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AUTUMN EVENTS : Wijnmaand in Alkmaar, Cannonball in Cowes, Gold Cup in Saint-Tropez

12 oktober 2017 om 22:06


17 Dragons and a fleet of Regenbogen (a typical Dutch class for less deep water) battled during two weekends at the Alkmaardermeer. The weekend of 30 September / 1st October was with perfect weather. During the second weekend ( 7-8 Oct) wind over 30 kts spoiled proper racing on Saturday. On the final day there was hardly any wind.

As during previous events of the Dutch Class, it was again team NED 422 (Jan, Olivier and Dominic Bakker) who won this annual autumn event. Henri Zuidwijk and his team sailed an excellent first weekend, resulting in a second place. However during the final weekend it was team NED 275 ( Ivo Kok, Remco van der Berg and Bart Peeters) who became second overall. All results can be seen at the page “Racing”. The pictures above will tell you how much fun it was racing at this relative small lake, hosted by the local club that is well known for its promotion of the Dragon class and its facilities to cater for the fleet.


Since 20 years Dragon sailors from the Royal London YC and the Royal Netherlands YC battle for an historic cannonball that was shot during one of the many naval battles between the British Navy and the Dutch Navy in the 17th century.

The format is team sailing. During those twenty years the Irish Royal St. George YC  joined this annual competiton, while the host is allowed to invite an additional team. This year there were no sufficient Dragons available in Cowes. The class has become less popular in this ‘Mekka of sailing’. Hence the Dragon sailors had to get accustomed to the J-70, which were provided by the Royal Yacht Squadron. Apart from too much wind on the 7th October and too little wind ( and mostly no wind) on the 8th, it was -as always- very nice to meet Dragon friends from other countries and to experience the fun and thrills of team racing. A sailing game that should be promoted more among clubs and fleets.

The RNLYC-team in Cowes wondering how the J-70 could be controlled at 20 kts of wind ( without a gennaker)

  smooth light air sailing, however with strong tide

Especially the experience to sail with hardly any wind and the strong tides at the Solent made it very special. We had to sail like crabs walk. More or less sideways. And much to Wouter van Dis and Philip de Koning’s  frustration they had to “ketch” (drop anchor) about one boat lenght from the finish line to keep that position. So we learned what the racing rules dictate when it comes to anchoring during a race. Penalties when you throw your anchor forward from the bow, unless you have a some speed left to advance the boat.


Whilst writing this, the first Dragons have arrived in Saint-Tropez for the Dragon Gold Cup 2017. A full house of 100 teams are to join this event since 1937. It’s the 80th anniversary of the event, however the 73th true Gold Cup Event. For obvious treasons it was difficult or impossible to sail international from 1940 – 1946. We look forward to a week with high pressure, generating good sailing conditions after 13:00 hrs by the local thermal wind called ‘Ponant’. It normally starts to blow at the entrance of the Golfe fcoming in from the east. It will gradually follow the direction of the sun, so it will shiftslowly from east to south-west / west and will build up gradually from Bf 2 to a strong Bf 4-5. Near sunset the wind will die down.

  NED 398 ‘en route’ in France during a pit stop at the Côte Roti.

We are proud that the Dutch fleet will have nine representatives, among which top teams ( Pieter Heerema and Marc Blees with Tim Tavinor) new teams ( NED 339 and NED 429) and the first Dutch V6 sailed by Max Vijzelaar with help from Jan Bakker.(However….the admin of Watersportverbond was on holidays, so Max has to sail with the  SWE 398 sail number…)