The 38th Régates Royales de Cannes -Trophée Panerai celebrated the anniversary of some of the oldest yachts on the international circuit: Nan of Fife and Eva at 120 and 110 years old, or the two New York 40s Chinook and Rowdy that just turned centenarian. Day 3 was a beautiful, albeit pretty complicated day for the 150 boats taking part in the event. Thanks to south-easterly breeze in the bay of La Napoule and in the Juan gulf, the classics, the Dragons and the 5.5 Metres all had good, close racing.
The game is not over for the classics, though it possibly is for the Dragons that have raced eight races already and had three today in a good south-easterly that veered to the south and increased, enabling the Dragons to exploit their full potential. The leaderboard is taking a more defined shape and it looks like it will be a duel between the Germans on Smaug and the Russians on Annapurna, despite some other surprising crews like Estonia's Vitamin-One that won today's first match, despite a very bad start at the Régates Royales.
Russian veteran Anatoly Loginov won the second race with ease in front of the German crew of Powwow, scoring a break point before the last match of the day because both Smaug and Even Better had a bad race, whilst the UK's Storm bounced back and climbed on the third step of the provisional podium. The updated overall results will be available later tonight.
The Masters of the Metre class
The 5.5 Metre class benefitted from a great day on the water, with a good south-easterly that enabled them to complete three races. Taking advantage of the occasional sudden gust on the race course, Germany’s Prettynama (that also won last week's Régate en Mer de la Société Nautique de Genève) showed its predilection for the stronger breeze, as did compatriots Atari and Silver Fox that finished in 2nd and 7th respectively in the first match of the day. The second race went to Hannes Waimer, Markus Koy and Diego Negri on Atari, who climbed into first place on the overall leaderboard. Close racing was on the menu for the third race with four teams on top: Atari (GER-6 points), Société Nautique de Genève (SUI-7 points), Feng Shui (NED-8 points) and Prettynama (GER-8 points).
For once David beat Goliath... The weather forecast for today in the bay of La Napoule was for light wind, while to the crews' joy it blew stronger than expected, with twelve to fifteen knots. After a short postponement, the race committee fired the starting signal for the day's race on a one-lap triangular coastal course. Unfortunately, shortly after the start of the Classics, the UK's Outlaw and Spain's Giraldilla collided. Nobody was injured but the two boats were forced to go back into port to evaluate the damage.
In the 12 Metre class, France was once again beaten by her sparring partner Sovereign that managed to squeeze inside the downwind mark, just a few metres away from the finish line and cross in first place. With another win for the crew skippered by Claude Perdriel. their adversaries will not catch up so easily.
Full results will be available at www.regatesroyales.com
There are no less than eighteen centenarians taking part in the 38th edition of the Régates Royales, and many more are celebrating important anniversaries during this last rendezvous of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. Among the oldest boats still sailing are Marigold, the yacht designed by Charles Nicholson and built in Gosport at Camper & Nicholson's in 1892 and Nan of Fife, that is celebrating 120 years from her launch. Conceived by William Fife III in 1896, this gaff cutter is very similar to Éric Tabarly's Pen Duick and was owned by Philippe Menhinick's father until 1952. She was found in Port-Camargue in France at the end of the last century and underwent a total refit in Saint-Malo in 2001 before being taken to the Mediterranean.
Eva, celebrating her 110th birthday in the bay of Cannes, is a design by William Fife III. She was conceived according to the Linear Rating Rule and launched the very same year the IYRU was born and the metre class was adopted. She is very similar to an 8 Metre but is in fact the third boat built to this design. William Fife III was so satisfied with this project that he built a boat even before having sold it. Renamed Valona in 1913, she was owned by a member of the Royal Clyde Yacht Club until 1938. Almost totally restored by Fairlie Restorations in 2001, today only a piece of the original oak keel still remains, but Eva respects in full the original drawings.
Chinook (NY48) and Rowdy (NY49), the two New York Yacht Club 40 one-designs drawn by Nathanaël Herreshoff back in 1916, have also turned one hundred years old. Called Fighting Forties, they still are among the fastest boats on the racing circuit and have always shone at the Régates Royales, being at ease in both light and heavy airs thanks to their large beam.
Ten years younger, the Marconi-rigged Hallowe’en is an excellent example of the evolution in rig design.. Inspired by the 15 Metre class, this cutter designed by William Fife in 1926 and built in Fairlie won the second edition of the famous Fastnet Race, the same year she was launched.
Eilean, epitomizing Panerai's involvement in classic yachting since 2005, is one of the latest boats designed by the Fife dynasty and was built in 1936 in Fairlie. This elegant yawl is also popular for the rock band Duran Duran's 1982 videoclip that was filmed aboard. She has crossed the Atlantic several times.
A few metres further down the quai Laubeuf, Comet well illustrates design evolution in the post-war period: designed by Sparkman & Stephens in 1946 she is an almost-sister ship to Stormy Weather and Skylark, two boats that made the New York based study famous worldwide.
And finally Paulena and Jalina are also celebrating their fiftieth anniversaries. Paulena is a Marconi-rigged yawl by Italian designer and builder Cesare Sangermani that has sailed extensively in different corners of the planet. Jalina was designed by French architect Eugène Cornu. She won the Cowes-Dinard race just one year after her launch and three years later the famous Giraglia in the Mediterranean.