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Dragon South Coast Championships 2022

A fitting farewell by the Royal Dragon Bluebottle

Over the weekend of 24th and 25th September Dragons met at the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club for the final 2022 regional championships for the British Dragon Association.

The weekend produced gorgeous weather for great sailing, Solent at its best.

It was a clean sweep for Bluebottle who cleaned up winning 5 of 5 races after being given special dispensation by His Majesty Charles the Third.

Unlocking the puzzle of the shifting breezes and spring currents was the greatest challenge for competitors and race management alike as the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club put on five superb races in sparkling conditions.  Bluebottle, wearing a black ribbon on her backstay managed to hold off challenges from Simon Barter and Owen Pay to win all five races – none of which were ever by any means certain until the end.

It seemed a fitting tribute to our late Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh that Bluebottle should round off her magnificent 2022 season in such form and in such good company with Katie Cole and young Killian Boag joining the team for this championship.” – Graham Bailey, Bluebottle helm.

Bluebottle is owned by The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and when not racing, resides in Edinburgh under the watchful eye of the Royal Yacht Britannia Trust as custodians.

BDA regional championships start back up after Easter 2023. Check our racing calendar for all events>

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Royal Forth Yacht Club, Queen Elizabeth Regatta

Royal Forth Yacht Club, Queen Elizabeth Regatta (One Design), 17th September 2022

Out of respect for our late Queen, a difficult decision was made to modify the RFYC’s annual One Design Regatta for 707s, Dragons, H-Boats and Squibs to four races on Saturday 17th September (rather than the usual two days) and informally rename it the ‘Queen Elizabeth Regatta’.

This event incorporates the Scottish Dragon Championship, the Scottish and Northern Squib Championships and the H-Boat Nationals.

This change resulted in a small number of cancellations, however 19 boats still entered, including two Dragons traveling from Yorkshire and Findhorn, and two 707s who sailed down the Forth from Port Edgar.

The wind and weather were kind with 12-20 knots blowing straight from the Forth Bridges giving PRO John Robertson and his mark-laying team a relatively easy time. Four races were smoothly started and finished with a quick turnaround to get everyone ashore for the prizegiving and post-racing curry.

Prizes were generously provided by sponsors Pickering’s Gin with fleet winners receiving a bottle of their special ‘Queen Elizabeth’ Gin and all competitors given a can of Pickering’s Gin & Tonic.

The Dragon Fleet saw competitive racing with Richard Leask and Peter Cooke from RFYC on close points with Crispin Blyth from the Royal Yorkshire YC. We congratulate Richard who took first place overall as winner of the last race.

The Squibs, all from RFYC, were dominated by Will Davies who was able to forgo the last race to prepare curry for everyone on-shore (thank you Will). Second and third places were taken by Derek Gibb and Mark Taylor after a tie- break.

John Blair got a clean sweep in the small 707 fleet and Dermot Gorman prevailed in the H-Boats, albeit with some close racing at times in both fleets (and some broaching entertainment provided by 707 Cacciatore).

Dragon team receiving Scottish Championship trophy in the RFYC

Overall, it was a great day of racing with the Royal Forth hospitality before and after racing being well received by all. We are proud to have played our part this year in first celebrating the Jubilee of our Queen Elizabeth II and in commemorating her life this last weekend.

Scottish Dragon Championship 2022 Results

1 Kestra 731
2 Meteor 402
3 Ran 430
4 Kismet 508
5 Rainbow 686
6 WizzToo 343

Report: Sarah Robertson, Vice Commodore, Royal Forth Yacht Club
Images: Hannah Robertson