Cowes' 2010 Dragon bonanza

Five regattas planned in the Solent for this summer

Tuesday March 23rd 2010, Author: Fiona Brown, Location: United Arab Emirates

This summer Cowes and the Isle of Wight will play host to a festival of Dragon sailing with no less than five great Dragon events on offer.

Proceedings kick off with the Dragon South Coast Championship on 27-29 June and the Edinburgh Cup, the British Open Dragon Championship on 30 June - 3 July, which will both be hosted by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club and generously sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management. The Solent Fleet has hosted the Edinburgh Cup on many previous occasions, the last being in 2006. Cowes is an extremely popular venue with Dragon sailors, so a high visitor entry is expected to join the enthusiastic local contingent. Already teams from Russia, France, Ireland and across the UK have confirmed they will be competing including defending Edinburgh Cup holder Quentin Strauss with tactician Nigel Young and helm Jamie Lea, and Dragon sailing legend and five time winner of the Edinburgh Cup Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen who returns to the Edinburgh Cup after several years absence.

Racing will be held in the central Solent around the Bramble Bank, the area in the Solent outside the shipping channels and least affected by the tides. The South Coast Championship will consist of up to eight short course windward-leeward races, with two to three races a day run in quick succession. For the Edinburgh Cup the series will consist of up to six races on longer windward-leeward courses with a minimum leg length of 1.5 miles.

The après-sailing programme is designed to help visitors enjoy a 'rounded' Cowes experience, sampling a variety of the sailing clubs with a mix of formal and informal events. There will be daily post-racing drinks and prize givings, plus drinks receptions and two Championship dinners. The Solent Fleet is going all out to welcome visiting sailors to the event and can offer special ferry deals, of which more below, plus advice on accommodation, logistics and much more. Further information about the Edinburgh Cup including the Notice of Race and Entry Form is available here or by e-mailing or for more information.

Two weeks later the Dragons are invited to take part in the Cowes Metre and Classic Keelboat Regatta on 17-24 July, which will also incorporate the 2010 British Classic Dragon Championship. All Dragons are eligible to race and will compete together, with the Classics also being scored separately for their Championship. The event combines great Solent racing each day with some fabulous social events and the opportunity to be part of one of Europe's foremost Classic regattas.

Hot on the heels of the Classic Keelboat Regatta comes Cowes Week on 31 July - 7 August and as always the Dragons will be putting up a strong fleet for this legendary event.

The Dragons' Isle of Wight sojourn finally comes to an end with the Taittinger Royal Solent Yacht Club Regatta in Yarmouth on 14-15 August. The weekend starts with the Taittinger Champagne Welcome Reception on the evening of Friday 13 August. Saturday and Sunday will feature a full racing programme in the Western Solent between Yarmouth and Lymington along with an excellent programme of social activities hosted at the delightful waterside clubhouse of the Royal Solent Yacht Club.

To encourage Dragons to visit the Solent for the Edinburgh Cup and any of the other regattas on offer a special Red Funnel Ferry fare of £84 return is available, on off-peak sailings between mid June and mid August from Southampton to East Cowes. Edinburgh Cup competitors who take up this offer will have their £84 ferry fee refunded by the Solent Fleet, so will be able to travel to the Isle of Wight for free! In addition Brittany Ferries will also be offering Dragon sailors a special 25% discount on selected cross Channel sailings, details of which will be available shortly.

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