Please select your home edition
Edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90

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

Gul 2019 GAMMA FooterVaikobi 2019 - Footer 3BandG AUS Zeus3 FOOTER

Related Articles

America's Cup: Construction Update for June 2019
All 84 piles for the Hobson Wharf extension (Luna Rossa base) have been installed, with 12 remaining The Wynyard Edge Alliance, a consortium charged with the construction of the America's Cup bases in Auckland is making good progress as detailed in their report as of the end of June 2019.
Posted today at 12:56 am
Cascais 52 Super Series Sailing Week day 1
Quantum Racing execute a typical Cascais race-winning strategy Quantum Racing's three-point aggregate sees them three points clear of three boats - Provezza, Bronenosec and Azzurra - after the first day of racing at this renowned high-wind venue where last year they won the Rolex TP52 World Championship.
Posted on 16 Jul
Cascais 52 Super Series Sailing Week preview
Alegre looking for a repeat performance Cascais and the Rolex TP52 World Championship was the best regatta last year for Andy Soriano's Alegre and as the British-flagged team return this week to the famous Portuguese strong wind racing arena for the Cascais 52 Super Series Sailing Week
Posted on 16 Jul
Transpac News, 12 Metre Words, AC Hall of Fame
Latest Sail-World USA newsletter from David Schmidt While summer isn't even half over, the sailing world is being treated to some great offshore racing, starting with the Transatlantic Race 2019, and followed by the Transpacific Yacht Race, which began in a series of pursuit-style starts on July 10.
Posted on 16 Jul
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek preview
Over 450 sailors ready for 16th edition of award-winning regatta Over 450 sailors, families and friends from more than 20 countries are set to make Cape Panwa Hotel their home this week as they head to Phuket to take part in the Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, 17 - 21 July.
Posted on 16 Jul
Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award jury announced
A prestigious international jury will preside over the 10th Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image Award The Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image photo competition has announced the composition of its international jury 2019. Ricardo Pinto, professional sailing photographer and winner of the previous edition, Rob Hodgetts, international sports journalist
Posted on 16 Jul
#NSVictoryList: A trio of 12 Metre World Champs
North Sails packs the podium in Newport North Sails is proud to add three new world champions to the #NSVictoryList off the back of the 12 Metre Worlds in Newport, RI. Beyond cleaning up on World Champ titles, North Sails outfitted the inventories on 12 of the 14 podium finishers.
Posted on 16 Jul
Finn Silver Cup practice day
Racing starts Tuesday in Anzio The fleet of young Finn sailors in Anzio are ready and waiting to start racing at the 2019 U23 World Championship for the Jorg Bruder Finn Silver Cup.
Posted on 16 Jul
Gladwell's Line: Sailing sabbatical in Greece
We have spent the past five weeks having a sabbatical in the form of three and a half weeks sailing We have spent the past five weeks having a sabbatical in the form of three and a half weeks sailing and living around the Greek Islands, followed by a few days in Cowes and Ireland. It was a great escape from the sail racing world.
Posted on 16 Jul
Rescue at sea in Transpac 50
Pyewacket rescues OEX crew in Transpac 50 On the 50th edition of the Transpacific YC's 2225-mile race from LA to Honolulu, at 0200 Pacific Daylight Time this morning the YB tracking system had activated an emergency signal from John Sangmeister's Santa Cruz 70 OEX
Posted on 16 Jul