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Capsize and recovery.......

Plans, designs and rules are always easy to make on paper, but it is nice to know that they work in practice too.

After a hair-raising weekend on the Medway in gusty strong wind conditions we received an e-mail from a sailor who was delighted with the performance of his new 2009 Petticrows Dragon in the testing conditions:

“We had a serious broach on Saturday and were knocked flat for some seconds in a violent backing squall. The boat took a considerable amount of water but I am pleased to say that when she righted herself, she was buoyant, water was constrained in the centre of the boat and when Catriona went forward to get the spinnaker down, the boat remained stable both laterally and longitudinally due to the buoyant ends. Water was out of the boat in 3 mins with some pumping from us. We never felt in any serious danger but am quite sure that it would have been much less pleasant in an older boat.”

Testing in situ has proved that the changes made to the class rules have been effective in improving the overall safety of the Dragon class and will help to maintain its status as the world’s premier small keelboat.