Yesterday was the second day of racing at the JPMorgan Fleming Dragon Gold Cup 2004 where 84 entries from 15 nations are competing.
The event, hosted by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, had a disappointing start with the cancellation of the first day's racing on Sunday however with two races on Monday the event was back on track with the successful completion of Race three yesterday and the final race set for Friday 16 July.
Tuesday brought a different day's sailing to the competition. The weather was grey and overcast with only a light wind from the south, never reaching more than approximately a force three. The fleet got off to a clean start after a slight delay to allow for the departure a tanker in the Bay for bunkering. The racecourse was a simple windward/leeward, two rounds with a finish at the windward mark.
The Turkish Dragon, Alaturca TUR 40, skippered by Azat BAYKAL led for the majority of the race with Poul-Richard HOJ-JENSEN in second place. Baykal remained steady and managed to hold off all challengers until the final run to the leeward mark.
The Brititsh Dragon, Kraken GBR 681, skippered by Patrick GIFFORD, after slipping past Poul-Richard HOJ-JENSEN at the end of the first leg, then slipped past Baykal on the final turn. Following the basic principle of cover tacking all the way up the final beat Kraken took a well-deserved bullet and became the first British winner at the event.
This is a delight for the Dragon Gold Cup sponsors JPMorgan Fleming as Gifford is a retired Director of Robert Flemings Holdings Ltd. JPMorgan merged with Robert Fleming Holdings Ltd in 2001.
The challenge mounted for last year's winner Jochen SCHOENERR and fellow Dane, Frank BERG finishing 12 and 13 yesterday. Schoenerr, following his double bullets of Monday, still leads the overall standings but Baykal is putting together an impressive set of results and has now moved into second place overall.
Marcus BRENNECKE is also showing consistency and has moved into third overall dropping Berg further down the standings. Sail maker, Werner FRIR, standing in for Harm MULLER-SPREER due to illness as skipper of Occasione (GER950) is proving a highly competent replacement and is lying fifth overall.
These five boats have pulled out a 20 point lead over the next competitor in the overall standing, Poul Richard HOJ-JENSEN, and although the event is only at its half way stage it would appear likely that the 2004 Gold Cup winner will emerge from these leading five boats. The no discard format of the Gold Cup means however that predicting who will win is still anyone's guess.
Tuesday however belongs to the former Robert Fleming director, Patrick GIFFORD, and his crew onboard Kraken. He comments: "It's was a great day for us. After having to dig ourselves out of a bad start we then held on to a steady climb. We're thrilled."
Nicola BRUNS, Investment Trusts Marketing Manager, JPMorgan Fleming, sponsor of the Dragon Gold Cup 2004, said of the event: "Another fantastic day's racing and a well deserved win by Patrick. He has been a keen Dragon sailor for nearly forty years and a real advocate of the class and its values. It's proving to be a very exciting week."
Top Ten After Three Races