Right after they won bronze at the prestigious Dragon Gold Cup 2019, we talked to North-powered Japanese-based team Yanmar Racing about their impressive result.
They’ve only sailed together in the Dragon class for one year, but the podium finish in Medemblik proves they have already clicked in the boat. The team consists of three sailors: boat owner and helmsman, Peter Gilmour, who lives in Perth, Australia; Yaji San who is based in Yokohama, Japan; and Sam Gilmour, who lives in Gothenburg, Sweden.
A major perk of the International Dragon Association(IDA) Championship Events and Grade 1 Grand Prix competitions is the friendships developed within the class. Coming from a match racing background and used to racing just one other boat, the team found it a big change being part of a fleet of 90 boats.
Setting the mast to the mainsail has been a key mission for Yanmar Racing. “A stiffer mast section has allowed us to use a lower luff curve main, along with the standard North A-7+ . We used the North V-6L, V-6M and V-6H Genoa for light, medium and heavy wind respectively, and also used the R-5 Spinnaker.”
“The cloth quality is good for the Mainsail, Genoa and Spinnaker. They hold their shape well throughout the range specified.”
The Medemblik event was very well managed, Peter says. The starts were difficult with a 1 km line, but Danbuoys provided additional assistance along the line.
The sails handled the strong winds and choppy sea state well, Peter Gilmour says. “We typically change up our Genoa in slightly lower wind ranges than most specify, and this may cause us to get caught out below range with the heavy, for example. The sails seemed to handle these conditions fairly well and we were happy with the sail choices we made.
“Responding on board and changing gears to get the most out of the sail/mast combination as well as optimising course position is something that is evolving for us in each race and regatta we do.”
Race five was particularly exciting. With a steady 22 knots and gusting 28 knots, the team did not get off to their best start. However, after prioritizing boat speed until they found clear air, they reached the top mark in fourth. The downwind leg was fantastic, with some big windward rolls, nail-biting jibes, and a generous amount of fun.
Next up is the Dragon Grand Prix in Kuhlungsborn, Germany on the 2nd – 6th July. Good luck!