Stunning Summer conditions for the Aldeburgh Dragon Open Meeting

Aldeburgh Dragon Open Meeting, 24th to 25th June

The second Aldeburgh Dragon Open Meeting took place in idyllic conditions. Force three, very occasionally Force four from the south or south east. Shorts and tee shirts and a wind blowing up the Home Reach on Saturday and the Pigpail to Blackstakes reach on Sunday. Quite unlike the usual for the neighbouring North Sea.

Racing took place over Windward-Leeward courses with three races each day. Seven boats took part, including one visitor, Polly sailed by Rupert Street. Two modern GRP boats, two Vintage GRP boats and three Classics made up the fleet.

On Saturday Basilisk, sailed By Patrick Gifford, Martin Spall and Andrew James, won two races and were second to Mike Hayles, his granddaughter Amelie and son Nick. Patrick lost the first race through tactical error, mostly and then won the second one because Mike went hard aground when in an unassailable lead. Patrick wasn’t troubled to win the third one and indeed the first one on Sunday. However, Mike then proceeded to win the next two and Patrick failed to keep or get Harkaway behind him in both those races.

Harkaway was going very well, sailed by Tim Hannon with John and Tom Chalker, and aided by a new North main, something rarely seen on Aldeburgh based Classics. In both races Basilisk managed to cross Harkaway but could never establish control and ultimately wound up with two thirds. Mike therefore won on countback.

It was very encouraging to see the keenness of the Aldeburgh fleet at all levels of the fleet. Mestengo, a new addition to the fleet distinguished herself with a flying port tack start in one race only for her cap shroud to part, though she did manage to save the mast. Polly and Nooka were both in the fight at various moments and Panther made a show despite crewing problems.

Above all, it was fun, with very close racing and clearly provides a format which works very well. We hope that more visitors will come in future to an event which will test them yet isn’t quite like the standard Dragon regatta.

Aldeburgh Dragon Open Meeting Results

Aldeburgh Yacht Club – Dragon Open 2023

Sailed: 6, Discards: 1, To count: 5, Rating system: PY, Entries: 8, Scoring system: Appendix A

1stOpenNaiad764AYCMike HaylesRob Jones, Amelie Hacker 10181.02.0(9.0 RET)
2ndVintageBasilisk515AYCPatrick GiffordMartin Spall, Andrew Jones 10182.
3rdClassicHarkaway151AYCTim HannonJohn Chalker, Tom Chalker 1018(3.0)
4thClassicPolly11RYSRupert StreetMathew Kinkaid, Timothy Street, Evelyn Street 10184.
5thOpenNooka797AYCAndrew BarlowSteve Dewberry, Jonathan Cunnigham 1018(5.0)
6thVintagePanther581AYCJames Hunt  10187.06.0(9.0 DNC)9.0 RET9.0 DNC9.0 DNC49.040.0
7thClassicMestengo404 Dan Enraght-MoonyMatt Lingley, James Jackson 10186.0(9.0 RET)9.0 DNC9.0 DNC9.0 DNC9.0 DNC51.042.0
8thClassicInditine64AYCHugh RichTammy Owens 1018(9.0 DNC)9.0 DNC9.0 DNC9.0 DNC9.0 DNC9.0 DNC54.045.

Image Credit: Fleur Hayles
Report: Patrick Gifford