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Final countdown underway to 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Dragon Grand Prix 2023

by British Dragon Association 10 Aug 2023 15:54 BST 15-18 August 2023
Edinburgh Cup fleet © British Dragon Association

The final countdown is running for the 75th Edinburgh Cup and International Dragon UK Grand Prix sponsored by Clear Solutions International Ltd, which will be raced from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 August 2023.

From Sunday 13 August the Royal Yacht Squadron and the British Dragon Association (BDA) will begin welcoming competitors to Cowes for two days of registration and pre-regatta preparation. With the biggest entry in over a decade and the largest number of overseas competitors ever - 42 teams from 13 nations and 4 continents - this special celebration event is going to offer exceptional competition and a spectacular social programme.

The teams will compete for both the historic Edinburgh Cup, which is awarded to the winner of the British Dragon Open Championship, and the UK Dragon Grand Prix, part of the International Dragon Association's premier regatta circuit which features four international regattas plus a Grand Final. The UK Grand Prix is the third in the series, with the teams having already raced the Turkish Grand Prix in Bodrum and the Italian Grand Prix in Malcesine. The fourth Grand Prix and Grand Final will take place in Vilamoura, Portugal in November.

Organising top level National and International regattas of this type takes a great deal of time and experience. The inaugural Dragon Edinburgh Cup was run from Cowes and so it was natural to return to the venue for the 75th celebration. The Royal Yacht Squadron was selected as the host club as it has extensive experience in running both top level racing and excellent social events. To coordinate the event the BDA appointed Cowes based Dragon sailor and event coordinator extraordinaire Gavia Wilkinson-Cox as the Regatta Chair. Gavia worked for the Royal Yachting Association and then the International Yacht Racing Union (now World Sailing) for 18 years before forming her own very successful event management company, which she ran for 25 years until retirement. Now based in Cowes, she has raced Dragons since childhood and has been one of the top female helms on the international circuit for nearly 20 years. This will be her fifth Edinburgh Cup as Regatta Chair and she will also be competing in the regatta.

"From the outset of the organisation my goal has been that the 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Grand Prix be a celebration and festival of Dragon sailing: excellent racing and excellent shoreside fun. I am delighted that we have attracted such a large international entry and look forward to welcoming teams from across the globe. I am also particularly pleased that so many past Edinburgh Cup winners and sailors will be joining us for the social events to help us celebrate the illustrious history of the trophy, which was presented to the class by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1948. I hope that, together with my team, I deliver a truly memorable regatta - one that I can be proud of. One that the Solent Dragon Fleet, the British Dragon Association and the International Dragon Class Association can all be proud of." - Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, Regatta Chair, 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Dragon Grand Prix 2023. Read a full interview with Gavia.

Amongst those competing will be British Olympian, current Edinburgh Cup holder and 2019 Dragon World Champion Andy Beadsworth with his Turkish Provezza Dragon team, four-time World Match Racing Champion Peter Gilmour with the Japanese YRED team and 2017 World Match Racing Champion Torvar Mirsky from Australia. From the Cayman Islands comes Peter Cunningham, who's MOD70 Powerplay has broken numerous multihull records in recent years, and from France top Dragon and offshore sailor Gery Trentesaux, while Marc Castagnet makes the journey from Hong Kong to compete against the top UK and European sailors.

With a host of VIP guests including multiple past Edinburgh Cup winners joining the competitors for social events, this truly will be a celebration worthy of the 75th Edinburgh Cup. There will be après sailing gatherings and parties each evening with sponsors including MTM Integrated Marketing, The Royal Yacht Britannia, Yanmar, Hendrick's Gin and Wessex Distillery.

The 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Grand Prix sponsored by Clear Solutions International Ltd will take place from 13 to 19 August 2023 with championship racing from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 August. You will be able to follow the latest news from the regatta via the Event Website and the British Dragon Associations Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Further information about the Edinburgh Cup can be found at www.britishdragons.org

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