Dragon Classic News February 2024

Regattas: Classics can of course sail in any Dragon event. There are some which are restricted to them and others where Classics are likely to form a significant part of the entry. In the UK, the BDA Classic Championship will be at Aldeburgh Yacht Club on 22nd to 23rd June, within the Aldeburgh YC Dragon Open Meeting. The Aldeburgh Regatta, 18th to 23rd August, and the Scottish Championship at Royal Forth YC on 28th and 29th September should both have significant Classic participation from local boats and would love to welcome visitors. Cowes Classic Week (8th to 12th July) and Hamble Classics(31st August to 1st September) should also provide a Dragon class start if there is demand.

Further afield the 6th International Dragon Classics will be held at the Union Yacht Club, Wolfgangsee in Austria on 14th to 18th July. The Douarnenez Classics Regatta will be from 23rd to 25th August and there is a Classic Regatta in Hamburg on the Alster on 1st and 2nd June. I would expect the Wolfgangsee event to attract between 15 and 20 boats. I’m less sure about the other two and would be inclined to contact Fred Gourlaouen in Douarnenez, himself a Classic owner, or the German Dragon class for more information before making any definitive commitments. I am enquiring to find out whether there are any plans to repeat either the Flensburg regatta or the San Remo one of last year.

Boats: Some boats have changed hands. Skal (DGBR248) has gone to a good home in Holland. Penguin (DGBR301) is in the process of taking in a joint owner. Felix Bowers, to join Tim Street. Nick China has bought Maj-Britt (DDEN175) a 1963 Pedersen and Thuesen boat originally sailed by Axel Holm. She will now be restored to her former self in Hamble, alongside Dragonfly (DGBR453).

There are several boats for sale at a wide spread of prices from “Free to a good home” to fully reflecting a full-scale renovation. At one end of this is Nereus (DGBR398) a former Edinburgh Cup winner, which is at Larkman’s Boatyard in Melton, Suffolk. A certain amount of renovation has already been done but more remains and illness has intervened. On the other Crispin Blyth has fully restored Carronade (DGBR461) a 1971 Borresen boat and she is ready to race and should be fully competitive at any level. In between are boats such as Logie (DGBR339)a Nunn boat built in 1960, Wanderer (DHK6)1968 Tschuss (DGBR457) both Borresen 1968 and 1971 respectively and Sturmwind (DGER117) a recent discovery in Hampshire built by Abeking and Rasmussen in 1951. All these should be capable of being put in commission with relatively little difficulty. There are several others but of whose condition I am less certain. Generally, I think the market is better offered than bid.

There are also some ongoing renovation projects. The ones I am aware of are Chime (DGBR380), Dragonfly, Maj-Britt, Karen II and Whirlwind (both with Joe Irving).

Records: I try to maintain two lists of Classic Dragons on the BDA website. One covers all the boats that had a British number and their ownership history, so far as is known. The other covers the boats that are currently in the UK. The latter isn’t comprehensive. Dragons regularly appear from barns where they have been for years. Others may have suffered a Viking funeral without my knowledge. I would be very grateful for any information that helps to keep these records up to date.

BDA membership: Finally a plea to anyone interested in Classic Dragons should join the BDA. Individual membership costs only £35.

– Patrick Gifford