Over 250 boats from 31 countries entered for an unmissable regatta

The 75th Anniversary regatta of the International Dragon Class, is expecting an astonishing total of 250 boats from 31 countries to cross the start line in the Bay of St Tropez in October 2004.

The Chairman of the Organising Committee, Chris Dicker says; ‘We have now been forced to close the list with enquiries still coming in. We have confirmed slightly over 250 entries in the expectation that a few will drop out and we will end up with very close to 250 boats on the water.’

For most of the races, which begin on 11 October 2004 the fleet will be divided into five groups but for the 75th Anniversary Race on 14 October 2004, the entire fleet will start together.

Twelve members of European Royalty have accepted to be Honorary Patrons and at least four are expected to take part in the racing. His Majesty King Constantine, who is President of the International Dragon Association and an Olympic Gold Medalist, His Royal Highness, Prince Henrik of Denmark, IDA Vice-President and a regular competitor in Dragon events, and His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain who competes at the highest level in sailing events and His Majesty King Carl Gustav of Sweden have all indicated that they will participate in some if not all of the races.

Apart from King Constantine, several other Olympic Medalists are entered: Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen, Valdemar Bandolowski, both Soling gold medalists and Peder Lunde from Norway who took gold in the Flying Dutchman in 1960, the same year that Prince Constantine (as he then was) won the Dragon gold. Ulli Libor who won silver in the Flying Dutchman in 1968 is one of several stars from the past who have returned to top-level sailing via the Dragon. Jacques Rogge, Chairman of the International Olympic Committee who raced in the Moth and Finn classes and also competed in the Olympics will be able to relax in St Tropez after the heavy responsibilities of Athens.

The main part of the fleet – as near to 215 boats as possible – will be divided into four groups which will compete against each other alternately to produce ‘gold’, ‘silver’ and ‘bronze’ fleets for the final races. In addition, about 35 ‘classic’ dragons, built prior to 1972, will race in their own group. The entire fleet will race together in a Grand 75th Anniversary Race on 14 October 2004.

Entries for the Anniversary Regatta reflect the strong level of interest from European countries with Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, The Netherlands, and Sweden providing the bulk of the fleet. However it is fascinating and encouraging to find entries from much more distant countries such as Cayman Islands, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and Singapore and at least three from Russia which is returning to this type of sailing after a long absence.

For more information log onto the International Dragon Association website: www.intdragon.com