Russian Bill Gates to join Dragon fleet

Jon Amtrup previews the Aberdeen Dragon European Championship

Thursday July 10th 2008, Author: Jon Amtrup, Location: United Kingdom
Top sailors from 18 nations will meet for the Aberdeen Dragon European Championship in Oslo, Norway in the end of July. 62 boats have signed up for the event and the defending title holder Marcus Wieser (UKR) will meet a very competitive fleet.

The biggest contingent this year comes from Russia. The Dragon class has really caught on in Russia over the last couple of years, and they are represented with 17 boats in this year’s Aberdeen Dragon European Championship. Among them is Anatoly Karachinsky with Versiya 3.1. He is the CEO of IBS and considered to be the Russian Bill Gates.

Norway will have 15 boats on the starting line. Peder Lunde Jnr is among the many top contenders for a podium place. Eivind Melleby, high ranked Star sailor and one of Norway's best sailors, is relative new to the class, but he will most definitely be aiming high.

Odd Roar Lofterød, with his sparkling red Odd Job, is also a man to watch out for when the guns goes off for the first race on August 4th. Seven races are planed with the last on Friday 8 August.

All the 62 three man teams will start gathering on Herbern Marina on Thursday 31 July. The Dragon Class is world renowned not only for their sailing but also for their parties and social program for family and friends when the race is on. This championship will most definitely not disappoint in that respect.

The Aberdeen Dragon European Championship is one of the many events that celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS). KNS is the biggest yacht Club in Norway and has pulled out all the stops to make this event memorable for all.

"KNS has a long tradition of arranging big international regattas and The Aberdeen Dragon European Championship is absolutely a big happening for us. Aberdeen Assets Management generous support will help to ensure that the competitors can enjoy both outstanding racing and a varied program of social events culminating in the Closing Reception and Prize Giving," says Tor Moinichen, Vice Commodore KNS and chairman of the organizing committee.

Herbern Marina is located on Aker Brygge. That’s a few minutes’ walk from downtown Oslo, but Aker Brygge has almost 40 restaurants and bars for all kind of needs and demands. All countries will be supported by their own country guide and Volvo has made 10 cars available for the Dragon sailors. Guided tours to famous sites as Holmenkollen Ski Jump, The Viking Ships, the Opera and Vigeland Sculpture Park will be arranged and KNS has a big staff ready for both competitors and family alike during the championship.

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