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North Sails Performance 2023 - LEADERBOARD

Entry list grows and sponsors sign up for 75th Dragon Edinburgh Cup and UK Grand Prix

by British Dragon Association 25 Jul 2023 06:55 PDT 14-19 August 2023
Dragon European Championship 2022 © Elena Razina

With just three weeks to go until the start of the International Dragon 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Grand Prix, sponsored by Clear Solutions International Ltd, the entry list has now reached 40 boats with 11 nations across Europe, Scandinavia, Asia and Australasia confirmed to participate.

The entry list includes seven past Edinburgh Cup winners, including defending Champion Andy Beadsworth, Graham and Julia Bailey who between them have won the Edinburgh Cup four times - three with Graham at the helm and one helmed by Julia, Lawrie Smith who won the cup in 2016 and 2013, Ireland's Martin Byrne (2011), Martin Payne (1999) and Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen who won it a remarkable five times between 1993 and 2006. Also racing will be Richard Leask, whose father John Leask won in 1966.

Other past winners participating include Rob Brown, who won the cup in 1994 and who will be the Race Officer for the regatta. Joining the fleet for the special Gala Dinner will be four-time winner Tony O'Gorman, three time winner Connor Doyle, two-time winner Nicky Streeter, 1963 winner Martin Parry and Ian Lallow, who will represent his late father Clare Lallow, who won twice including the first ever Edinburgh Cup in 1949.

Past Edinburgh Cup competitors are invited to join the sailors for the nightly social events and Gala Dinner, for which tickets can now be booked via the event website. The social programme will be as follows:

  • Sunday 13 August: 1800 - Drink and Launching Briefing - Cowes Yacht Haven
  • Monday 14 August: 1830 - Opening Ceremony - Royal Yacht Squadron Pavilion
  • Tuesday 15 August:
    • Post racing - Apres Sailing Hospitality - Royal Yacht Squadron
    • 1830 - Celebration Cocktail Party, Island Sailing Club
  • Wednesday 16 August:
    • Post racing - Apres Sailing Hospitality - Royal Yacht Squadron
    • 1900 - Summer Party - Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club
  • Thursday 17 August: Post racing - Garden Party Cream Tea and Pimms - Royal Yacht Squadron
  • Friday 18 August: 1900 - Gala Prizegiving Dinner - Royal Yacht Squadron

The list of companies supporting the event has also grown with MTM Integrated Marketing, Yanmar and Wessex Distillery all signing up as Supporting Sponsors. MTM Integrated Marketing will sponsor the post racing hospitality on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Yanmar will sponsor the Opening Ceremony which will be held in the Royal Yacht Squadron Pavilion, and Wessex Distillery will sponsor the Celebration Cocktail Party at the Island Sailing Club.

Rick and James Tomlinson will be providing daily photography and video from the event. From his first freelance photographs taken aboard Drum during the 1985/6 Whitbread Race, Rick has established himself as one of the world's leading marine photographers. Son James has inherited his exceptional eye for an image and specialises in videography. With this exciting duo on the team, we can look forward to some outstanding imagery.

Cowes based World Leisure will be the official apparel supplier to the regatta, offering a range of 75th Edinburgh Cup branded clothing which can also be customised with individual boat details. The range includes classic polos and rugby shirts, base layer tops and leggings, sweatshirts, gilets, caps, softshell and waterproof jackets. Garments can be ordered online at worldleisurewear.net/edcup

The entry list is full of well-known names, but one entry to keep a close eye on is that of James Mansell, Eric Zon and Paul Bennett, sailing GBR825 Anarchy. James is the owner and Managing Director of the regatta's Principal Sponsor Clear Solutions International Ltd and is well known in the short-handed offshore sailing community where he has achieved great success single handed in the OSTAR, and double handed with Eric including winning the Round Britain and Ireland Race. His only serious inshore racing experience came crewing for Glynn Williams in the 2017 Edinburgh Cup. When Glynn contacted him about supporting the 75th Edinburgh Cup he decided to not only sponsor the event but to buy a boat and take part too!

James explains his decision to throw himself into supporting the Edinburgh Cup - "Our business is all about helping our partners to create renewable energy solutions in a clean and sustainable way and to find ways to clean up historically "dirty" activities. For example, we are working to find solutions to make mining for essential minerals as sustainable and clean as possible. We're about supplying a high-performance quality product and that fits well with the ethos of the Dragon Class. 95% of everything we manufacture goes abroad so we're an international business, and it's an international fleet.

"For me part of the attraction of the event and the Dragon fleet is that it offers a nice mix of serious sailing and fun socialising, and we'll certainly be participating fully in the social events. I like that whilst the racing is very serious with a high level of professionalism, the fleet none the less retains a wonderful camaraderie and the sailors show great respect for each other and for what they are doing. We enjoy being able to focus on challenging the conditions and our own performance and learning from our competitors, without any unnecessary drama or a lot of screaming and shouting on the water. Everything about sailing the Dragon brings exciting challenges. As there's no engine you even need to have to have a reasonable level of competence just to come and go from the dock! It's nice to just do something where you are totally reliant on your own skill and managing the natural environment."

To find out more about James Mansell and his challenge for the Edinburgh Cup, read the full interview here.

The 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Grand Prix sponsored by Clear Solutions will take place from 13 to 19 August 2023 with championship racing being run from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 August. Entries can be made online via the event website. Entries made prior to 30 July will be at the standard entry fee. Late entries will be accepted from 31 July to 7 August and will pay the late entry fee.

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

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North Sails Performance 2023 - FOOTER