Matthias Hellstern, Henry Kingston & Cameron Good, East Coast Champions.

A 13 boat fleet made it to the Irish East Coast Dragon Championships hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire over the weekend of 2nd to 4th July. After the success of the recent South Coast Championships a number of the Kinsale Fleet travelled up to Dublin Bay to test their skills again before the Irish National Championships later in the year. 6 races were completed over the 3 days under the guidance of experienced International Race Officer Con Murphy (who’s daughter Annalise won Silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics) with a typically relaxed, whilst professional, Irish attitude both on and off the water.

Plenty of “Banter & Drinks” ashore at the R.S.G.Y.C.

The opening race sailed in 8-10kts was won in convincing style by Martin Byrne helming IRL 45 “Titan” a 1968 Borresen beautifully restored by Rui Ferreira and now owned by Ben Cooke. Ben was a member of the Irish Olympic Team and has America’s Cup experience so it’s great to have a sailor of his quality join the Dragon Class. “Titan” had a few teething problems as the wind increased in the later races but will be one to watch for in the future.

“Titan” won the 1st race of East Coast Championships.

In race 2 it was IRL 219 “TBD” helmed by James Matthews who took the winning gun and counting a 3rd in the opening race returned ashore to be leading overall after day 1. James, crewed by Dave Good and Fergal O’Hanlon finished 3rd overall in Glandore so to top the result sheet made the Guinness taste even sweeter…

IRL 219 “TBD” won race 2 in Dun Laoghaire.

On day 2 the wind increased to 14-18kts and this suited the South Coast Championship winners aboard “Little Fella”. After winning both race 3 and 4, Cameron Good and his crew of Henry Kingston and Matthias Hellstern took control overall and were keen to get back out on the water for the final day. Cameron told me “Matthias is a former Mirror European Champion and his father had one of Poul-Richard’s “Danish Blue” Dragons a while ago which he renamed “Eve”. So it’s great to have Matthias aboard and as Vice Commodore of the Kinsale Yacht Club he will be instrumental in the Gold Cup organisation for 2024″.

IRL 211 “Little Fella” wins Race 3 and 4 in Dun Laoghaire.

The final day was sailed in similar conditions and the local team aboard IRL 176 “Phantom” eventually arrived at the party, to record their first win. Helmed by Peter Bowring (in Neil Hegarty’s absence), crewed by David Williams and Conor Grimley,  Phantom took the race in style and moved up to 4th place overall.

Winners of Race 5 IRL 176 “Phantom” helmed by Peter Bowring, with David & Conor.

Meanwhile going about their business with consistent results was IRL 771 “Scarlet Ribbons”. IRL 771 is a 1999 Petticrows (originally HUN 57) owned by Tomas O’Brien, crewed by Donal Small and Conor Hemlock all from Kinsale. This team finished 7th in Glandore at the South Coast Championship in their opening regatta and with their excellent 2nd place in the final race of the event moved Tomas and his team onto the Podium. A great overall result for this keen and active Kinsale team. Donal told me “Tomas’ father raced Dragons in Cork Harbour many years ago so it’s great to have Tomas in the class, we have been training hard and look forward to the Irish National Championships in early September on our own doorstep”. Many congratulations to Tomas and his team for their first Dragon Podium….

“Scarlet Ribbons” Tomas, Donal & Conor finish 3rd overall in Dun Laoghaire.

The event was decided on the final race when “Little Fella” took the bullet ahead of “Scarlet Ribbons” and James Matthews “TBD” in 3rd place.  This was enough for Cameron and his team to win overall and James finish a commendable runner up..  Many Congratulations to all the top three teams..

Winners Cameron, Henry & Matthias. left Joey Mason (Dublin Bay Class Captain) right Richard O’Connor (R.S.G.Y.C. Commodore).

2nd Overall IRL 219 “TBD” David, Fergal & James.

3rd Overall IRL 771 “Scarlet Ribbons” Conor, Donal & Tomas.

Higher, Faster, Longer……….    Stavros.