Final day and Lawrie Smith and his crew of Ruaridh Scott, Goncalo Ribeiro and Richard Parslow already had victory within their grasp.
Smith knew what he had to do, and he executed it perfectly, starting near the favoured pin end he sailed smart, kept out of trouble and cruised home in fifth place to secure his second Gold Cup win.
The fifth and final race was a stunner with constant place changes and a nail-biting last leg to decide second and third overall that saw Gilmour, sailing for the Yanmar Racing Team with Yasuhiro Yaji and Sam Gilmour, take his first race win of the series from Germany’s Jan Woortman.
Behind him Dragon World and European Champion Wolf Waschkuhn of Switzerland, sailing with Joao Vidinha and Charles Nankin, knew that to beat Gilmour for the silver medal he needed to finish fourth or better.
As he came to the line he was neck and neck with Britian’s Graham Bailey and Smith. Right on the line Bailey surged in to take third and all eyes turned to see if Smith would get past him or not.
By just a matter of a few feet Waschkuhn took fourth place to secure the second step on the podium with Gilmour on the third.
In the Corinthian Division it all came down to the last race between Britain’s David Tabb sailing with Laerke Norgard and Graham Latham, and Austria’s Christoph Skolaut, sailing with George Skolaut and Martin Lutz, who went into the day on equal points.
Tabb got the upper hand on the first beat and although Skolaut did his best to catch up it wasn’t to be. On the line Tabb finished in eighth place and claimed the Dragon Gold Cup Corinthian Trophy.
Skolaut took twelfth in the race and the silver medal, and third overall in the Corinthian Division went to Ireland’s Neil Hegarty, Peter Bowring and David Williams.
In his thank you speech Lawrie said, “Before I thank other people I need to thank these guys [his crew]. I don’t sail that much and Ruaridh and Goncalo kind of get me and Animal [Richard Parslow] just to do what we’re told as we’re a bit old for this, but we hung in there, so thanks guys.”
“Also, thanks to an awful lot of people who helped us when we broke the mast the other day, that was really appreciated as without you we’d not be here.”
This year the Nations Cup was won by the British team of Lawrie Smith’s Alfie, Grant Gordon’s Louise Racing and David Tabb’s True Story.
Dragon Gold Cup 2023 – Final Leaders after day 6, 5 races (49 entries)
1st – Lawrie Smith, GBR815, Alfie – 1, 3, 2.7(RDGc), 3, 4, 5 = 17.5 pts
2nd – Wolf Waschkuhn, SUI318, 1quick1 – 4, 4, 12, 6, 4 = 30 pts
3rd – Peter Gilmour, JPN56, YRed – 3, 12, 13, 2, 1 = 31 pts
4th – Stephan Link, GER62, Dessert Holly – 13, 10, 6, 5, 6 = 40 pts
5th – Bo Johansen, DEN423, Deja Vu Ver. 2.0 – 2, 24, 1, 2, 1, 15 = 45 pts