This weekend the British Dragon Fleet will invade the Royal Lymington Yacht Club in preparation for the 2014 edition of its historic Edinburgh Cup, supported by Aberdeen Asset Management, which kicks off on Sunday 6 July. The Edinburgh Cup is one of the oldest and most prestigious trophies in British yachting and has been awarded to the winner of the British Open Dragon Championship since HRH Prince Philip presented it to the class in 1949.
The Edinburgh Cup always attracts a strong entry and this year is no exception with the entry list including defending Edinburgh Cup Champion and 2011 Dragon World Champion Lawrie Smith, sailing GBR771 Finto with Tim Tavinor and Simon Fry, and defending Corinthian Edinburgh Cup Champion Julia Bailey in GBR720 Aimee crewed by Graham Bailey, Keith Tippell and Will Heritage. The 24 strong fleet also includes entries from the USA, in the shape of USA310 Hombre, helmed by Ted Sawyer and crewed by Martin Payne and Mark Hart, and Japan with Bocci Aoyama’s JPN50 Yevis II crewed by Tetsuya Sasaki and Norio Igei.
Those who will be equally determined to get their name on the trophy this year include Mark Dicker, sailing GBR610 Rackham who put in several very good individual race performances in last year’s Weymouth based Dragon World Championship and Quentin Strauss in GBR708 Rumours, who claimed the Edinburgh Cup in 2009 when sailing with Bill Hardesty and who has been showing excellent form recently. There is also a very strong field of Corinthian competitors such as Julian Sowry in GBR755 Scimitar, Mark Wade in GBR722 Avalanch, Martin Makey in GBR704 Ganador, and Rob Campell sailing GBR788 Quicksilver VI.
Alongside the main Edinburgh Cup racing, which will take place in Christchurch Bay, many of the teams will also be sailining in the fun Chairman’s Decanter three race series, which gives crew members the chance to have a go on the helm and uses an informal handicapping system to ensure everyone has an equal chance of victory. There will also be the traditional Edinburgh Cup Crew’s Race, which can be a cutthroat affair!
Alongside excellent racing the competitors will also enjoy a fantastic social programme starting with a Welcome Reception on Saturday 5 July and including the Edinburgh Cup Gala Dinner on Wednesday 9 July and a final Prize Giving and BBQ on Friday 11 July. Event sponsor Harken have invited the competitors to join them for a rum reception and daily prize giving at the Harken office in Lymington on Monday 7 July where guests will also get a chance to view some of the latest products Harken has developed and to hear about its involvement in the America’s Cup and other big events .
The British Dragon Association is also grateful to class sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management for their ongoing support of British Dragon sailing, and to event sponsors Zhik, Pantaenius sail and motor yacht insurance, and Williams Shipping, who are all generously supporting the 2014 Edinburgh Cup through sponsorship and prize contributions.
Registration for the regatta will take place from 10.00 on Saturday 5 July and will be followed by a Skippers Briefing and Welcome Drinks at 18.00. Racing will run from Sunday 6 to Friday 11 July with up to six races being scheduled of which a minimum of four must be sailed to constitute a series. A discard will be allowed once five races have been sailed.