Up until recently the classic Dragons, those wooden boats built before 1972, were able to race competitively against their younger fibreglass brethren. However, modern hulls and rigs have now advanced so much that it is rare for a classic to race, let alone get close to the chocolates!
The BDA is aware that the beautiful classic lines and feel of a wooden Dragon still have a magnetic pull for a good number of people and is committed to maintaining a register of classic Dragons as well as providing as much help and support to those people restoring, repairing and sailing these wonderful yachts.
The BDA has a small cadre of members who are happy to speak with classic owners and potential owners. They are a font of knowledge in know where to track down equipment, spars, rigging or sails that can help keep a classic alive. There is an abundance of enthusiasm and willingness amongst them to be helpful, so please feel free to contact any of the following:
Patrick Gifford – Current IDA Officer responsible for the Classic Section. Patrick has been a Dragon sailor, as crew and helmsman for 45 years and has owned and raced 10 Dragons since he started sailing with Aida (K77) at Aldeburgh in 1963. Owner of five wooden Dragons in his time, built by four different builders. Patrick is interested in the restoration of classics and the challenges that provides, as well as advising about forthcoming events and regattas. Call Patrick on 07930 558737
Sir Richard Rycroft Bt – He has been sailing Logie at Burnham for about 20 years. Although he has never had to restore Logie, her winter maintenance has seen Dick update all her control systems, refasten many of her timbers, rebuild the cuddy and replace the deck. For reference purposes, he has copies of Dragon class rules going back to the 1960s and a full set of drawings retrieved from the old Nunn yard where Logie was built. Dick would be happy to advise anyone and you can call him on 01621 784435
Tim Wilkes – Started his Dragon sailing in a classic Borresen and is the current outgoing BDA Chairman. He is also responsible for helping keep track of all British classic Dragons. Call Tim on 07720 288100.
See also Tim’s website on the beautiful Pedersen and Thuesen boats at www.pedersenandthuesen.com
John Mellows – John has owned a succession of classic Dragons and has experience of keeping them sailing and racing. He also has useful contacts for tracking down those elusive bits of kit needed to restore a classic. He will talk enthusiastically about classic Dragons for as long as you wish to! You can call John on 01329 662248
Peter Wilson has been associated with Dragons for a very long while and for a period his Suffolk boatyard was the most prolific UK producer of his St George’s Dragons. His wealth of practical boatbuilding experience and knowledge of Dragons will be of immense help to anyone restoring a classic. You can call Peter on 01728 453523