An update by Romke Loopik.
The way it all started was really a re-start as there used to be a lot of Dragons here but, due to the very high ferry prices and Cala Nova Marina problems, modern racing Dragons stayed away and went to Cascais in Portugal for training. What was left here in Palma were a few classic Dragons, Aphrodite, a Savell from 1956(was US 219 actually built in1964 ed), owned by Miki Oliver and Anna Torreguitart and Dino, a Wirz from 1972, owned by Sigi Detzkeit. However, as two Dragons is not enough to make a class they were never invited to enter any local regattas.
In January 2010 I spotted a derelict Dragon here in the Marina of Puerto Portals and spoke to the owner who was the harbourmaster, Augustin Roldan and asked him if we could do it up and then sail it. He agreed to that and two days later she was on the hard being stripped of all varnish and sanded so the process of re-varnishing could begin.
He also gave us all the paperwork so we could get to understand the complex Dragon a bit better. We studied tuning guides and drawings and when the boat was re-varnished we started rigging her in a way we thought was right.
Whilst the boat was on the hard we were visited by a few very enthusiastic people , telling us that they had Dragons too and asking if we were planning on racing?? We had a meeting in RNCP a month later just before Jas was ready to go in the water and this is how Classic Dragons Mallorca was started. With three boats we were an official class and made sure we were invited to all the regattas.
All of us were soon very much taken with this boat and also with its passionate people like Sigi Detzkeit, German Gil March and Iocus Scherz. German has been particularly helpful with his position in the Spanish Dragon class..
Marcus Desaunois, a fellow yacht captain and good friend, had sailed with Sigi on Dino and told me he was thinking about buying one, but he wanted a plastic one because wood would be too much work. I told him that the wooden Dragons don’t race against the plastic ones because there is no competition(plastic Dragons are a lot stiffer and point higher) and managed to convince Marcus to buy a wooden classic. He found a beautiful Abeking and Rasmussen boat which was looked at by my father Jan, who was in the next village and also drove it from the north of Holland to Mallorca. That was number 5, now called Adair.
Number 4 is a beautiful Borresen from 1968(1967 ed) called Moonbeam (ex-GBR434 ed) owned by Paul Madden who had it already in Mallorca but was away a lot. Paul is now in Mallorca more and has re-fitted Moonbeam to join the racing circuit.
Marcus was now on my case that I should own one too, and, after a while, I couldn’t resist the temptation. It’s one thing racing someone else’s boat, but owning and re-fitting and then racing one is more fun. We found a suitably neglected 1968 Borresen called Rogue (originally GBR445 ed) and started again-strip , sand re-varnish, reinforce and re-rig all in time for the 2011 Palma Vela.
The owner of the Spirit of Tradition schooner Hardship who used to have Marcus as a race-crew(before he bought a Dragon) also started to get interested and was looking for a classic Dragon. He found a 1947 van der Stadt boat in Holland and that was soon brought over, a gorgeous boat in mint condition named Thalatta.
Last week my father and I brought over another 1967 Borresen soon to be named Dragonera, now owned by Andre Hoek and his friends Robert and Willem. Now we are 8 on the water!! Not bad in two years.
Last but not least there is the 1965 Borresen Lasy Daisy, formerly owned by German Gil March but now in the hands of artisan carpenter Piet van Hettinga who is restoring her in between carpentry jobs. Piet is taking it very seriously and we look forward to another addition to our beautiful club.
As with all classics, whether they are boats, planes or automobiles, the passion of the owners and crew is something that will attract more and more people to this club so we have no doubt that it will keep on growing and with every Dragon it gets a little more beautiful on the waterII
Captain s.y Passe Partout
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