Following on from the recent successes of such sailing events as the Volvo Ocean Race and the Tall Ships, Kinsale Co. Cork is set to host another major international sailing event; 'The Dragon Gold Cup'. The championship will run next week from the 8th to the 14th of September. Over 60 boats and 200 sailors from Japan, Hong Kong, Russia, Ukraine, Sweden, Germany, Finland, France, Portugal, Denmark and Monaco as well as strong fleets from both Ireland and the UK will compete in the what is considered the World Cup of Dragon sailing.
Amongst the highly competitive fleet sailing in the open waters off the Old Head of Kinsale will be several world champions and former Olympians including Lawrie Smith, Marcus Wieser, Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, Tommy Muller and Vincent Hoesch. As some of the world's top sailors, their accomplishments include two Olympic gold medals and Volvo Ocean Race and America's Cup campaigns.
Current Irish National Dragon Champion and Danish native Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen is a double Olympic Gold medallist (1976 and 1980) and has won five Dragon Gold Cups, four European and three World Championships as well as winning several world championships in other classes.
The UK's Lawire Smith, together with Ossie Stewart and Tim Tavener are the current World Dragon Champions. Smith is well known for his four Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Races and numerous America's Cup and Admiral's Cup campaigns.
German sailor Marcus Wieser is the current Dragon Gold Cup holder and has won the Dragon Europeans three times. He also sailed professionally on the RC44 TP52 and Melges 24 circuits and is an ex flying Dutchman sailor.
Tommy Muller and Vincent Hoesch together won the Dragon World Championships in Dublin in 2007. Hoesch has won seven world championships in the Dragon, Star and H Boat, nine Dragon European Championships and six Gold Cups.
Also competing are Jorgen Schoner, winner of three Dragon Gold Cups; Lars Hendriksen, winner of two Dragon Gold Cups and two European Dragon Championships and ex-Olympian and America's Cup sailor Andy Beasworth from Great Britain who will be joining Klaus Diedreichs.
The Irish Dragon fleet will be well represented by the Edinburgh Cup winner, Simon Brien as well as established campaigners Martin Byrne from Dun Laoghaire, Don O'Donoghue, Andrew Craig and Cameron Good from Kinsale.
"We are delighted to host the prestigious Dragon Gold Cup at Kinsale Yacht Club this season and look forward to welcoming a world-class fleet to Kinsale for a full racing and social programme" remarked Cameron Good, Commodore, Kinsale Yacht Club.