Glandore Harbour Yacht Club

Irish National Dragon Championships 2018

Day 1

Principal Race Officer Alan Crosbie got the first race off to a extremely prompt start at 1400 hrs in 10-15 kts north-westerly breeze. 21 Dragons jockeying for position on a neutral start line – a sight not seen in Irish waters for many years (2003?)!

The sailing conditions were very challenging in the race area – a mile south of Adam island. “One minute you were sitting on the leeward rail, the next, you were hanging off the windward” a world class visitor was overheard saying later! Generally, tacticians were not  rewarded for being too daring,  with very shifty conditions it was probably wiser to sail conservatively.

A bump on the 12 year old head of the crew of Kin, resulted in their retirement. Thankfully, she was okay and she was back on the water the following day!

Day 2

The early bright sunny conditions with a light breeze soon gave way to grey skies and a freshening breeze. This may have caught some out who had set up for light conditions.

Huge 40 degree wind shifts resulted in Race 3 starting after a couple of APs (one with seconds to go before the start gun).

The windward mark moved downwind catching people out after the first beat- some having to tack twice to lay the spreader mark! Beating to windward in the choppy conditions was very tiring, hence the reluctance to sail a third race when offered it by the PRO.

Some boats suffered equipment issues in the challenging conditions and a man overboard led to Gypsy’s retirement.

Little Fella from Kinsale dominated Day 2.

Day 3

Due to worsening weather conditions, the Race Committee decided to cancel racing. Two races would be attempted on the final day.

Happily, there was a great “Nationals Dinner” on the Saturday night where good food and drink was matched only by the great company and craic!

Day 4

It was all to play for amongst the top three boats; Little Fella, Jaguar and Phantom. With two races planned, the stakes could not have been higher. The final morning dawned and the weather report looked promising – a good breeze and interesting sea conditions. Everyone was chomping at the bit to get underway. Those three boats were tied with 11 points – any one of them could lift the Cup!

The swell was about 4 meters with a freshening SW breeze.  It was great to see Ireland’s top Dragon sailors battle it out for the title. After a tense and exciting two races, Phantom prevailed to win the National title.

The local boats were doing well and were in amongst the visitors. Moonshine was just one point from coming 7th overall, but a combination of scoring the same as three other boats and look-back results meant they had to settle for 10th overall. But as best Glandore boat, the Adam & Eve Cup was theirs. Moonshine also clinched the incorporated GHYC NHC league races. 12th and 14th places overall went to Aphrodite and Phyloong respectively.

During and after the Regatta, the Race Committee, organisers, volunteers and sailors alike were all praised by the visitors, particularly the number of youths involved.

A HUGE thank you to our very generous sponsor Eamon Timoney from Fehily Timoney & Company for supporting this event – not only financially, but also for some very nice goody bags! Also thanks to Union Hall Smoked Fish for the beautiful salmon,  Glenmar Shellfish for lovely crabmeat (and also laminating and printing help!), and to the Glandore InnHayes Bar and Caseys Bar for sponsoring the daily prizes. Thanks as well to North Sails who supplied the race document pouches and youth prizes (the hats were very well received!). Not forgetting the behind the scenes crew who looked after registration and the catering volunteers led by Sally Wyles. A special thanks also to the support crew on the water.

Now, as the crews prepare to lift out our beautiful Dragons at the end of the season, we can put our feet up and reflect on an incredible year of sailing, socialising and general great CRAIC! We can start thinking of next season – the repairs, the maintenance, and the upgrades to enable us to do even better next year!

Well, maybe start thinking about those things in a week or two! 🙂


Full results here:

Full gallery here (many thanks to Kathleen Hayes for getting some great shots despite being in a very rocky boat!):


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