A momentous occasion for the Dragon fleet at Cowes Week 2021

Bluebottle, previously owned and sailed by HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has made a stunning return to Dragon racing during last week’s Cowes Week.

Retired in 1960, restored by David Heritage Racing Yachts and in its first race in 60 years Bluebottle has WON the Cowes Week Dragon fleet.

Expertly helmed by Graham Bailey with crew Julia Bailey and David Heritage, Bluebottle picked up three wins and two seconds out of six races to claim the overall top spot.

Congratulations to all the Dragon sailors and to Eric and Gavia on securing their positions on the podium.

1 BLUEBOTTLE Graham Bailey
2 ECSTATIC Eric Williams
3 JERBOA Gavia Wilkinson-Cox
4 BERTIE Simon Barter
5 FURIOUS Owen Pay
6 CHRISTIANNA Michael & Helen Wilson
7 BADGER Tom Vernon

What a comeback! Bluebottle, formerly owned by the Duke of Edinburgh, wins her class at Cowes Week with a day to spare 🤩👏👏 This video from our sister title Classic Boat magazine Race report:

Posted by Yachts and Yachting Magazine on Sunday, 8 August 2021
Classic Boat Magazine Cowes Week Race Report – Bluebottle

Cover image: Bluebottle at Cowes Week 2021, Paul Wyeth


Who will be racing at the Edinburgh Cup 2021 part II

BDA Chairman and keen Dragon racer Simon Barter is looking forward to the upcoming British Dragon Nationals in Edinburgh. We got to know him a little better and who his money is on to lift this year’s coveted Edinburgh Cup trophy.

I started sailing aged five with my father in an Enterprise on a small reservoir in the midlands called Cransley Sailing Club. Then went the traditional route of Optimist, Mirror, Enterprise and 505.

My father’s family is from the south coast of Cornwall and every summer as I was growing up we would tow the boats down to Cornwall and compete in the local regattas, I would say Falmouth was my favourite place to sail.

I bought GBR 763, Bertie in 2013 so in our first season we had the Edinburgh Cup and Worlds in Weymouth.

I have always enjoyed one design racing and the Dragon is such an enigma, subtle changes can make huge differences in performance but the principle reason I joined the Dragon class rather than another one design was the friendliness of the competitors and the ability to come ashore and always be confident that a good time will be had.

south coast championship 2019
BDA South coast championship 2019 – Simon Barter, Bertie 2nd Place

I love learning about new venues and my experience of the hospitality Scottish sailing clubs is excellent. It will be a very special event with the support of Bailey Gifford and the Britannia Trust it is going to be an Edinburgh Cup to remember, not least because Bluebottle has been returned to her former glory and will be competing for the first time for many years.

National championships are always special because you get to judge your performance against the best of each local fleet. The history and Royal association makes the Edinburgh Cup one of a kind championship. I also think the longer races gives more opportunities for place changes to concentration is key.

It is very difficult to predict but we do know that Graham and Julia Bailey will be racing Bluebottle so they would be very fitting winners this year.

You can follow the progress of Bertie and all other Edinburgh Cup entrants taking part this year by following our Facebook Page >>>

Find out more about the Edinburgh Cup here