Scottish Dragon Championship Sunday 25 August 2019
The wind on Saturday morning in Edinburgh started off with a gentle breeze from the east but this failed to hold constant and after a postponement the first race got underway with a reasonable breeze from the south. For the rest of the day the original east breeze returned.
In the short races starting is critical and in race one Richard Leask’s Kestra got the best start and led to the finish, but closely pursued by Kismet, Wizz Too and Red Kestra.
Kismet and Wizz Too made the best starts and led until the windward mark where Kestra just edged ahead of Wizz Too. Kestra took the lead on the downwind leg from Kismet and just held on to the finish.
Set over a longer course as the wind had increased slightly, there was nothing between any of the boats with Kestra just reaching the windward mark first. The wind had started to fade and the race was shortened at the leeward mark with Kestra winning by just a couple of boat lengths from Kismet with Wizz Too third, after being slowed down by a breakage, that the ever resourceful Henry Boyd was able to repair.
There was little difference between the boats with Kismet looking to be leading only for her to fall into a small hole in the wind to allow Kestra into the lead that she did not relinquish. Kismet was very close behind with Wizz Too, sailing only with two on board, could not pressurise Kismet into a mistake.
Overall Kestra retained the title and won the Scottish Dragon Championship 2019 with four clean wins. Kismet came in second overall with four second places. Wizz Too with four third places deservedly won the prize for Classic Dragons and Red Kestra, also sailing with just two onboard, was fourth with four fourth places.
Cowes Week 2019 saw a full barrage of Autumnal weather conditions batter the island. This resulted in the first two days of racing being cancelled for many of the fleets and classes.
While many used the time to watch the exciting SailGP races from Egypt Point many more were chomping at the bit to get racing.
The Solent continued to produce a wide range of weather conditions during the week. The nine Dragons and 30 sailors raced through winds of 25 knots, rain squalls and rough seas. Graham Bailey’s Aimee sailed a great regatta with a near clean sweep of bullets to take overall first place. Onboard Aimee Graham was joined by an all-female crew of Julia Bailey, Sophie Heritage and Gillian Hamilton.
Martin ‘Stavros’ Payne commented: “It was an amazing result this week for team Aimee. The winds were extreme for Dragon racing with big sea’s and vicious unpredictable gusts. The three girl power team crewing with Graham did a great job in all manoeuvres, in particular genoa tacking/sheeting and spinnaker hoists & drops. This was full-on sailing!”
Graham Bailey’s Aimee was not the only team with three women onboard. Gavia Wilkinson-Cox’s Jerboa, helmed by Gavia who is a huge advocate for encouraging women sailors to join the Dragons, included two female crew Emma Hattersley and Ellie Hutchings along with regular team member Mark Hart.
It was testing conditions for all sailors on the Solent and it was great to see the Dragon class proving that you do not need to be big, or a man or an adult or fully fit to go racing. It was fantastic to see Richard Davies helming the beautiful Flotation in the conditions and still pushing hard with a second place on day three.
The adorable Rhys Millband talked to Nic Douglass during Youth Day after sailing on Glaurung at his second Cowes Week. At only 6 years old, while he may not be interested in the results he does love to go fast. Dragon racing is exciting for everyone!