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75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Dragon Grand Prix 2023 at the Royal Yacht Squadron - Overall

by British Dragon Association 19 Aug 2023 20:37 BST 15-18 August 2023
75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Dragon Grand Prix 2023, final day © Rick and James Tomlinson

The fifth and final race of the 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Dragon Grand Prix sponsored by Clear Solutions was reminiscent of the great 12 Metre battles of the America's Cup, as two of the World's most talented sailors went head-to-head.

  • Lawrie Smith's Alfie from Glandore YC, crewed by Richard Parslow, Goncalo Ribeiro and Ruairidh Scott, is 75th Edinburgh Cup and UK Dragon Grand Prix 2023 Champion.
  • Pater Gilmour's YRED of the Japanese Yanmar Sailing Team takes second place overall and wins the new Britannia Trophy for the yacht with the best score without discard.
  • Defending champion Andy Beadsworth sailing Provezza Dragon completes the overall podium in third place.
  • Chris Grosscurth's Fit Chick from the Medway, crewed by Jono Brown and Emma York, wins the Corinthian all amateur Edinburgh Cup Trophy.
  • Superlative Gala Dinner sponsored by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust honours 75 years of Edinburgh Cup Champions and the 2023 winners.

Going into the race four-time World Match Racing Champion and America's Cup helm Peter Gilmour and Britain's Olympic Bronze Medallist, America's Cup helm and Whitbread Race veteran Lawrie Smith knew that, allowing for discard, they were on equal points, each counting two firsts and a second.

After a three-hour delay to allow strong winds and big seas to abate and with a south easterly of 15 to 22 knots blowing down a two-mile beat, war was declared. Pre-start they were clearly sizing each other up, both started at the pin end with Smith slightly ahead and to weather. At the first mark Smith led the race with Gilmour right on his tail. Passing opportunities were few and far between due to a heavily left biased beat, and although Gilmour kept pressing, when Smith still held the lead as the boats turned onto the final run you might have been forgiven for thinking it was all over.

Gilmour was like a dog with a bone though, forcing Smith to pull out his best defensive moves as they constantly traded gybes. Nearing the final leeward mark on starboard Gilmour spotted his moment and took advantage of a timely wave and gust to surge level to leeward. In classic match racing style voices were raised and kites flapped as Gilmour and his team worked to press home their hard-fought gain.

But Smith is not an easy man to suppress and at the leeward gate, although Gilmour rounded first by mere seconds, Smith was able to claim the favoured left hand mark forcing Gilmour into the stronger tide for longer and requiring him to make one more tack on the beat. As they came to the line Smith had regained the upper hand crossing just seconds ahead of Gilmour to claim his second Edinburgh Cup win. Crossing the line behind the leading pair came Andy Beadsworth's Turkish Provezza Dragon, securing him the final step on the podium.

After racing Alfie's Ruairidh Scott commented, "We just had one race today. There were very strong winds this morning and east going tide made it pretty un-sailable first thing, but when the tide switched the seas moderated and the wind calmed down a bit. So we got one race in this afternoon which was a nice race. The situation meant that the title was between ourselves and Peter Gilmour, so unsurprisingly we started close to each other but we managed to get the better of the start. But Gilly and his team on YRED came into us on both runs and in the end, I think there was maybe only two to three boat lengths in it after a two hour race."

In the Corinthian Division Chris Grosscurth's Fit Chick team won by a single point from Ireland's Martin Byrne. Simon Barter's Bertie, of the local Solent fleet, took third place on countback alone from Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen.

The regatta concluded with a spectacular 75th Edinburgh Cup Gala Dinner sponsored by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust. The competitors and their guests assembled on the Squadron Platform for predinner Hendrick Gin Neptunia Fizz cocktails, before moving to the Pavilion for dinner and the prize presentations.

Speaking on behalf of the Royal Yacht Squadron, Vice Commodore Yachting Bruce Huber said, "The Royal Yacht Squadron has been privileged to host the International Dragon Class' prestigious 75th Edinburgh Cup over an exciting five race series in Cowes. We extend our congratulations Lawrie Smith and the Alfie team on an outstanding win in what was a hotly contested regatta including some 140 competitors within the 41-boat fleet, which included seven past Edinburgh Cup winners. Congratulations also to Chris Grosscurth's Fit Chick on victory in the Corinthian Division and to all the prize winners. The Dragons continue to be one of the most competitive one design yacht racing classes worldwide, with a tremendous history including for the Edinburgh Cup, which was originally bequeathed by our past Admiral Prince Philip, the late Duke of Edinburgh, who presented the Cup in 1949. The Squadron has been delighted to support off and on the water, with nine Squadron teams participating, 10 including our historic Cup winner Rob Brown as Race Officer. We are committed to working closely with international classes such as the Dragons to deliver the highest quality of grand prix yacht racing and onshore hospitality." - Bruce Huber, Rear Commodore Yachting, Royal Yacht Squadron."

Having welcomed and thanked the sponsors, organisers and competitors, Regatta Chairman Gavia Wilkinson-Cox welcomed some very special guests. Starting with last year's winner Andy Beadsworth she introduced the winning helms or their representatives of no less than 36 past Edinburgh Cups. These included Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen who won a record five times, the first in '78 and the most recent in '06; Tony O'Gorman who won four times between '78 and '84; three time winner Graham Bailey; Julia Bailey, the only woman to ever win the Edinburgh Cup in '15; the '81 winner Nick Truman; Nicky Streeter who won twice in '73 and '77; Martin Parry who won sixty years ago in '63 and and represented Britain in the Dragon at the 1964 Olympics; and Ian Lallow who was representing his late father Clare Lallow who, with Franklin Ratsey Woordroffe, won both the first and second Edinburgh Cups in '49 and '50. The sense of history and the recognition of Dragon greatness in the room was palpable and the applause for their past champions was heartfelt and prolonged.

After a superb dinner the competitors were surprised with an improptu singalong Opera performance as three professional opera singers entertained the fleet before leading them in a rousing rendition, with much napkin waving, of the Cornetto theme tune - O'Sole Mio.

The evening's grand finale was the prize presentations. These included the new perpetual Britannia Trophy, presented by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust, which will be awarded to the boat with the best score in the regatta without discard - the format that was used when the Edinburgh Cup was first presented by The Duke of Edinburgh. In the inaugural year the winner was second placed Peter Gilmour, crewed by Sam Gilmour and Yasuhiro Yaji.

The all-amateur crews are always enthusiastically encouraged and well recognised in the Dragon Class, and a huge cheer went up as Chris Grosscurth, Jono Brown and Emma York of Fit Chick team came to the stage to receive the Corinthian Edinburgh Cup Trophy.

Andy finally it was the turn of Lawrie Smith, Richard Parslow, Goncalo Ribeiro and Ruairidh Scott to receive the famous Edinburgh Cup. In his acceptance speech Smith paid tribute to his crew, recognising their exceptional skills, and saying he could not have won it without them. He said that to win a trophy as historic as the Edinburgh Cup in a setting as famous as the Royal Yacht Squadron is particularly pleasing. He thanked Race Officer Rob Brown for the great job he and his team did in managing the racing in very difficult conditions. He also thanked Peter Gilmour, explaining that they first met when he was coaching Gilmour's Kookaburra crew for the 1987 America's Cup in Freemantle. and joking that he thought "Gilly" was going to hammer him but was grateful he let him off a bit! Lawrie's final thank you was to Regatta Chair Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, a lifelong Dragon sailor who not only organised the regatta but somehow found time to race too, finishing in fifth place overall, and he led a rousing round of applause to thank her for organising such a unique and enjoyable 75th Edinburgh Cup celebration.

The regatta was also the third of four events in the International Dragon 2023 Grand Prix series. The results from this regatta mean that Peter Gilmour has moved up from third into the overall lead in the Dragon European Grand Prix and Jan Secher from fourth to second with Peter Cunningham now third and Dirk Oldenburg fourth. Klaus Diederichs, who was unable to race in the Edinburgh Cup lies in fifth, with Andy Beadsworth sixth. The fourth and final European Grand Prix regatta and the 2023 Grand Final will both take place in Vilamoura in November.

Event website: www.britishdragons.org/edinburgh-cup

The next major event for the British and International Dragon fleets is the Yanmar Dragon Gold Cup, taking place in Torquay from 7 to 16 September. Fifty international teams are already entered and further information about the regatta can be found at www.dragongoldcup2023.com.

The 2024 Edinburgh Cup will be held in Abersoch from 7-12 July and more information about this will be available from www.britishdragons.org.

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Dragon nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosSail No Boat nameTeamClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1  GBR 815ALFIELawrie Smith / Richard Parslow / Goncalo Ribeiro / Ruairidh ScottGLANDORE1112215
2  JPN 56YREDPeter Gilmour / Samuel Gilmour / Yasuhiro YajiBSYC261126
3  TUR 12PROVEZZA DRAGONAndy Beadsworth / Enes Caycak / Simon FryBAYK423BFD312
4  GBR 820LOUISE RACINGGrant Gordon / Faye Chatterton / Luke Patience / James WilliamsonRYS3394616
5  GBR 831JERBOAGavia Wilkinson‑Cox / Sam de la Feuillade / Jake Hardman / Mark HartRTYC67417724
6  SWE 800MISS BEHAVIOURJan Secher / Gerard Mitchell / Richard SydenhamMarstrand Segelsälskap51175825
7  GER 1075GRACEHannes Hollaender / Arne Hubregtse / Kilian WeiseNRV114821427
8  CAY 9POWERPLAYPeter Cunningham / Pedro Rebelo de Andrade / Martin WesterdhalRoyal Thames Yacht Club1310231628
9  GBR 192BLUEBOTTLEGraham Bailey / Julia Bailey / William Bedford / Mark LeesRYS101369530
10  GBR 818TRUE STORYMartin Payne / Nigel Cole / Robert MorrisSalcombe Yacht Club / Yacht Club La Baule18511101137
11  FRA 428BANDE A PARTGery Trentesaux / Christian Ponthieu / Jean Queveau / Morgan RiouRYS1685121540
12  AUS 551YEAHNAHPete Cooke / Frederico Melo / Torvar MirskyRoyal Forth Yacht Club81218151045
13  SUI 313FREEDirk Oldenburg / Ian Ainslie / Andrew NordenSNST1424177947
14  GBR 753FIT CHICK (Corinthian)Chris Grosscurth / Jono Brown / Emma YorkMEDWAY YC991616RET50
15  IRL 201JAGUAR SAILING TEAM (Corinthian)Martin Byrne / John Simms / Adam WinkelmannRoyal St George Yacht Club7222281451
16  GBR 633FEI‑LIN'S FLIRTATIONRon James / Joanna Richardson / Nigel YoungRoyal Forth YC YC Cannes12141318DNC57
17  GBR 682ECSTATICEric Williams / Katie Cole / Rory PatonRoyal Lymington Y C231610191358
18  GBR 763BERTIE (Corinthian)Simon Barter / Harriet Norden / Donald WilksCCYC221514112060
19  GBR 822DANISH BLUE (Corinthian)Poul Richard Hoj Jensen / Chris Brittain / Hamish MackayRYS171720141260
20  GBR 585FULL SPEED (Corinthian)William Swigart / Arthur Anosov / David CaesarRoyal Hong Kong2123216RET71
21  GER 1171FLOTTER DREIERDirk Neukirchen / Yanik Greiner / Michael LippDüsseldorfer Yachtclub20201913DNC72
22  GBR 816DREKIGlynn Williams / Tom Hough / Hattie Mansell / Phil TaylorRYS151831311781
23  NED 352HESTIA (Corinthian)Frank van Beuningen / Arno Twigt / Dries van der LaanRYS193026201883
24  GBR 767FIREFLY (Corinthian)Stewart Reed / Lisa Guy / Roger GuyBosham SC323415232393
25  GBR 777FURIOUS (Corinthian)Owen Pay / Peter Bowring / Jonathan MortimerCowes Corinthian Yacht Club28192524RET96
26  GBR 731KESTRA (Corinthian)Richard Leask / William Adams / Donald MilneRoyal Forth Yacht Club272127262296
27  GBR 748SANKA (Corinthian)Dave Ross / Mark Daly / Jacques MillerCowes Corinthian Yacht Club26252425DNC100
28  GER 1239FUNKY BUSINESS (Corinthian)Goetz Leimkuehler / Albrecht Bialas / Stefan KüppersYCRE3028362819105
29  SUI 311RACKHAM (Corinthian)Selina Dicker / Edward Cook / Frances Gifford / Sophie MackleyRYS2932DNS2225108
30  GBR 768GLAURUNG (Corinthian)Andrew Millband / Richard Glen / Christopher Limpet‑PeersCowes Corinthian Yacht Club2427373721109
31  NED 380SILVER SWAN (Corinthian)Jacob J. Roosjen / Paul Fletcher / Dirk Jan ZweersKNZRV Muiden3139233027111
32  GBR 741CHIME (Corinthian)Marc Castagnet / Nicholas Bilcliffe / Stephen RobinsonRHKYC3333282926116
33  GBR 829ELECTRA SUPERGLIDE IN WHITECian O'Carroll / Len Delicaet / Cressida RobsonROYAL THAMES YC3635303224121
34  GBR 747SUTI (Corinthian)Trevor Cox / Kevin Hook / Keith LennoxMedway Yacht Club3426333528121
35  GBR 734ITHACAMichael Cover / Maisie Harkess / Ollie Spensley‑Corfield / Jenny StutleyRoyal Thames Yacht Club/ Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club25293833RET125
36  GBR 508KISMET (Corinthian)Cathy Ogden / Fiona Hutchison / Sheena Kerr / Moira KinnearRoyal Forth Yacht Club38372927DNC131
37  GBR 726GANDALF (Corinthian)Edwin Hannant / Ken Grimes / James HannantMedway Yacht Club35313534DNC135
38  GBR 825ANARCHY (Corinthian)James Mansell / Paul Bennett / Eric ZonRORC3738393829142
39  GBR 11POLLY (Corinthian)Charles Street / Algernon Sanders / Elloise Sanders / Rupert Street / Frederick StreetRYS40363236DNC144
40  GER 1196FRESIA (Corinthian)Neave O’Clery / Chris Brealy / Johannes ThomsMedway Yacht Club39403440RET153
41  GBR 797NOOKA (Corinthian)Andrew Barlow / Jonathan Cunningham / Hugh RichAldeburgh41414039DNC161

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