The International Dragon is a one-design keelboat.
The Dragon was designed by Norwegian Johan Anker in 1929. In 1948 the Dragon became an Olympic Class, a status it retained until theMunich Olympics in 1972. The Dragon’s long keel and elegant metre-boat lines remain unchanged, but today Dragons are constructed using the latest technology to make the boat durable and easy to maintain. GRP construction was introduced in 1973 and the rigging has been regularly updated.
The Dragon Class is actively represented in over 26 countries in 5 Continents. There were 1444 boats registered in 2004 and the number of boats built has averaged 45 per year. There are many more which are used for day sailing or cruising. The World Championships are held in every odd year and the European Championships are held annually. The Gold Cup, which can only be held in certain specified European countries, is unique in that all six races count without discard. It is held annually and often attracts over 100 entries, usually starting in one fleet.
A strong Class Association manages the class rules carefully to ensure safety, high quality and uniformity. Spars and sails have a wide range of adjustment during racing, allowing a skillful crew to optimize the boat for any conditions. Crew weight limits, and restrictions on hiking out allow the Dragon to be raced successfully by a range of ages and genders. It is possible to trail the Dragon behind many four-wheel drive vehicles. It is often dry-sailed. It may be raced against boats of other classes, employing a Portsmouth Yardstick handicap of 986 or a D-PN of 89.5.
Since 2008 the Dragon is one of the Vintage Yachting Classes at the Vintage Yachting Games.
International Dragon Association
The International Dragon Association (IDA) was founded on 31 October 1961 with London as its headquarters. The principal objects of the IDA are:
- To further the interests of the International Dragon Class in all countries where Dragons are sailed and to introduce the Class to new countries.
- To be responsible for the administration of the class rules and coordinating proposals for rule amendments for consideration by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).
- To ensure that the class retains its “International” status by complying with the criteria adopted by the ISAF.
- To co-ordinate and select venues for the following international championships:
- World Championships
- European Championships
- Gold Cups
- To produce regular newsletters containing information about the Class and the activities of the IDA for distribution to all Dragon sailors throughout the world.
- Membership is open to National Dragon Class Associations.
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The World Championship is held in alternate years in all areas where Dragons are sailed, and must be one of the most difficult regattas to win in the sailing world. Many of the world’s finest sailors have spent years trying to lift this trophy presented by Prince Constantine of Greece.
This event attracts worldwide media attention and a lifetime’s respect for the winner. Regional Championships (European, North American, pan-Pacific) are held in the other years, where competition is no less intense.
Entry to the event is by qualification at National level.