The Dragon 90th Anniversary Race, with 145 entries, was won by Benedikt Gach, Johannes Schmohl and Florian Abele from Germany.
The Yacht Club Sanremo’s Race Committee had set a special course with a 3 mile beat to ensure fleet separation prior to the first mark. This was followed by a down-wind leg featuring two reaches and then a run into the finish.
With a north easterly breeze of around 12-15 knots Benedikt Gach sailing GER1216 got a good start, hit the left side of the beat and sailed superbly well to head the fleet at the first mark.
Jens Rathsack in MON2 ‘Jeanie’ rounded the first mark 100 yards behind him with Ron James helming GBR633 ‘Fei Lin’s-Flirtation’ at the head of the chasing pack.
From this point onward the leading three held position and were never seriously challenged, but the battle behind them for fourth place went down to the wire.
Ultimately, Frank Berg helming DEN408 ‘Flawless’ took fourth, with Gerard Blanc helming FRA409 ‘Tsuica’ fifth and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox helming GBR761 ‘Jerboa’ sixth.
As the rest of the fleet streamed over the line it was all the recorders could do to keep up as they came through thick and fast.
International Dragon – 90th Anniversary Race leaders (145 entries)
1st GER 1216 – BENEDIKT GACH
2nd MON 2 JEANIE – JENS RATHSACK
3rd GBR 633 FEI LIN’S-FLIRTATION – RON JAMES
4th DEN 408 FLAWLESS – FRANK BERG
5th FRA 409 TSUICA – GERARD BLANC
6th GBR 761 JERBOA – GAVIA WILKINSON-COX
7th GBR 773 JAZZ III – CHRIS BULL
8th AUT 166 RELIANCE – ALEXANDER RICHARD
9th GBR 820 LOUISE RACING – GRANT GORDON
10th TUR 1211 JOSEPHINE – HAMISH PEPPER
With the big Anniversary Race completed the fleet was divided for one off races, designed to highlight that diversity and quality. These included races for lady helms, juniors, masters, crews, classics and to decide the Champion of Champions.
The Classics race went to Aleksei Zigadlo’s beautiful RUS12 ‘Drug’.
First lady was Laura Dillon helming GBR770 ‘Storm’.
The first junior was Charlotte Ten Wolde in NED435 ‘Olinghi’.
The crew’s race went to Caspar Dohse sailing with his family on GER1151 ‘Puck’ and the first family crew was SUI306 ‘Ozio’ owned by Fabio Trotta.
After his third place in the Anniversary Race, Ron James on GBR633 also claimed victory in the master’s division.
Results from the special group races can be found at www.dragon90.com.
The oldest boat racing is IRL15 Gypsy which was built in 1933 and the newest is but a few months old. Gypsy also perfectly demonstrates the wide age range of the crews, with her Skipper Don Street being the oldest competitor at 89 years and his crew Kieran O’Donoghue being the youngest at 16.
Dragon sailing gets into the blood and it’s no surprise to see many family crews here, with two and even three generations of the same family often racing together. With the option to sail three or four up, mixed, youth and ladies’ crews are common too.
The longevity of the Dragon is also extraordinary with the classics (wooden Dragons built before 1972) regularly featuring among the top performers this week.
The splits for the Gold and Silver fleets have now been decided and Thursday the fleet will return to series racing.
Two Finals races are planned with the scores from the two race qualifying series being carried forward. The regatta will conclude on Friday 11 October.