2012 Dragon Northern Area Championship: Down to a tie-breaker

Dragon Northern Area Championship
The 2012 Dragon Northern Area Championship came down to a tie-breaker after seven incredibly tough races over three days, 30 June to 3 July.

The event, sponsored by Belfast Harbour, attracted 32 competitors - the best entry in many years - including teams from Monaco and Australia as well as from across the UK and Ireland.


The quality of competition at the regatta was incredibly high with every mark rounding action packed and the difference between a podium place and mid fleet being just a matter of seconds in almost every race. The Race Committee was at the top of its game as they brought seven great races to the fleet despite some very shifty and variable conditions. Those seven races featured six different race winners and going into the final day the top four boats were separated by only five points.

As they went into the final race it was still anyone's regatta with Julia Bailey, crewed in Aimee by husband Graham, Dylan Potter and eleven year old Will Heritage holding a narrow lead on 19 points. A single point behind in second was Klaus Diederichs, sailing Fever with Andy Beadsworth and Jamie Lee. In third was Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, sailing Jerboa with Martin Payne and Rui Boia counting 23 points and in fourth was Chris Hunt, sailing Dark and Stormy with Mark Hart and Mark Daly, on 25 points. The overall points however were not fully known to the competitors as the class has a no VHF communication rule at its major championships and therefore did not know the identity of a single boat called over the start line (OCS) in the penultimate race. All four knew they had been close to the line and that no boat had returned across the line so almost any of them could be the disqualified boat.

With the wind constantly varying in both velocity and direction as rain showers rolled down across the hills from the south it was to be the toughest race of the series. For Diederichs and Bailey tricky starts were compounded by missed shifts and both boats scored their worst results of the regatta to put them out of the overall running. So it was down to Wilkinson-Cox and Hunt to fight it out for the laurels and what a fight it was with the two boats within yards of each other throughout the race. On the line Hunt just got the better of the situation finishing the race in second place with Wilkinson-Cox in fourth. Looking back down the fleet Wilkinson-Cox knew the points were tight but feared that her fourth place hadn't been sufficient and in fact was worried about whether she'd made the podium at all. It wasn't until she arrived back at the club house sometime later that she discovered that the OCS boat had been Simon Brien and that she had just snatched the 2012 Dragon Northern Area Championship on count-back from Hunt with Diederichs third and Bailey fourth.

Dragon Northern Area Championship

At the prize giving dinner Gavia Wilkinson-Cox paid tribute to the regatta organisers led by Simon Brien, to her crew and to the quality of the competition saying. 'Simon has already very eloquently thanked all those involved with running this event, but on behalf of everybody here I want to say the hugest thank to Simon. Nobody could have done more than he has to get everybody here. The other thank you of course goes to my crew Stavros and Rui - two fantastic sailors. And finally thank you all for being fantastic competitors and for the tough racing.'

The Corinthian Trophy, for the first all amateur crew, went to Julia Bailey in Aimee, while Mark and Mandy Wade, sailing Avalanche with Simon Cash were Corinthian runners up and fifth overall. The Old Boat Trophy, for the top performance by one of the classic boats in the fleet, went to Sou'wester which was recently brought back to life after 16 years in storage by her crew of owner John Simms, John Gunning and Alan Morrison, who proved that there's plenty of life in the old girl yet by finishing 13th overall. Special mention must also go to Monaco's Jens Rathsack sailing Jeanie with Stefan Waak and Mario Wagner for being the only team to win two races in the regatta and who finished sixth overall.

Tomorrow the Edinburgh Cup - the Dragon British Open Championship - sponsored by Belfast Harbour gets underway and with the fleet growing to 46 teams with the addition of reigning World Champion and Olympic Bronze Medallist Lawrie Smith, reigning Edinburgh Cup Champion Martin Byrne, Double Olympic Gold Medallist and five time Edinburgh Cup Champion Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen and 2008 Edinburgh Cup Champion Don O'Donoghue, to name but a few, it will not only be the biggest Edinburgh Cup fleet in more than quarter of a century but also one of the toughest ever assembled.

The 2012 Edinburgh Cup sponsored by Belfast Harbour runs from Wednesday 4 to Saturday 7 July with up to six races scheduled. Racing will continue on Belfast Lough but the fleet will move seawards down the lough to allow for a much larger championship race course with beats of up to two miles. Once five races have been completed a single discard will be allowed.

Dragon Northern Area Championship

Dragon Northern Area Championship

Dragon Northern Area Championship

Dragon Northern Area Championship


International Dragon Class Northern Championships - Overall
RankBoatSailNoHelmNameClubCrewNameCrewName2R1R2R3R4R5R6R7Nett
1stJERBOA761GAVIA WILKINSON-COXRCYCSTAVROS PAYNERUI BOIA5.06.06.05.01.0(10.0)4.027.0
2ndDARK & STORMY768CHRISTOPHER HUNTRYSMARK HARTMARK DALY4.04.03.0(14.0)3.011.02.027.0
3rdFEVER758KLAUS DIEDERICHSRORCANDY BEADSWORTHJAMIE LEE8.02.04.02.09.04.0(15.0)29.0
4thAIMEE720JULIA BAILEYRYSGRAHAM BAILEYDYLAN POTTER & WILL HERITAGE2.07.0(18.0)1.02.07.016.035.0
5thAVALANCHE722MARK WADERCYCAMANDA WADESIMON CASH7.05.0(24.0)11.05.06.03.037.0
6thJEANIEN 2RATHSACK JENSMYCWAAK STEFANWAGNER MARIO6.012.010.0(19.0)17.01.01.047.0
7thFEI-LEN'S FLIRTATION633RON JAMESRFYCJULIA WALSHNIGEL YOUNG16.01.07.06.010.0(28.0)14.054.0
8thSCIMITAR755JULIAN SOWRYMYCCLAIRE SOWRYNEIL O'HAGAN(26.0)8.09.012.015.02.08.054.0
9thCHIMAERA216ANDREW CRAIGRSTGYCMAURICE O'CONNELLMARK PETTITT1.015.011.0(25.0)4.015.020.066.0
10thKIN214SIMON BRIENRNIYCMARK BRIENDAVID GOMES13.013.01.015.012.0(33.0 OCS)13.067.0
11thBLUE MOVIE690DAVID ATKINSONSUNDERLAND YCJOHN OUTWAITEMICHAEL MATHEWS3.03.016.08.020.0(25.0)17.067.0
12thWHISPER213John DriscolRSTGYCGavin PollardAlan Mc(27.0)14.05.07.07.013.025.071.0
13thSOU'WESTER436JOHN SIMMSRUYCJOHN GUNNINGALAN MORRISON15.022.017.09.013.0(27.0)10.086.0
14thFIT CHICK753JONO RATNAGEMEDWAY YCROSS MCKISSOCKGUY CLARABUT18.017.0(23.0)13.019.012.011.090.0
15thTENACIOUS157ANTHONY O'NEILLKYCOLIVER LOUGHEADEOGHAN O'NEILL25.019.014.04.011.019.0(29.0)92.0
16thQUICKSILVER V766ROBERT CAMPBELLRCYCROBERT ALPEIAN GRAY24.0(33.0 OCS)15.010.018.017.09.093.0
17thJAGUAR201Pedro AndradeRSTGYCRory GrahamRyan Seaton10.0(33.0 DNF)33.0 BFD3.06.09.033.0 DNF94.0
18thCLOUD206STEVIE MILNERSTGYCCLARE HOGANMARK ENNIS14.011.026.0(33.0 OCS)16.016.012.095.0
19thSeabird204OWEN PAYRCYCSTEVE RICHARDSONJON MORTIMER12.0(33.0 OCS)25.017.023.014.05.096.0
20thHANDS OFF760MIKE HOLMESRCYCPAUL FLETCHERROSS VAUGHAN / TOM HARRISON9.0(33.0 OCS)28.026.08.05.021.097.0
21stRUMOURS708QUENTIN STRAUSSUPPER THAMES SCNIKKI STRAUSSHARRY STRAUSS17.018.021.016.021.08.0(24.0)101.0
22ndNAIAD764MICHAEL HAYLESAYCMONIQUE HAYLESALEX MACDONALD21.0(33.0 OCS)2.024.025.024.06.0102.0
23rdNEREID717PATRICK GIFFORDALDERBURGH YCPAUL SPRINGETTANDREW VAUGHAN19.016.08.0(33.0 OCS)27.020.019.0109.0
24thGANADOR704MARTIN MAKEYRCYCTIM WILKESTERESA WILKES20.010.013.018.026.0(30.0)22.0109.0
25thWHIMSEY206GORDON INGATERSYSJAMES BEVISWILL GIBBON(29.0)24.019.021.029.03.026.0122.0
26thEVE150EAN PUGHMONACOALAR VOLMERMICHAEL MANZKE28.020.020.020.014.021.0(33.0 OCS)123.0
27thMERLIN622ROBERT RIDDELLSCYCDEBORAH JONAGEORGINA DEWAS23.025.0(27.0)22.024.026.07.0127.0
28thGrey Hare19Shaun KingstonKYCJack Kingston 11.023.022.023.0(33.0 DNF)29.023.0131.0
29thVALANGA210SANDY ANDERSONRFBYCJOHN MONCRIEFFKaren Chatfield22.09.029.027.0(30.0)22.028.0137.0
30thBEAR767GORDON PATTERSONRNIYCGAVIN VAUGHANMIKE VAUGHAN(30.0)21.012.028.028.023.027.0139.0
31stAMAZON557GRAHAM PRICEABERSOCHPATRICK LOMAXTRACEY POWELL(33.0 DNC)26.030.029.022.018.030.0155.0
32ndDIVA210DON O'DONOGHUERSTGROB JOHNSONRob Johnson(33.0 DNC)33.0 DNC33.0 DNC33.0 DNC33.0 DNC33.0 DNC18.0183.0
  

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