A beautiful warm morning greeted the Dragon sailors at the South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club (SCYC) on the first day of the Haulfryn Edinburgh Cup. The 71st British Dragon nationals started under postponement for two hours while the wind filled in from the South.
Over keen to get racing underway after the postponement resulted in a general recall in the first race. Eventually away the racers, under U flag, spilt in half across the racecourse with Martin Payne’s Bear leading into the top mark. Closely following, also from the right was Chip Cole and his team on Anarchy.
With the wind staying steady the right-hand side of the course remained favourable and Bear continued to lead the fleet going into the second upwind mark. Mike Budd’s Harry and Anarchy were pushing hard going into the final downwind leg with Harry choosing to go further inshore. This move paid dividends and saw Harry overtake the leaders Bear to take the left-hand buoy of the gate and back upwind towards the finish.
After a patchy start Martin Byrne’s Jaguar made a great comeback to finish 8th ahead of Chris Thomas’ local SCYC Dragon Phormerly Phantom and Mike Breivik’s Mars.
Race one winner Mike Budd commented: “It felt really good to get a win on our home turf. We had a crew change as well, we luckily won the Northerns recently with a different crew, so it was Adam’s first day on the boat.”
Talking about the conditions and the benefit of local knowledge Mike said: “If you went the right way it was good. We were second round the first mark in the second race and lost three places up the second beat by going the wrong way. There is always talk here about the shore-effect and I never thought it existed but when you sail in a competitive fleet it highlights the difference it makes.”
The wind in the Abersoch Bay continued to move right throughout the afternoon and after a start-line change and another general recall the fleet were away. SCYC’s Nick Whipp and Harryot had a superb flying start getting away quickly and choosing a clear lane.
Many Dragons chose very quickly to take the right as this proved to pay in the previous race as the wind continued to increase and veer towards the shore. Peter Marchant’s Beauty & The Beast picked off several places to command the leading pack behind Jaguar into the first gate.
The final run saw Jaguar leading the fleet with Beauty & The Beast, Harryot and Graham Bailey’s Aimee holding off Gavia Wilkinson-Cox’s Jerboa and Colin Bergin’s Irish team onboard Sir Ossis of the River. The all-female youth team onboard Amazon skippered by Octavia Owen, had a fantastic second race exploiting their match racing experience to finish 14th.
Of the 33 International Dragons entered, after the first two races there are currently five Corinthian boats in the top ten. Leading the charge is Graham Bailey’s Aimee in third overall. After utilising the right-hand lane in the second race Graham steered them from down in 13th place to finish 6th. The fleet of Dragons from Burnham are showing their skills outside of the rivers and both Mark Wade’s Avalanche and Chip Cole’s Anarchy are putting pressure on the leaders.
Chip Cole and team is attending their first Edinburgh Cup, he commented on the experience so far: “We had some good and some bad moments. It is our first open meeting ever, we are really enjoying it. It was absolutely fantastic to come in the top three in the first race, we are all over the moon.”
Racing continues today with two more races planned. Follow us at www.facebook.com/BritishDragonAssociation/ for live race updates.
|1st||Harry||GBR||818 GBR||SCYC||Mike Budd||Mark Greaves & Adam Bowers||No||1.0||4.0||5.0||5.0|
|2nd||Jaguar||IRL||201 IRL||RSGYC||Martin Byrne||Pedro Andrade & Adam Winkelmann||No||8.0||1.0||9.0||9.0|
|3rd||Aimee||GBR||782 GBR||RYS||Graham Bailey||Julia Bailey Will Heritage Will Bedford||Yes||6.0||3.0||9.0||9.0|
|4th||Jerboa||GBR||761 GBR||RTYC||Gavia Wilkinson-Cox||Mark Hart, Patrick Rigby & Jake Hardman||No||4.0||6.0||10.0||10.0|
|5th||Bear||GBR||789 GBR||YCLB||Martin Payne||Emma York & Chris Grosscurth||No||2.0||9.0||11.0||11.0|
|6th||Avalanche||GBR||722 GBR||RCYC||Mark Wade||Amanda Wade & Chris Brittain||Yes||7.0||10.0||17.0||17.0|
|7th||Seafire||GBR||636 GBR||SCYC||Paddy Atkinson||Ian Platt & Mark Platt||Yes||5.0||19.0||24.0||24.0|
|8th||ZU||IRL||159 IRL||RSGYC||TM Pearson||CL Grimley & JC Bolger||Yes||12.0||12.0||24.0||24.0|
|9th||Beauty and the Beast||GBR||746 GBR||RCYC||Peter Marchant||Katie Cole & Pete Richards||No||24.0||2.0||26.0||26.0|
|10th||Anarchy||GBR||825 GBR||tba||Chip Cole||David Smith & Rob Drumgold||Yes||3.0||23.0||26.0||26.0|