Lawrie Smith takes an early lead
The Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup 2012 got underway in spectacular style as the 60 competitors from 16 nations and four continents completed their first race in strong winds and big seas off Kinsale.
The Dragon Gold Cup is legendary for being one of the toughest championships in keelboat racing as it is raced over huge 12+ mile windward leeward courses and there is no discard in the six race series. Today's rough seas and winds of up to 25 knots from the south certainly ensured it was also a test of stamina as well as skill and there were incidents aplenty with a number of spectacular broaches and some exciting mark roundings as the sailors contended with the confused seas and blustery conditions.
The fleet got away cleanly at the first time of asking by PRO Alan Crosbie, and the first beat saw the boats spread out very evenly across the course. At the first weather mark those who had opted to go right had the advantage and it was reigning Dragon World Champion Lawrie Smith, sailing Alfie, who led the fleet from double Olympic Gold Medallist Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, sailing Danish Blue; Russia's Dimitry Samokhin sailing Strange Little Girl; 2010 Gold Cup winner Anatoly Loginov sailing Annapurna; and Ireland's Cameron Good on Little Fella.
While Smith and Hoj-Jensen then held their positions around the course the battle behind them for third place was fierce. By the start of the final beat Germany's Tommy Mueller on Sinewave, had pulled up into third just ahead of Samokhin, Good was fifth and Loginov sixth with Ukrainian Lars Hendriksen on Bunker Boys, moving up into seventh.
Hoj-Jensen pushed Smith hard on the final beat, but both boats also had to defend their positions on the chasing pack. At the line Smith won from Hoj-Jensen while Samokhin pulled back up into third with Mueller fourth. Hendriksen, who has claimed the Gold Cup on two previous occasions, sailed a wonderful final leg to cross the line in fifth. Dane Joergen Schoenherr and his African Queen, also showed blistering pace to go from 11th to sixth on the last beat, just pipping Good on the line.
Cameron Good, Commodore of the Kinsale Yacht Club, also claimed victory in the Corinthian Division, for the all-amateur crews. Dublin's Gary Treacy, sailing Dublin Bay, took second place in the Corinthians with Reemt Reemtsma and Caroroo were third and IDA Chairman Richard Blickman on Cobweb, was fourth.
One of the most impressive stories of the day came from the Australian team aboard Puff III. They were running very deep in sixth place on the second run when a rogue wave caught the transom and span them into a Chinese gybe. Helmsman Richard Lynn found himself being swept out of the boat as his crew, Ian Olson and Aussie sailing legend Roger Hickman, battled to get their spinnaker, which was now doing a very good job of trawling for supper, back under control. Fortunately Richard just managed to grab the spinnaker sheet on his way out of the boat and by the time the boys had the kite under control he was back on board. They had lost a number of places but they dug in on the final lap and managed to pull back up into ninth place, keeping themselves firmly in contention.
Five more races are scheduled and the regatta continues until Friday 14 September. Lighter airs are forecast for the next couple of days but strong airs are expected to return later in the week.
Top 50 results
|Pos||Sail No||Boat||Helm||Crew||Crew 2||R1||Tot|
|1||GBR763||Alfie||Lawrie Smith||Tim Tavinor||Joost Houweling||1||1|
|2||GBR775||Danish Blue||Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen||Theis Palm||Andrew Norden||2||2|
|3||RUS76||Strange Little Girl||Dmitry Samokhin||Andrey Kirilyuk||Aleksey Bushuev||3||3|
|4||GER1123||Sinewave||Tommy Mueller||Vincent Hoesch||Michael Lipp, Thomas Mueller||4||4|
|5||UKR7||Bunker Boys||Lars Hendriksen||Sergey Pugachev||Georgil Leonchuk||5||5|
|6||DEN406||African Queen||Jorgen Schonherr||Jan Eli Gravad||Axel Waltersdorp||6||6|
|7||IRL211||Little Fella||Cameron Good||Simon Furney||Henry Kingston||7||7|
|8||RUS27||Annapurna||Anatoly Loginov||Vadim Statsenko||Alexander Shalagin||8||8|
|9||AUS222||Puff III||Richard Lynn||Ian Olson||Roger Hickman||9||9|
|10||GBR768||Dark & Stormy||Christopher Hunt||Mark Hart||Mark Daly||10||10|
|11||IRL201||Jaguar||Martin Byrne||Adam Winkelmanr||Pedro Andrade||11||11|
|12||GER1042||Puck III||Philip Dohse||Christian Moeller||Oliver Mose||12||12|
|13||GBR758||Fever||Klaus Diederichs||Andy Beadsworth||Jamie Lea||13||13|
|14||HUN57||Bear||Ferenc Kis-Szolgyemi||Tamas Kiss||Karoly Vezer||14||14|
|15||GER1125||Dragoni Holly||Stephan Link||Frank Butzmann||Peter Froschi||15||15|
|16||IRL198||Dublin Bay||Gary Treacy||Paul Maguire||Don O'Dowd||16||16|
|17||UKR8||Bunker Prince||Evgen Braslavetz||Sergey Timokhov||Igor Sidorov||17||17|
|18||POR55||Drago||Jose Matoso||Gustavo Lima||Stephen Hellriegel||18||18|
|19||GER1121||Caroroo||Reemt Reemtsma||Petra Reemtsma||Lorenz Jensen||19||19|
|20||NED393||Cobweb||Richard Blickman||Daan Djixhoorn||Nick Spaans||20||20|
|21||IRL213||Whisper||Mark Dicker||Nelson Moore||Sean Murphy||21||21|
|22||DEN266||My Way||Frank Berg||Konrad Florian||Jens Maklund||22||22|
|23||RUS2||Alisa||Alexander Ezhkov||Alexey Grigoriev||Vladimir Krutskikh||23||23|
|24||IRL216||Chimaera||Andrew Craig||Brian Mathews||Mark Pettitt||24||24|
|25||IRL210||Diva||James Matthews||Rick Johnson||Rob Johnson||25||25|
|26||MON2||Jeanie||Jens Rathsack||Mario Wagner||Stefan Waack||26||26|
|27||GBR708||Rumours||Simon Strauss||David Horgan||John Wolfe, Harvey Tucker||27||27|
|28||FRA396||Legend||Remy Arnaud||Herald Arnaud||Pascal Civel||28||28|
|29||IRL214||Kin||Simon Brien||Jack Brien||Mark Brien||29||29|
|30||GBR720||Aimee||Graham Bailey||Julia Bailey||Dylan Potter, Will Heritage||30||30|
|31||IRL156||Mar-J||Adrian Bendon||Shawn Kingston||Eoghan O'Mahoney||31||31|
|32||IRL161||Sir Ossis of the River||Denis Bergin||Con Murphy||Paul Burke||32||32|
|33||IRL206||Cloud||Clare Hogan||Mel Collins||Laura Dillon, Graeme Grant||33||33|
|34||GBR761||Jerboa||Gavia Wilkinson-Cox||Martin Payne||Rui Boia||34||34|
|35||ANT10||Northside Dragon||Jay Bourke||David Cagney||Tommy Murphy||35||35|
|36||GBR760||Hands Off||Michael Holmes||Andy Biddle||Peter Marchant||36||36|
|37||FIN88||Step By Step||Eeva Saukkonen||Catja Everhall-Blom||Outi Kivimaki||37||37|
|38||IRL159||Zu||Tim Pearson||Matt Mich||Conor Grimley, Choryna Kiely||38||38|
|39||IRL188||Grey Hare||Philip Bendon||James Bendon||Ben Fusco||39||39|
|40||GBR742||Flotation||Richard Davies||Clive Hurn||Donald Milne||40||40|
|41||IRL195||D-Cision||Philip Perkins||Richard Kidney||Declan Hayes||41||41|
|42||GER1110||Streumer||Norbert Ohst||Stefan Abel||Mark-Raimondo Bayer||42||42|
|43||GBR590||Mystere||James Peters||Dave Cummings||Rob Riddell||43||43|
|44||GBR774||Tigger||Thomas Olrog||Thomas Wilton||Nicola Wilton||44||44|
|45||GER1113||GP||Tanja Jacobsohn||Bernhard Jacobsohn||Jan Scharffetter||45||45|
|46||HKG46||Davinloong||Phyllis Chang||Lars Gelbjerg-Hansen||Selin Dicker,Charles Street||46||46|
|47||GBR766||Quicksilver V||Robert Campbell||Justin Waples||Rene Nel||47||47|
|48||AUS206||The Old Bailey||Sarah Ross||Dave Ross||Insinger Mickiel||48||48|
|49||SWE345||Ming||Jacob Wallenberg||Henrik Baltscheffsky||Stellan Gross||49||49|
|50||IRL197||HY Brasil||Peter O'Reilly||Francis Rhatigan||Eddie Tingle||50||50|