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North Sails Performance 2023 - LEADERBOARD

Entry list approaches 40 boats as 75th Edinburgh Cup gears up for celebration

by British Dragon Association 22 Jun 2023 01:17 PDT 14-19 August 2023
Peter Gilmour at the helm of JPN56 YRED © Elena Razina

The addition of America's Cup skipper and four-time World Match Racing Champion Peter Gilmour and his YRED JPN56 team brings the number of countries competing in the 75th Edinburgh Cup to thirty-six boats from nine nations and three continents. With two months still to go until the start of the competition, which is being hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes from 13 to 18 August 2023, the event looks likely to exceed 40 entries - a record in the modern era.

This very special celebration edition of the Edinburgh Cup, which also incorporates the International Dragon British Grand Prix, is shaping up to be a unique experience, bringing together Dragon sailors past and present to celebrate the illustrious history of the Edinburgh Cup. The trophy was given to the British Dragon Association in 1948 by the late Duke of Edinburgh, to be presented annually to the winner of the Dragon British Open Championship.

One of those lucky enough to have their name engraved on the trophy is Rob Brown, who first won the Edinburgh Cup as a crew for the legendary Ken Gumley in Abersoch in 1969. He went on to win as a helm at Bangor in 1994, crewed by Hamish Mackay and Lars Hendrickson. But in a case of poacher turned gamekeeper, Rob has changed sides in recent years and will head up the race management team as Race Officer for this year's event.

Rob will be working with a very experienced team, as he explains; "I was Deputy Race Officer for the Edinburgh Cup at Largs in 2015, and Race Officer in Edinburgh in 2021. Our aim is to give the Class excellent and fair racing and to have fun on and off the water. The RYS team is largely that which ran the Etchells Worlds last year and we are a well-practiced group as a result. The Club has a state-of-the-art committee vessel and at least two large jet ribs will be assigned to the Event, allowing us to set and move courses rapidly." Click here to learn more about Race Officer Rob Brown.

Already confirmed on the entry list are crews from Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and across the UK. Joining Gilmour on the start line will be many of the biggest names in Dragon racing including Grant Gordon and his Louise Racing team and Graham Bailey sailing Bluebottle, who recently finished in silver and bronze medal positions respectively at the 2023 Dragon World Championship in Bodrum. Also joining the fleet will be Dragon sailing legend Poul Richard Hoj Jensen, who has won the Edinburgh Cup no less than five times, first in 1993 and most recently in 2006.

The presence of Bluebottle at this 75th Edinburgh Cup will be particularly poignant as she was presented to the then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, later HRH Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, on the occasion of their marriage in 1948. The Duke raced Bluebottle competitively across the UK and Europe, and she remained the Royal Dragon until 1962. She was also loaned to other crews for major competitions, including the 1956 Melbourne Olympics where she won a Bronze Medal for Britain crewed by Graham Mann, Ronald Backus and Jonathan Janson.

Alongside a great racing programme, the event will also feature a superb social programme and the competitors will be joined by several past Edinburgh Cup winners keen to celebrate this special occasion. Coming from Ireland will be one of Dragon sailing's great legends, Tony O'Gorman. Tony won the Edinburgh Cup no less than four times between 1978 and 1984 and once his racing career was over, he became equally well known in the fleet as an International Judge, chairing many international jury panels for major events.

"It will be a truly amazing opportunity for all Dragon Sailor's to meet up and share their experiences racing in what must be one of the most beautiful classes in the world of yachting. The RYS with its experience in organising major events is second to none. With Gavia at the helm it promises to be an event that we all remember for the rest of our lives." - Tony O'Gorman, four-time Edinburgh Cup winner

Supporting the social events at the 75th Edinburgh Cup will be a number of official suppliers, including Hendricks Gin which will support the Gala Prize Giving Reception, where competitors will be able to enjoy the classic Hendricks and Tonic with a slice of cucumber.

"For me a post racing Hendricks and tonic drunk in convivial company is one of life's great joys, so I'm delighted to have Hendricks Gin on board for the 75th Anniversary Edinburgh Cup. Providing the perfect mix of world class racing and great parties has been a key factor in the longevity and success of the International Dragon Class and the Edinburgh Cup has always fulfilled both requirements with aplomb. For this year's special 75th celebrations we will be pulling out all the stops to create a truly memorable event for the participants and to honour the late Duke of Edinburgh, who presented the trophy to the class in 1948 and was himself a keen Dragon sailor." - 75th Anniversary Edinburgh Cup Regatta Chair Gavia Wilkinson-Cox.

Online entry for the Edinburgh Cup remains open until 7th August and full details of the event can be found at the event website.

Further information about the Edinburgh Cup can be found at www.britishdragons.org.

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North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTER