The Abersoch Dragon fleet was delighted to welcome Crispin Blyth, his crew, and their beautifully restored 1966 Pedersen & Thuesen Dragon, Rán, to South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club for the Dragon Northern Championship.
The Northerns were taking place as part of SCYC’s spring bank holiday weekend regatta, with Dragons being one of four fleets enjoying Windward/Leeward courses set in great conditions out in Tremadog bay.
Rán set the pace in race one in a light but consistent Northerly, finishing first with Rob Eldridge’s Caramba second and Grant Edwards’ Knucker third.
Vixen, sailed by Tim and Carole Saunders & George Davies took line honours in the second race, with Caramba second again and Rán third.
Day two was altogether different
A strong Northerly wind of 23-26 knots proved challenging for the crews and took its toll on the boats.
In the first race of the day Caramba was first, Vixen second and Mike Cope’s Raissa was third.
Patrick Lomax’s Good Grief suffered a broken runner forcing her to retire and ruling her out of the day’s second race.
Rán also had runner issues and retired from race one but were able to sort out the problem in time for race two.
Knucker also experienced a broken runner and was unable to start race two.
Rán mastered the conditions in race two and sensibly sailed the downwind legs under white sails.
Spinnaker handling issues dropped Vixen to third with Raissa nipping in around the last mark to take second.
The Squib fleet also had its challenges with Nick Whipp’s boat awash and semi-submerged following an unfortunate broach.
Fortunately, all the crew were safe and with the help of the lifeboat, the boat was beached, bailed out and ready for action the next day!
Three boats, Rán, Caramba & Vixen, were in contention for overall honours at the start of the third day, being separated by only one point.
In a lumpy sea and fading Northeasterly Vixen won the first race with Rán notching up a third place.
However, after a bad start in the second race Vixen was left trailing and Rán sailed away to register her third bullet of the series to take the overall title as Dragon Northern Champions.
Vixen was second overall and Caramba third.
It was a very enjoyable weekend’s racing and partying, with great weather and Abersoch at its best!
We look forward to welcoming Rán back to Abersoch next year to defend their title when the Northerns will be sailed as part of Edinburgh Cup week (7th to 11th July 2024).