Midas Touch for Petticrows
British Petticrows Dragons take top four places at Dragon Gold Cup
Petticrows Ltd – builder of world class one-design racing yachts – added another Dragon Gold Cup win to its already impressive haul of 13 previous wins, and also took the next three places overall.
Leading the field was Lawrie Smith sailing with Joost Houweling and Tim Tavinor, aboard the recent Petticrows-built Prince Alfie (GBR 801). Smith and team sailed a consistent series in the ultra competitive 66-strong Gold Cup fleet in Kuhlungsborn, Germany and won the non-discard regatta series by a clear 16pt margin. In second place was Dmitry Samokhin, crewed by Andrey Kirilyuk and Aleksey Bushuev on Strange Little Girl (S 76) also Petticrows built.
Sinewave (GER 1133), Thomas Mueller Vincent Hoesch and Marc Pickel, and also Bunker Prince (UAE 8) Yevgen Braslavetz, Sergey Timokhov and Alexandr Mirchuk, complete the top four Gold Cup, Petticrows top four clean sweep. In sixth place, Petticrows starred again with Jerboa (GBR 761) sailed by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, Mark Hart and Kasper Harsberg.
With all races to count in the overall series, racing went right down to the wire. The eventual winners Team Prince Alfie entered the final race of the series with an 11pt advantage and after a final race sixth place, they extended their winning margin to 16 pts.
Commenting on winning the coveted Dragon Gold Cup, Lawrie Smith – British Olympic medallist and multiple Whitbread Round the World Race skipper – said: “I’ve never won this before so naturally pleased. It is one of the most historic yachting trophies around, and an honour to be presented with it. Bit of a responsibility to look after it, though, so I’ve handed it over to my crew for safe keeping!”
On racing the International Dragon class, Smith added: “I have always really enjoyed sailing the Dragon because it offers exceptional competition and is technical enough for me to enjoy playing around with the rig and settings. The Petticrows-built Dragon in particular performs really well in all conditions, and the build quality is exceptional. All in all the Petticrows Dragon is what it says on the box – World Class.”
Tim Tavinor – crewman and Petticrows Managing Director – commenting on the Dragon Gold Cup success, concluded: “Petticrows is naturally delighted to have finally won the Gold Cup for the 14th time, and secured the top four places overall. We have a long list of achievements in the class including world championship and Edinburgh Cup wins, but winning the Gold Cup in such a highly competitive fleet, is always special. Just a week after the end of the regatta, we are overwhelmed with interest and are currently working through new order enquiries.”
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Petticrows, established in 1896 in Burnham-on-Crouch, specialises in the build and development of world-class yachts that includes the International Dragon class, which spans over 27 years. The Petticrows total performance concept means everything is built-in-house to ensure consistent quality and attention to detail by a highly skilled and dedicated team. To date over 720 Petticrows Dragons have been produced and success extends to a total of 14 Gold Cup, 10 world championship, and 8 European championship wins.
Dragon production was originally masterminded by Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen – double Olympic gold medallist – but now is under the guidance of Tim Tavinor – expert boat builder and former Dragon world champion.
Tavinor’s extensive boatbuilding talent originates from the Olympic Finn class and his association with Devoti Finn in the early 1990s, which included the development of Ben Ainslie’s legendary triple Gold-medal winning Finn – Rita. Petticrows also oversaw the production of two gold medal-winning Ynglings.
The Petticrows Finn, now in full production, has already made its mark with its first major regatta victory earlier this year – a Gold medal at the ISAF sailing World Cup Weymouth for Giles Scott.
The company has also teamed up with Rannoch Adventure to build cutting edge ocean rowing boats in association with Charlie Pitcher – solo trans-Atlantic crossing world record holder.
About the Dragon
The elegant, long-keeled, three-person, Dragon, designed by Johan Anker in 1929, is one of the most popular and competitive one-design classes in the world.
It survived as an Olympic class for 24 years, and has strong fleets in over 30 countries including USA, Australia, Hong Kong, Russia and Japan. Germany with 255 boats registered has by far the largest fleet while the UK follows up in second with 116, 30 of which race regularly on The Solent.
One of the most significant events in the history of the class took place in October 2004 to celebrate the class 75th Anniversary. Dragon sailors from 36 nations took part and included the Class President (HM King Constantine of Greece), the Class Vice-President (HRH The Prince Consort of Denmark), Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, HM King Carl Gustav of Sweden, HRH Prince Albert of Monaco, International Olympic Committee President (Dr Jaques Rogge), and three time America's Cup winner Russell Coutts and many other Olympic medal winners.
About the Dragon Gold Cup
The International Dragon Cup, as it was originally known, was presented in 1937 by members of the Clyde Yacht Clubs’ Conference, with the intention of bringing together as many competitors of different nationalities as possible for yacht racing in a friendly spirit, in order to perpetuate the good feeling, which existed at the first International Clyde Fortnight.
This small, solid gold cup is contested annually in Europe and, because it is open with no qualification process, the regatta regularly attracts over 80 entries. Also, because of the unique, six races to count, no discard series format, competition is intense right to the very end.