Enhancing the view…
After some spectacular racing at the end of last season with two fantastic inaugural events: the impressive RORC Transatlantic Race that left Puerto Calero at the end of November and the exquisite Panerai Transat Classique fleet gracing Arrecife’s coastline for their start at the beginning of January, winter has continued to provide some aesthetic distraction with elegant Dragons training out on the water just outside Puerto Calero.
Using the base recently vacated by Team SCA as they now speed their way around the Volvo Ocean Race, the Dutch/Danish No Way Back racing team shipped their Dragons over last November to enjoy some winter training in Lanzarote. Pieter Heerema, one of the Dragon owners and a well-known figure on the circuit, is no stranger to racing in Lanzarote having competed successfully in his team of the same name on several occasions in the RC44 championships. The teams’ evident pleasure in sailing their Dragons was reflected in all who watched them go out training.
The first Dragon was designed in 1929 and since then has enjoyed a magnificent trajectory including status as an Olympic class from 1948 – 1972. The fleet numbered no less than 300 vessels at the 75th anniversary and continues to hold class events in 29 countries worldwide. Known as a sailing boat for kings due to the number of monarchs who sail in the fleet, the Dragon is a very handsome, versatile and competitive keel boat.
Lars Hendriksen, whose beautifully maintained wooden boat was built in 1957, explained that where some owners chose to train over winter in Cannes, Cascais or Dubai, his experience in Lanzarote with no time lost to excessive or insufficient winds, a warm climate and easy access from Europe made this island the perfect place to train. The team now hopes to spread the word and encourage more Dragon owners to try Lanzarote.