A fleet of 60 boats from at least 14 nations is expected for the Setanta Dragon European Championship next week (17-23 August 2003). A total of 58 entries has now been received with a number of Irish boats still expected to declare in the coming days.
Of the entry list to date, Denmark's Pol Ricard HOI-JENSEN must be considered overall favourite of the visitors with a track record of multiple championship victories in the class. As the benchmark champion, "Ho-Jo" can expect a strong challenge to his surpremacy.
From the host nation, Dun Laoghaire's Johnny ROSS-MURPHY emerged overall winner of the Grand Prix event at Douarnenez, France at the beginning of the season in an acclaimed Irish result confirming his form for the season.
Previous national champion Andrew CRAIG is also tipped while Kinsale's James MATTHEWS scored a series of podium results at the class Eastern Championship earlier this season.
Eric WILLIAMS leads the British contenders and with the Dragon Edinburgh Cup already under his belt this season is certain to feature amongst the leading group.
Other continental contenders include Louis URVOIS (France), Guus de GROOT (Netherlands), Fred IMHOFF (Netherlands) who is tipped to perform if conditions change from the current light winds to fresher weather.
The staging of the event is estimated to provide a significant economic boost of between €2-2.5 million over a two week period. Additional benefits derive from expected television coverage that reaches 700 million homes.
Setanta Asset Management is wholly-owned by Canada Life which is part of the Great-West Lifeco Inc. which has assets under management of Can$130billion. Established in 1998, Setanta is an autonomous subsidiary managing c. €2.7billion. With a distinctive investment style and a strong performance record Setanta is now a recognised force in asset management.