Five visitors from as far afield as Lowestoft joined local boats at last weekend's Dragon open meeting at Plymouth

Five visitors from as far afield as Lowestoft joined local boats at last weekend’s Dragon open meeting at Plymouth. Organised by the Royal Western Yacht Club with the generous support of leading estate agents Knight Frank, the event was a West Country warm up to this year’s Edinburgh Cup in Torbay in June and the Gold Cup in Falmouth Bay in July. Seven races were scheduled over windward-leeward courses and all completed, thanks to race officer Mike Pearson’s skilled judgement in mostly light airs.

The first three races fell to Paul Patenall’s ‘Excalibur’ from the Royal Corinthian, with Martin Payne, fresh from victory in the Iberian Trophy, in his crew. Gavia Wilkinson-Cox (Royal Torbay), sailing the late, great Pat Dyas’ last boat, ‘Jerboa III’, took the next two, with Alan Bulmer in ‘Temeraire’ beginning to show form with a brace of seconds and Patenall solid with two thirds.

Monday saw ‘Temeraire’ taking the first race with ‘Excalibur’ and ‘Jerboa’ down the fleet. The final race saw them in the same order at the last mark but at this time at the back of the fleet. It was a discard race for both ‘Excalibur’ and ‘Jerboa’, and the first of those had the series in the bag. Bulmer’s ‘Temeraire’, however, crewed by daughter Roz and former Royal Western commodore and Sigma 33 national champion Mark Heseltine, pulled out a further place on the final run to take second overall from Wilkinson-Cox by a single point.

Tom Mehew in Comanche was rewarded for the journey from the East Coast with a final race victory. Last overall, David Jephcott, who has sailed his classic Dragon ‘Moonbeam’ in Plymouth Sound for some years, took as consolation prize the knowledge that his initiative had produced some excellent one-design racing and a consensus amongst visitors, sponsor and host club that an expanded event should be organized next year.

Overall Results

1st GBR 576 Excalibur – Paul Patenall (Royal Corinthian Y C) 14pts

2nd GBR 648 Temeraire – Alan Bulmer (Royal Western Y C) 16pts

3rd GBR 671 Jerboa III – Gavia Wilkinson-Cox (Royal Torbay Y C) 17pts