Please select your home edition
Edition
Barton Marine 2019 728x90
Product Feature
Zhik Zmerino Top
Zhik Zmerino Top
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk

2019 Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup in Medemblik - Preview

by Fiona Brown 7 Jun 13:30 BST 8-14 June 2019
Six races over six days will decide the 2019 Dragon Gold Cup Champions © Sander van der Borch

Ninety-five International Dragon keelboats and their crews from across Europe and Scandinavia and as far afield as Australia, Japan, Canada and the United Arab Emirates are converging on the historic town of Medemblik in the Netherlands for the 2019 Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup. Hosted by the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club and the Royal Yacht Club Hollandia, the regatta will take place from 9 to 14 June on the world-renowned sailing waters of the Ijsslemeer.

The Dragon Gold Cup is one of the oldest and most prestigious trophies in one-design sailing and was first raced in 1937 off Oslo, where Rolf Bilner of Sweden was the inaugural winner. Held annually, the regatta features the perfect combination of top flight racing, fun social events and the genuine camaraderie for which the Dragon class is famous. This year's entry list brings together a well-balanced mix of professional and amateur teams, friends and family for a week-long celebration of all things Dragon.

The host Dutch fleet is putting forward a very strong team including Vendee Globe Race veteran Pieter Heerema, who currently lies second overall on the International Dragon Ranking List. Amongst the other top teams hoping for overall victory will be the current Ranking and European Cup Series leader Grant Gordon from Scotland, Russia's Anatoly Loginov and Dmitry Samolkin who are third and fourth respectively on the Ranking List, and Portugal's Pedro Rebelo de Andrade and Hugo Stenbeck of Switzerland who are tied for second overall in the European Cup Series.

America's Cup and World Match Racing veteran Peter Gilmour and his Japanese Yanmar Racing Team will travel from Australia in the hope of becoming the first Antipodean to add his name to the trophy. Gilmour's 2019 Dragon season has brought mixed fortunes so far, but despite this he is currently lying in fifth on the International Ranking and will surely be hoping for a consistent and incident free performance in Medemblik. Gilmour will also be representing event sponsor Yanmar during the week and looks forward to a great sponsor partnership; "Yanmar is one of the world's biggest diesel engine manufacturers and they love supporting the Dragon class. Their history extends back over 100 years and the Dragon is 90 years old this year, so there's a great synergy there. We have a terrific regatta planned and we can't wait to go racing."

Consistency is without doubt one of the most important factors in Gold Cup success. There are no discards in the six-race series, the courses are very large and challenging and the quality of competitors is quite extraordinary. A successful campaign must bring together great preparation of both the boat and the crew, detailed campaign planning, superb tactics, exceptional boat speed and just a little luck too.

Alongside the overall competition there are several additional trophies up for grabs. The Gold Cup Corinthian Trophy will be awarded to the top performing all amateur team. The Nations Cup is awarded to the winning three boat national team. The Borge Børresen Memorial Trophy will be awarded to the winner of the first race, and the Silver Cup will be presented to the boat that finishes exactly half way up the final rankings for the regatta.

The field of amateur teams vying for the Corinthian Gold Cup Trophy is particularly strong this year. The locally based Bakker family of father Jan and sons Dominic and Oliver, have high hopes of a good performance in this division, but the likes of Danish Olympic legend Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, who may have celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday on 2 June but remains a formidable Dragon competitor, will certainly give them a good run for their money. Finland's Sami Saloma, who finished fourth in last year's Corinthian Gold Cup fleet, will also be hoping to make it onto the podium this year, as will Belgium's Xavier Vanneste.

Vanneste is one of a number of sailors who will be racing with family crews. Xavier sails with his sister Anne and their good friend Karl Odent. At least four teams will be entirely composed of family members, including Quirin, Frederique, Rosalie and Willemijn van Aspert from the Netherlands; Christian, Susanne, Kira-Karina and Marco Hentschel from Germany; Jacob, Ewoud and Hugo Roosjn also from the Netherlands, and of course the famous Bakker boys. For others it's a case of family rivalry. Parents Philip and Nicola and sister Pia Dohse will be racing against son/brother Maximillian, who grew up crewing for his parents but now races his own Dragon to considerable success.

The ladies are well represented in the fleet too with Holland's Charlotte ten Wolde, Germany's Nicola Friesen, Finland's Sara Antila and Britain's Gavia Wilkinson-Cox all hoping for a top ten finish. Wilkinson-Cox summed up the appeal of the Dragon fleet well saying, "When I started competing internationally in the Dragon I was about the only lady helm and over the years I've been delighted to see that increase until the point where there are now a number of us on the circuit. To me the Dragon offers the ultimate form of sailing. We don't rely on instruments, its seat of the pants racing, and the competition is awesome."

Whilst for some the main goal is to go home with a trophy, for others attending the Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup is about the sheer joy of racing their beloved Dragons against likeminded sailors and enjoying the wonderful friendships which spring from association with the class. The après sailing programme is of equal importance as the on-water competition and this year the teams can look forward to some superb parties, including the Yanmar Gala Night, which will be held in the beautiful Bonifatius Church in the town centre. Also adding to the intimate feel of the regatta will be its location in the historic centre of Medemblik and the use of the town's famous Brakeboer Music Café as its social hub.

The regatta will get under way with a practice race on Saturday 8 June, with Championship racing from Sunday 9 to Friday 14 June. Six races are scheduled and up to two races may be sailed each day.

dragongoldcup2019.com

Related Articles

Antigua Sailing Week supports Youth Day at Cowes
Cowes Week discounts for crews who are all under age 25 Cowes Week Limited, organisers of Cowes Week, is delighted to announce that they have partnered with another famous sailing regatta, this time from the Caribbean, Antigua Sailing Week, to further support young sailors at the event. Posted on 15 Jun
Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup overall
Pedro Andrade wins as racing cancelled on final day The final day of the Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup 2019 in Medemblik was a frustrating one as the wind refused to stabilise sufficiently to complete a race. From 11.00 to 14.30 the Committee made repeated attempts to get a race under way. Posted on 14 Jun
Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup day 5
Pedro Andrade consolidates lead on penultimate day The fifth race of the Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup was yet another heavy airs humdinger. With 18-22 knots average and gusts up to 27 knots, plus a punishing short chop, it was seat-of-the-pants stuff for even the most experienced crews. Posted on 13 Jun
Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup day 4
Torrential rain, big shifts, and a near-swamping The 93 strong International Dragon fleet had to face a rain storm of almost biblical proportions on the fourth day of the Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup 2019 in Medemblik, as race four of the six-race series was completed. Posted on 12 Jun
Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup day 3
Pedro Andrade jumps into the lead As the regatta reached its mid-point, there were mixed fortunes for the leading teams on day three of the Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup 2019 in Medemblik. Going into the day Holland's Pieter Heerema, and Peter Gilmour sailing for Japan were at the top. Posted on 12 Jun
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago day 3
Jody Lutz comes away with the win in the RS21 fleet Morning rain and fog saw the remaining scheduled races cancelled on the third day of the 2019 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta Chicago. Spirits were high, however, as competitors gathered at Chicago Yacht Club for the evening's awards party. Posted on 10 Jun
Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup day 2
Dmitry Samokhin wins opening race and prestigious Börge Börresen Trophy There are no discards in this series and so serious gear failure in the first race of a two race day typically spells disaster. As they approached the finish of race one Pedro Andrade definitely feared he was facing just such a disaster. Posted on 10 Jun
Dragons at Medway
Faultless race management The Medway Regatta was held over three days over the May Bank Holiday. Nine dragons enjoyed some quality racing: eight windward leeward courses and one round the cans to finish on Monday. Posted on 10 Jun
Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup day 1
Lack of wind stops play After the gales of practice day, the opening race day of the Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup 2019 in Medemblick got off to a promising start. Posted on 9 Jun
Teams ready to race for Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup
Practice race abandoned due to gales in Medemblik The entire fleet will start as one throughout the week, there is no discard in the series and the windward leeward race courses are particularly long, meaning that conservative and consistent sailing are essential to success. Posted on 8 Jun