Regatta Chairman Gavia Wikinson-Cox Invites you to the 2017 Dragon Edinburgh Cup in Cowes

Calling all Dragon sailors – GBR and ALL Dragon nationalities. This is your Captain speaking!

I am honoured to be the Chairman of the 2017 Edinburgh Cup, which will be held in Cowes, Isle of Wight from 8 to 15 July.

On behalf of the British Dragon Association, the Cowes Dragon Fleet is busy making arrangements to ensure that Cowes is your 2017 Destination for Dragon racing.  Many of you have often said ‘one day I’ll race in Cowes’ – well this is your year to do so!
We have a fabulous package of very special regattas, with special International and Isle of Wight ferry rates, special marina rates and special Cowes Week entry fees – a full week of sailing, a full week of social events – a truly special package in total!


One of the Dragon fleet’s most prestigious trophies is the Edinburgh Cup, which was presented to the class in 1949 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and is awarded annually to the winner of the International Dragon British Open Championship. That first Edinburgh Cup in 1949 was raced on the Solent and hosted by the Island Sailing Club.

In 2017 the Edinburgh Cup in its 69th year will return to the Island Sailing Club once more, the fifth time the club has hosted the event and its twelfth visit to Cowes.


The Edinburgh Cup regatta week is in fact two separate regattas rolled into the week (the South Coast Championship as well as the Edinburgh Cup).  Additionally, I am able to extend the special rates offered to also encompass Cowes Week 2017.

We have early indication of some 40/50 boats and some 15+ international entries.


The NORs, for the UK South Coast Championship and Edinburgh Cup are now live and full info is available at (click on Competitor Information), where you should find ALL that you need to compete!


And. . . .  ‘one day I’ll do Cowes Week’!  2017 is YOUR year!  Thanks to the Edinburgh Cup we are able to extend special arrangements to encompass your Cowes Week participation too.

A truly special offer from Cowes Week! For non GBR Dragons a 20% discount on early bird race entry fees!  For NOR and details of how to enter go to: (Under ‘Taking Part’ you will find ‘Race Documents’ and ‘Enter for 2017’).


Shepards Wharf Marina will be the ‘home’ for all visiting Dragons for the Edinburgh Cup.  Following which they extend a Special Offer for post Edinburgh Cup storage and for Cowes Week launching, berthing and trailer storage.   See the NORs for full information.


Brittany Ferries Discount Offer
  • We are pleased to announce Brittany Ferries offer, a discount of some 10%.
  • A Discount Activation Code can be sent on request when Edinburgh Cup/South Coast entry is made (and by request for Cowes Week Dragon entrants).
Arriving from Cascais after the Worlds?
  • Take Brittany Ferries from Santander or Bilbao direct to Portsmouth, UK
Arriving via France?
  • Take Brittany Ferries (Caen, Le Havre, St Malo, Cherbourg) direct to Portsmouth, UK
Going to the Europeans, Lake Thun?
  • Take Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to French ferry ports
  • Plenty of time after Cowes Week to travel to Lake Thun

Red Funnel offer an exclusive discount for Dragon competitors of the Edinburgh Cup (and Cowes Week).  For full information see the NORs.
  • If arriving via Portsmouth – its a short drive to Southampton and in reverse for departure!
  • A full and fun packed schedule of social events is organised!
  • Daily postrace food and drink with Prizegiving and Raffle, all at the Island Sailing Club.
  • The Cowes Dragon Fleet’s ‘Home Entertainment’ evening for all competitors and their accompanying guests – you are invited to dinner in our homes!
  • South Coast Prizegiving/Edinburgh Cup Welcome BBQ and party
  • And, the grand finale of the week, the Edinburgh Cup Celebration – Prizegiving, Dinner, Dancing and Entertainment on Friday 14 July.

    A formal evening with formal dress to which not only Dragon sailors but members of Cowes yacht clubs and day boat classes are also invited.  A true celebration – with a lot of fun to be enjoyed by all!

Tickets for Social Events:  
  • Each competing Dragon receives 3 free tickets to all ticketed events.
  • Extra tickets can be purchased – see booking form on the web site.
  • The Edinburgh Cup Celebration – 14 July:  special instructions for booking tickets to this event will be available shortly.  We anticipate keen demand for tickets – we urge you to book your tickets early to avoid the disappointment of missing out! 
You can find more information, and how to enter, at:

So, go on line – and enter!  We look forward to welcoming you to the Edinburgh Cup and Dragon sailing in Cowes.

Do contact me if I can be of any additional help.

Stand by for regular updates and see you in Cowes!
Gavia Signature
Chairman, Organising Committee
Edinburgh Cup 2017 Cowes
M: +44 (0)7973 165 888
T: +44 (0)1983 299961


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Island Sailing Club, Cowes, to host the 69th Edition of the historic Dragon Edinburgh Cup

DragonEdinburghCup_pfm002.jpgDesigned in 1929, the International Dragon combines classic elegance with grand prix performance, the world’s greatest sailing venues and some of the best sailors on the planet.  One of the Dragon fleet’s most prestigious trophies is the Edinburgh Cup, which was presented to the class in 1949 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and is awarded annually to the winner of the International Dragon British Open Championship. That first Edinburgh Cup in 1949 was raced on the Solent and hosted by the Island Sailing Club, with the inaugural winners being Frank Woodroffe and Clare Lallow.

In 2017 the Edinburgh Cup will return to the Island Sailing Club once more, the fifth time the club has hosted the event and its twelfth visit to Cowes. More than 40 teams from at least 13 nations will compete from 8 to 14 July in a twin regatta event, opening with the Dragon South Coast Championship from 8 to 10 July, and culminating in the Edinburgh Cup from 11 to 14 July.

“The Island Sailing Club is extremely proud of its long association with the International Dragon Class and in particular with the Edinburgh Cup.  The members of the Club presented The Duke of Edinburgh and the then Princess Elizabeth with a Dragon on the occasion of their wedding in 1948, so can truly claim to have been instrumental in the Duke’s close association with the class.  We are very pleased to continue that close relationship through the Edinburgh Cup’s return to the Island Sailing Club this year.” Said Chris Thomas, Sailing Secretary of the Island Sailing Club.

The Dragon fleet is well known for its ability to combine serious competition with a full après sailing programme and the event’s parties will hark back to the glamorous joie de vivre of the 1940s.  The Edinburgh Cup Prize Giving Celebration Dinner Dance will be a black-tie evening and there will be social events throughout the week.

The entry list is expected to include not only the UK’s top crews, but teams from Antigua, Italy, Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium and as far afield as Finland, France, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, Ireland, Turkey, Denmark, Germany, Japan and Australia.  Among those racing will be British Olympic bronze medallist Lawrie Smith, who claimed the trophy in 2013 and will no doubt be hoping to make it a hat-trick.

In 1949 Clare Aisher took second place in the opening race of the regatta and lady helms have put in good results on many occasions since.  However, it wasn’t until 2015 that the Edinburgh Cup was finally won by a woman, when Julia Bailey claimed the winner’s laurels in Largs.  Julia is also returning to the fray this year in the hope of a second victory, although having crewed husband Graham to victory in Lymington in 2014, it would actually be her third time on the winning boat in four years.

Regatta Chairman Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, who will herself be competing, commented: “I am thrilled that the Edinburgh Cup is once again returning to the Isle of Wight and to Cowes. The Island Sailing Club’s reputation for regatta management is second to none, and we are expecting a strong fleet from across Europe, Asia, Australasia and the Caribbean.  Our own UK fleet will also be out in force and we look forward to welcoming our visitors and offering them not only great racing but also a vibrant social programme in the great tradition of the Dragon Fleet.  We have outstanding support from our sponsor partners Visit Isle of Wight, Destination Cowes, Red Funnel and Shepards Wharf Marina whose generosity will help to ensure this is an exceptional event.”

Speaking on behalf of Visit Isle of Wight and Destination Cowes Mark McNeill, Chairman of Destination Cowes, added “Yachting plays a huge role in the day to day life of the Isle of Wight and we are extremely proud that the International Dragon Class has chosen Cowes and the Island Sailing Club for this year’s Edinburgh Cup”. David Thornton of Visit Isle of Wight confirmed: “We are working in close partnership with Gavia and her team to create a truly unique event and look forward to welcoming the visitors in July and making their stay in Cowes a memorable one.”

Red Funnel has created a special ferry travel offer to transport the boats and teams to and from the Island, details of which will be available from the event website

Shepards Wharf Marina will provide berthing, launching and recovery for visiting Dragons at a special rate and the Island Sailing Club will provide a launch service from the club to the moorings and marinas. Extended versions of the packages from Red Funnel and Shepards Wharf  are also available to any Dragons wishing to remain on the Island to participate in Cowes Week.

The Notices of Race  and Online Entry for the British Dragon South Coast Championship and Edinburgh Cup  are now available at

For further information about this event please contact Regatta Chairman Gavia Wilkinson-Cox on 07973 165888 or

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Notices Of Race And Entry Forms Now Published

IMG_9264The Notices of Race for the South Coast Championship and the Edinburgh Cup, together with the related entry, social, crew and sail registrations forms are now available online in the Competitor Information area.

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Destination Cowes 2017


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Photo Gallery Now Updated

IMG_9307With apologies for the delay (due to a technical issue) we can now confirm that the online gallery of photos for this event is now available.  Competitors can download the full size image files direct from the site free of charge.  Click here to view gallery.

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Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2016 – Final Report

P1030392 (1)The Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2016 Supported by Gwynedd Council ‘Wales 2016 Year of Adventure – Snowdonia Mountains & Coast’ came to a spectacular conclusion off Abersoch as the 35 strong fleet enjoyed one finalrace in glorious sunshine, big waves and a brisk west-south-westerly of 18-22 knots. Going into the day the only way that second placed Grant Gordon, Kasper Harsberg and Ruihrihd Scott sailing GBR780 Louise could overtake leader Lawrie Smith sailing GBR801 Alfie with Joost Houweling and Adam Bowers was to finish first and hope that Smith finished seventh or worse. Meanwhile Mike Budd, Jeremy Entwistle and Mark Greeves in GBR793 Harry needed to win the race and have Gordon finish seventh or worse to enable them to move up into second.

Smith, Houweling and Bowers are three of the most skilled and experienced sailors you could hope to see in a Dragon and if you ever wanted a lesson in how to win a championship this was the day to be spectating. As soon as Race Officer Malcolm Blackburn had the fleet under starters orders is was clear that Smith had no intention of letting his rival out of his sights.  “We knew what we had to do and that’s what we focused on. Starting in the right place or going the right way up the first beat weren’t important, just that we kept Grant under control.” Explained Joost Houweling after racing.  And keep him under control they did with masterful poise through the prestart and up the first beat.  At the first mark Neil Hegarty sailing IRL176 Phantom with David Williams and Peter Bowring led Mike Budd off down the run, whilst Smith and Gordon were buried well down into the pack.

Dragon Edinburgh Cup Champion 2016 Lawrie Smith – (c)

Smith kept Gordon right where he wanted him on the first run and having ensured he had neutralised the threat Smith let loose and began to make places up through the fleet, leaving Gordon trailing in his wake. It’s a sheer joy to watch a great sailors put Dragons through their paces upwind and as the breeze built on the final leg the spectators got to enjoy some textbook big wave sailing. Smith continued to pick off boats all the way up the leg, while Budd, conscious that Gordon was well down the fleet, put all his energies into getting past Hegarty to win the race. On the line Hegarty just managed to hold off Budd for line honours, James Peters, David Cummings and James Dawson aboard GBR662 Yeah Baby took third and Smith snuck in for fourth, a gnat’s whisker ahead of Mark Dicker, Selina Dicker and James Campbell in GBR610 Rackham and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, Mark Hart and Tim Tavinor in GBR761 Jerboa.

With the final points calculated Lawrie Smith, Joost Houweling and Adam Bowers were declared the Edinburgh Cup 2016 Champions by an eight-point margin – the second time that Lawrie has won this historic trophy. The fight for second went to countback with Gordon and Budd counting 17 points apiece and Gordon just pipping Budd for the second step on the podium.

Dragon Edinburgh Cup Corinthian Champion 2016 Mike Budd

Whilst Mike Budd, Jeremy Entwistle and Mark Greeves were disappointed not to have taken second overall, they were none the less delighted to have won the Corinthian Dragon Edinburgh Cup Trophy by five points from Mark Dicker. Third place in the Corinthians came down to another tie breaker with Neil Hegarty and Rob Campbell both on 16 points, a single point behind Dicker, and Hegarty taking third on countback.

Dragon Edinburgh Cup Vintage Champion 2016 Mark Dicker

As well as second Corinthian, Mark Dicker, sister Selina Dicker and cousin James Campbell also won the Vintage Division Trophy for boats built at least 20 years ago. The Dragons have always had a reputation for outstanding build quality and this can be clearly seen in the number of older boats that have performed well this week. Second place in the Vintage Division went to GBR746 Beauty & The Beast, helmed by Peter Marchant with Katie Cole and Andy Biddle, while GBR655 Phormerly Phantom helmed by Chris Thomas and crewed by Selina Thomas and George Bird-Jones came third.

Despite the occasional lack of sunshine, the Dragons have enjoyed both outstanding racing and truly exceptional hospitality this week in Abersoch. Special thanks must go to Race Officer Malcolm Blackburn and his team who did an excellent job of completing all six championship races in what were often very tricky conditions. The Abersoch Dragon Fleet and the team at South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club have pulled out all the stops to make the fleet welcome and to organise an outstanding championship. At the Prize Giving Gala Dinner British Dragon Association Chairman Tim Wilkes paid tribute to the dozens of volunteers who have given up so much of their time to make this event possible and particularly thanked Abersoch Dragon Fleet Captain Rob Riddell for his work not only on this regatta, but in creating a 21 strong club fleet at Abersoch from scratch in less than 10 years. He also thanked the club’s administrative and hospitality staff for keeping the fleet organised, fed and watered in incomparable style.

Martin Payne interviews Edinburgh Cup Winners Mark Dicker (Vintage), Lawrie Smith (Overall) and Mike Budd (Corinthian)
Martin Payne interviews Edinburgh Cup Winners Mark Dicker (Vintage), Lawrie Smith (Overall) and Mike Budd (Corinthian)

In his Edinburgh Cup acceptance speech Lawrie Smith, a man not normally known for his verbosity at prize givings, not only thanked the organisers, but confirmed that the support and assistance extended to the competitors at this event and the standard of race management he had seen during the week were some of the best he has ever seen and that he would be delighted to compete in any regatta organised by the club.  He also thanked his crew and his fellow competitors, particularly Grant Gordon and the Louise team, for the outstanding racing.

The 2017 Dragon Edinburgh Cup will be raced from Cowes and will run concurrently with Panerai British Classic Week from 8 to 15 July 2017. Further information about the event will be available shortly at

Further information, news, results and photographs from the Edinburgh Cup 2016 are available from and via the British Dragon Association Facebook Page or by contacting BDA Press Officer Fiona Brown on, +44 (0)7711 718470 or Skype fpbrown.

Additional and high resolution images are available on request from Andy Green –





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Stav Interviews Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2016 Winners

On the final night of the Dragon Edinburgh Cup 2016 in Abersoch Martin “Stavros” Payne interviewed winners Lawrie Smith (overall), Mike Budd (Corinthian) and Mark Dicker (Vintage).

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