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 Race Report and Results - 2023

The 2023 Australian Championships for the International Dragon Class was presented by IDA NSW and hosted at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron on Sydney Harbour in the first week of January.

The regatta was finally sailed this year after several postponements due to the Covid pandemic. This was also the first presentation of the Prince Philip Cup since the passing of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.   A total of 13 boats attended the regatta – three from Western Australia, 2 two from Tasmania and two from Victoria and six from New South Wales.  The regatta combines the 3-race series for the Ted Albert Memorial Cup and the 8-race series for the Prince Philip Cup.
The Ted Albert Memorial Cup Series was sailed in classic sunny north-easterly conditions on Sydney Harbour on 02 January 2023 with 3 races on that day in an upwind / downwind format. The racing was an early indicator of the results throughout the week of the regatta with Nick Rogers from Tasmania on Karabos IX AUS 205 taking out first place with a 1 : 1 : 2 result with David Chapman from New South Wales on Ascalon AUS 209 in second place with 7 points and Damien Daniel from Victoria on Imagination AUD 179 in third place also with 7 points.
The Ted Albert Cup was donated by Ted Albert who was a keen Dragon sailor and twice winner of the Prince Philip Cup. He is the iconic Australian that founded the Albert Record label and went on to promote rock and roll bands and music from its infancy in Australia.  Ted Albert’s protégés in the music arena included the Easybeats, AC/DC and John Paul Young.
Unfortunately Day 1 of the regatta was marred by the loss of Richard Franklin’s boat Liquidity AUS 216 following a collision with a much larger boat but importantly all crew were uninjured and safely recovered from the water.
The Prince Philip Cup races were then sailed on Tuesday 03 January to Saturday 07 January 2023 with a lay-day on Thursday 05 January 2023. As it turned out the lay-day coincided with a  major change in the weather with Tuesday and Wednesday enjoying continuing north-easterly breezes of around 15 knots and sunny days before the weather turned to the south and south-east for the balance of the regatta with breezes of 20 – 25 knots and plenty of rain.
The change in weather conditions provided an opportunity to test the boats and crews in a variety of conditions and particularly on Friday 06 January the heavy breezes made for some exciting racing from Athol Bay across the harbour towards and back from Point Piper. David Chapman was heard to comment that he did not realise “Dragons could get up and plane”!
The results of the Prince Philip Cup in which all 8 races were sailed and with one “drop” were as follows:
1.    Ascalon AUS 209 | 8 Points | David Chapman (Helm) Crew: Robert Wilmot, Annie Wilmot and Charlotte Griffunder
2.    Trio AUS 130 | 16 Points | Matt Whinall (Helm) Crew: Michael Bartley and Peter Bevis
3.    Karabos IX AUS 205 | 18 Points | Nick Rogers (Helm) Crew: Leigh Brehens and Chris Steilberg
Accordingly, Ascalon AUS 209 with David Chapman and crew won the Prince Philip Cup. Trio AUS 130, which is owned by Michael (Wally) Bartley and is a beautifully maintained wooden Dragon, won the Prince Philip Cup Corinthian Trophy and the Jack Ayres/Ediss Boyes Trophy for the first wooden Dragon in the Prince Philip Cup.

All of the competitors agreed that the race management undertaken by RSYS Sailing Manager Rob Ridley and Race Officer Ian Kingsford-Smith and the volunteers was first class and the hosting of the regatta at RSYS was also excellent in doing a fantastic job in looking after everyone throughout the regatta.

In addition to the fine sailing experienced on Sydney Harbour, IDA NSW hosted two delightful on-shore events. A Welcome Cocktail Party on the terrace of Richard Franklin’s house in Mosman provided a fabulous opportunity for a ‘team photo’ of all the participating sailors. It was noted that there was a significant increase in the number of women making up the crew on many of the yachts, including one all-female team sailing Sandy Anderson’s Plum Crazy AUS 185.  

The second event was the Awards Night held at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. Over 100 people comprised of sailors, family and friends attended for the seated dinner. Everyone enjoyed the presence of veteran Dragon sailor and former Olympian 96 year old Gordon Ingate. As usual Gordon entertained with his wealth of sailing anecdotes. 

Brad Johnson
President IDA NSW


Results - Ted Albert Memorial 2023


Results - Prince Philip Cup 2023


PPC 2020 Results

Ted Albert 2020 Results

Photo acknowledgements:

Nick Hogg, Deb Henderson, Susie Parker

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