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Torquay prepares for Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup 2023

by British Dragon Association 6 Sep 2023 05:08 PDT 10-15 September 2023
Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup © Rick Tomlinson

From Wednesday 6 September the International Dragon Fleet will begin arriving in Torquay for the Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup 2023. Hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club (RTYC), the regatta will officially begin with an Opening Ceremony on the Harbourside at 18:00 on Saturday 9 September followed by a Welcome Reception at the RTYC. Championship racing will run from Sunday 10 to Friday 15 September.

With 50 teams from across Europe, Asia, and Australasia and some of the top Dragon sailors in the World competing, the event will follow the traditional and infamously challenging Gold Cup format of six days racing with one single long windward leeward race each day and all races to count.

The Dragon Gold Cup is one of the most famous trophies in yachting and is raced for annually at venues across Europe. Quoting from the original 1937 Gold Cup Rules created by the Clyde Yacht Club's Conference when they presented the Gold Cup, the intention of the competition is to "bring together as many competitors of different nationalities as possible in a friendly spirit". With 14 countries from 3 continents represented and full professional to all family crews racing, this edition most certainly meets that criterion.

Torquay is a popular venue with superb racing waters, a welcoming and very experienced host club, and all the delights of the English Riviera. On behalf of the RTYC, Commodore James Clapham looks forward to welcoming the sailors; "We are delighted that the Dragon Gold Cup is returning to Torquay. Our club's association with the class goes right back to the early days of Dragons in the UK and includes hosting the sailing for the 1948 Olympics, in which the Dragon featured, the Gold Cup in 1995 and the Edinburgh Cup no less than ten times between 1952 and 2018. Our volunteer team has been working for over two years to prepare the event and we are excited that those plans are finally coming to fruition. Torbay offers outstanding racing, our race committee is well practised, and we are looking forward to working with Race Officer Stuart Childerley, who knows our waters well. Our hospitality, bar and restaurant teams are also at the ready to ensure the event is one that everyone will remember both afloat and ashore."

With a host of top names participating competition will be fierce. Fresh from victory at the recent 75th Dragon Edinburgh Cup comes British Olympian and America's Cup veteran Lawrie Smith sailing Alfie for Glandore Yacht Club. Smith will be joined by his fellow Edinburgh Cup podium finishers, four-time World Match Racing Champion and New Zealand sailing legend Peter Gilmour of the Yanmar Racing Team, and Grant Gordon's Louise Racing Team sailing for the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Reigning World and European Champion Wolf Waschkuhn will be hoping to achieve the elusive treble of holding the World, European and the Gold Cup trophies at the same time. Other big names to watch out for include three-time Dragon World Champion Andy Beadsworth, sailing the Turkish Provezza Dragon, who took the silver medal at last year's Gold Cup; 2019 Gold Cup winner Pedro Andrade from Portugal; and 2017 champion Stephan Link from Germany.

WorldLeisurewear.com has been appointed as the event's official apparel supplier and is offering a range of technical and leisure clothing carrying the event logo, which can also be customised to include individual boat names, etc.

A good social programme is an integral part of a successful Gold Cup and with post racing hospitality each evening, a BBQ hosted by the British Dragon Association, the Yanmar Gala Dinner and the Prize Giving to look forward to competitors can expect a great time both afloat and ashore.

TNG Swiss Watches has been appointed as the event's official timekeeper and has created a limited-edition range of three Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup 2023 Sailmaster in orange, black and navy which are available to competitors at a specially discounted price. The event is also being supported by a number of Official Suppliers including Salcombe Brewery, Plymouth Gin, Havana Rum and Tolchards Drinks.

Registration and launching for the Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup 2023 will take place from Thursday 7 September to Saturday 9 September, with a practice race scheduled for the Saturday. Gold Cup championship racing will run from Sunday 10 to Friday 15 September with a total of six races scheduled.

You can follow the event at dragongoldcup2023.com

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