitment to Melbourne and we’re delighted they did. Thank you for making the effort, so we could once again, see this most majestic of vessels. ‘The event has been well organised and everyone is very hospitable’, was Johan’s final comment.

The last day of racing for the 2011 Dragon World Championship gets underway from Brighton on the morning of Saturday, January 14. Lets hope there is enough wind to get an even race in.

Website click here

GCM Mariners Diary 2020 - FOOTERSydney SailGP 2020 - JAN FOOTERZhik 2019 Outlet Sale SW FOOTER

Related Articles

Farr 40 One Design Trophy overall
Edake wins third in a row The final day of the Farr 40 One Design Trophy was sailed on Sydney Harbour and PRO Phil Yeomans got four races away resulting in Jeff Carter's Edake winning their third Farr 40 regatta in a row.
Posted today at 11:38 am
Sail Melbourne International day 3
Late rumbles shake up the fleet Despite a huge storm front battering Port Phillip in the early afternoon, most classes were able to complete a full slate of racing on day three of Sail Melbourne International on Sunday.
Posted today at 11:33 am
18ft Skiff Australian Championship day 1
Finport Finance team totally dominate the racing The Finport Finance team of Keagan York, Matt Stenta and David Ewings totally dominated the racing in a 8-12 knots SSE wind to lead the fleet after the two-race opening day.
Posted today at 8:42 am
Hempel participants team up to rescue a coral reef
USA, sailors and officials teamed up to rescue a coral reef Ahead of the Hempel World Cup Series event in Miami, USA, sailors and officials teamed up on Friday 17 January to rescue a coral reef.
Posted today at 4:10 am
Optimist World Championship NOR is online
Almost six months to Garda Almost six months before the start of the most awaited appointment of the 2020 youth sailing calendar, the Optimist World Championship, the organization of the event has published the Notice of Race of the regatta.
Posted on 18 Jan
Sail Melbourne International day 2
Port Phillip delivered another cracking day On Friday, only one race had been possible in most fleets and Saturday's aim was to get the maximum number of races in. With three and more races on the schedule, leader boards started to take shape.
Posted on 18 Jan
Australian 505 Championship day 2
Mike Holt and Rob Woelfel win the day Three races were sailed to make up for the lost race yesterday. Mike Holt and Rob Woelfel (USA) won the day with a 2,1,1. Australians's Robin Duessen and David Snoad were a close second with 1,2,2.
Posted on 18 Jan
North Sails Weekly Debrief
#NSVictoryList: 5.5 Metre Worlds, North Kites, Etchells Australian Nationals, Winter Photo Share Congratulations to Kristian Nergaard, Johan Barne, and Anders Pederson for winning the 5.5 Metre Worlds in New South Wales, AUS. What did it take to win?
Posted on 18 Jan
Formula Kite: The World Champs lands in Oristano
It's history in the making for Italy, Sardinia It's history in the making for Italy, Sardinia and the territory of Oristano. From 13th to 18th October 2020, it will take place the first Formula Kite World Championship with the same format that is going to début at Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Posted on 18 Jan
Mitre10 NZ Laser titles: Cashmore on top - Day 3
Two more races were completed in a tricky breeze today in the Mitre 10 Mega NZ Laser National titles Two more races were completed in a tricky breeze today in the Mitre 10 Mega NZ Laser National titles in New Plymouth, to keep the contest bang on schedule.
Posted on 18 Jan