Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Up she comes

Yes, there are a good many Dragons at Burnham-on-Crouch, not the sort that spit fire and zap people with their tails, but graceful racing yachts that can be seen zipping up and down the River Crouch on Saturdays and Sundays during the racing season. At alternate weekends the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club and the Royal Burnham Yacht Club host races for Dragons. As many as 12 of them race on a regular basis. Altogether there are about 20 Dragons based at Burnham. Only a stone’s throw from the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club there is Petticrows factory where the majority of Dragons are built today.

Over she goes

The first one was built from wood in 1928 at the yard of Anker and Jensen in Norway. Johan Anker was an accomplished racing yachtsman. He designed the Dragon to meet a need for a relatively cheap 20 square metre racing yacht with Spartan accommodation which would allow her to be sailed from one regatta to another.

Down she goes

Over the years Dragons have been developed to become highly efficient racing yachts that can take a crew of four. Altogether there are at least 1,400 of them worldwide which are registered to National Dragon Class Associations. National events can see 40 boats on the water and at major International Championships there can be as many as 100.

There she is

The history of the Dragon from when she was built from wood to the present time with modern synthetic materials is long and complicated, but you need look no further than the website of the British Dragon Association to discover the facts.

I love these iconic yachts that effortlessly slip through the water, barely leaving a wake behind them. ‘Avalanche’ seen in the above photos would appear to be brand new. She’s shiny and without blemish. Her owner must be very proud of her.


British Dragon Association – Dragons at Burnham

Dragons Racing at Burnham-on-Crouch 1946


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