The opening day of the 2013 Dragon Edinburgh Cup supported by Aberdeen Asset Management ably demonstrated that the Corinthian, all-amateur, teams are more than capable of giving the professionals a run for their money. After a postponement to allow the sea breeze to establish, Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy’s Race Committee did an excellent job of running two races for the 41 strong fleet in glorious sunshine as the southwesterly wind built gradually from around 5 to over 10 knots.

Although the day’s individual race winners were the professional teams of Klaus Diederichs, sailing with Andy Beadsworth and Jamie Lea, and Ted Sawyer, sailing with Martin Payne and Pedro Arriaga, it was Julia Bailey and her amateur crew of husband Graham Bailey, fourteen year old Will Heritage and Dragon newcomer Keith Tippell, who dominated overall with a 3, 2 scoreline and a 2 point overall lead.

Both lawyers by profession, Graham and Julia’s approach to sailing truly epitomises the Corinthian spirit of sailing with family and friends. As a couple they not only sail together, but also rotate helming duties from regatta to regatta with each of them regularly achieving podium finishes. Always keen to bring young blood into their teams, Will Heritage is just the latest in a series of teenagers to have joined the crew. For Keith Tippell this regatta is his first Dragon sailing experience and he comes to the boat from the Cowes Etchells Fleet where he has raced against Graham for many years.


It was definitely the day for family teams as tonight second place overall is held by Ron James and his wife Julia Walsh, who are crewed by top Irish professional Mark Pettitt. Ron and Julia are amongst the most active Dragon owners on the international circuit and can be found at many of the major events each year. Today they finished second in the opening race and followed up with a fifth, which puts them 2 points behind Julia Bailey.


And in third overall we have Julian Sowery and his wife Claire with their crew Neil O’Hagan who were incredibly consistent with their 4, 4, score line which leaves them trailing Ron by a single point and just 3 points behind Julia. Based at the Medway Julian and Claire are typical club sailors who are able to compete at just one or two major events each year so they were delighted with their results today.

And so they should be as the man who lies in fourth place and 6 points behind them is none other than British Olympic Bronze Medallist and reigning Dragon World Champion Lawrie Smith crewed by Ossie Stewart and Tim Tavinor. On equal points but taking fifth on count back is Grant Gordon crewed by Ruaridh Scott and Joost Houweling who both work for North Sails. Klaus Diederichs followed his win in the opening race with a 15th and now lies in sixth with Portugal’s Jose Matoso seventh, Gavia Wilkinson-Cox eighth, Marcus Brennecke of Germany ninth and Danish double Olympic Gold Medallist and multiple Dragon Champion Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen tenth.


At the daily prize giving race two winner Ted Sawyer, who will celebrate his 80th birthday next week, received a rousing cheer from the assembled crowed.  Ted truly loves the Dragon and has every intention of continuing to race regularly for as long as his body will let him.  Alongside the regular racing prizes the special daily prize draw also saw Harry Pynn walk away with a fantastic set of Zhik buoyancy aids for his team and Jenny Stutley claim an “Emergency Repair Kit” which contained gaffer tape for the boat and bottles of City of London Gin for the crew!

Tomorrow’s forecast is for similar warm sunny weather and afternoon sea breezes and the race committee aims to run two further races. The six race series continues until Friday 27 June with a single discard being introduced once five races have been completed.

Overall Top Five

1.  Julia Bailey, GBR720 Aimee – 3,2 = 5 (Corinthian)

2.  Ron James, GBR633 Fei Lin’s Flirtation – 2,5 = 7

3.  Julian Sowry, GBR755 Scimitar – 4,4 = 8

4.  Lawrie Smith, GBR785 Alfie – 8,6 = 14

5.  Grant Gordon, GBR780 – 7,7 = 14



You can keep up with all the news from the events via the 2013 Dragon Edinburgh Cup Website, at the British Dragon Association Facebook page and through the Edinburgh Cup Live Tracking.  For further information about the event please contact

Fiona Brown, BDA Press Officer / +44 7711 718470

For further information about the International Dragon please and

Notes For Editors

About The International Dragon

The Dragon is one of the most beautiful and prestigious keelboat classes in the world and with more than 1400 boats racing in at least 26 countries around the globe it is also one of the largest.  Designed in 1929 the Dragon quickly became a leading international class and remains a world leader.

Although an historic class the boats now being built are constructed using the very latest high technology materials and methods and around 50 new boats are launched each year.  Careful class rule management has helped to ensure that a well maintained classic boat can still race competitively against its modern counterpart and all major championships include special trophies for classic Dragons.  For further information about the International Dragon please visit and

About Aberdeen Asset Manangement

Aberdeen – simply asset management

Aberdeen is an independent asset management company. Formed out of a management buy-out in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1983, it is now a FTSE 100 company operating on-the-ground in over 23 countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Defined by a pure focus on asset management, including equities, fixed income, property and multi-asset portfolios, Aberdeen’s investment solutions are driven by commitment to straightforward, transparent investment approaches that stress intensive, first-hand research and a long-term view.

As at 31 March 2013, the company manages assets of £212 billion ($322 billion/€251 billion) on behalf of institutional and private investors.

Aberdeen participates in sponsorships where it can get actively involved and make a difference to an event, individual or team. Aberdeen’s current sport sponsorship portfolio includes properties across golf, sailing, rugby, hockey and rowing. The group is also involved with a number of cultural and arts sponsorships.

To find out more about Aberdeen’s capabilities visit:

To find out more about Aberdeen’s sponsorships visit:

About Weymouth And Portland National Sailing Academy

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) is a world class sailing venue and effectively promotes the sport of sailing to all levels of competence and ability, through courses, training and events, whilst supporting and working closely with the local community.  The WPNSA was the venue for the sailing competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and Weymouth and Portland has been recognised as having some of the best boating waters on the planet.  The Academy currently runs a number of high profile regattas throughout the year and boasts fantastic conference and event facilities.  The WPNSA is committed to conserving the local environment winning the 2008 Sport Industry Award for Environmental Concern in Sport as well as being  shortlisted for the 2010 Sport Industry Award for ‘Sport Venue of the Year’ and 2011 Sport Industry Award for Sport Participation Event of the Year.
WPNSA is the only sailing venue in the world to have achieved the International Standard for sustainable event management, ISO 20121 and won the PBO Green award in 2011 and the Boating Business Environmental Award in 2012.