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Abersoch Dragon Fleet Report 2023

by Tim Saunders 29 Sep 2023 16:07 BST
SCYC Captain's Cup © Pete Hawkins

Well, what a great season we've had, despite the terrible weather during July and August!

Several of the Abersoch Dragons have been on their travels this year with Vixen, Knucker, and Tsunami all traveling to La Baule for the 'Dragon Derby' in mid May. All three achieved mid fleet obscurity having thoroughly enjoyed the racing and the warm hospitality of the Yacht Club de La Baule. The crews and their travelling companions made the most of the delights of the chique seaside town on the Atlantic coast, and plan to return to compete again in the future.

The Dragon Northern Championships were held over the Bank Holiday weekend of 27th to 29th May and we were delighted to welcome Crispin Blyth, his crew and their beautifully restored 1966 Pedersen and Thuesen Dragon, Ran to South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club.

The Northerns took place as part of SCYC's Spring Bank Holiday regatta with the Dragons being one of four fleets enjoying Windward/Leeward courses out in Tremadog Bay.

Three boats, Ran, Caramba and Vixen were in contention for overall honours at the start of the third day, being separated by only one point. It came down to the last race and Ran sailed away to take the overall title of Dragon Northern Champions.

Club racing followed in June and then the fleet was once again on its travels. Three boats, Vixen, Tsunami and Raissa were despatched to compete in the Irish East Coast Championship. This was being held as part of the much larger Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta in Dublin Bay between 5th and 9th July.

The weather wasn't kind to the event with gales leading to the abandonment of the first day's racing for all of the other fleets.

The winds moderated slightly for the Friday and the thirteen strong Dragon fleet completed its scheduled three races in blustery and lumpy conditions.

Good strong breezes persisted for the next two days and Neil Hegarty, David and Hilary Williams sailed IRL 225 Phantom to overall victory.

The Abersoch boats once again buried themselves in mid fleet with Vixen popping out of the pack to record a second place in race four. The supporting social programme was excellent and the teams participated to the full!

We're hopeful that a number of Irish boats will make the return journey to Abersoch next year for the 2024 Edinburgh Cup.

Unfortunately all club racing was abandoned in July due to high winds.

Our Main club event is the 'Captain's Cup' and it was sailed between 7th and 11th August with 12 races completed over five days.

The week's programme was run in conjunction with the Squib fleet and we benefited from an excellent team on both the Committee Boat and the Mark laying RIB.

We enjoyed close Windward/Leeward racing with the top four boats separated by only three points. Caramba, sailed by Rob Eldridge, Chris Thomas and Susie Delves took overall honours and once again lifted the trophy!

Following this the fleet enjoyed more good racing and completed three further series during August.

Preparations for the 2024 Edinburgh Cup in Abersoch are well under way and will follow a similar format to the previously successful Edinburgh Cups staged here in recent years.

Here at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club, we will be celebrating our Centenary Year in 2024. The Edinburgh Cup will be the flagship event and a central part of the club's celebrations, marking the longstanding association between SCYC and the Dragon Class.

The Dragon Northern Championships will precede the Edinburgh Cup and will be sailed on Sunday 7th and Monday 8th July.

The Edinburgh Cup itself will run from Tuesday 9th to Friday 12th July. Craning in will once again take place in Pwllheli from Saturday 6th and craning out on Saturday 13th July.

A great social programme is being planned... so put the dates in your diary and book accommodation early through one of the several local holiday let providers.

Mike Budd was the Champion the last time the Edinburgh Cup was sailed here in 2019. Next year promises to be another great event!

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