The East Coast Dragon championship at Medway YC this coming weekend counts as a qualifying event for international championship

The East Coast Dragon Championship, which is scheduled to take place at Medway YC this coming weekend (29-31 May), will bring together a number of top helmsmen from around the country.

The championship is one of the top British Dragon events and count as a qualifying event for international championship as well as being part of the Citron Trophy.

Among the hot favourites for the silverware is last year’s winner, professional helmsman Martin Payne, from Torbay, who is also the holder of the Citron Trophy and this year won the Iberian Championship held in Spain and Portugal. Another front-runner is Rory Bowman of Aldeburgh Yacht Club, who has won the national Edinburgh Trophy four times in the last decade. More visitors with a podium chance are Ricky Gillingham, also of Aldeburgh YC, the holder of two national titles, and Graham Bailey from the Solent who took third at last year’s Cowes Dragon event. Local hopefuls are Medway Yacht Club’s Peter Dann, the 1995 Edinburgh Cup winner and Len Jones, the skipper of the most successful Medway boat for the last three years.

There will be five races on windward/leeward courses in Long Reach and Kethole Reach, two on the Saturday and Sunday and one on Monday prior to the prize presentation. There is also a busy social scene over the weekend for the couple of hundred people involved as crew or supporters of what is expected to be a fleet of about 30 boats.