The curtain falls on the Monaco Classic Week
Giving the starting signal for the Grimaldi Trophy race from Monaco to Cannes on Sunday, HSH Prince Albert II officially closed Monaco’s two-yearly gathering of the world’s most outstanding classic yachts.
The Monaco Classic Week came to a stunning close as its classic yachts offered up one last breathtaking show, despite light winds and overcast skies. They tacked and turned under full sail, like an expertly performed ballet, before turning westwards towards Cannes, the next stage on the circuit.
Tributes to Tuiga
The famous 1909 Fife plan Tuiga celebrated her 10th anniversary under the Monegasque flag, with all the style and ceremony this splendid gaff-rigged ketch deserves. The Monaco Yacht Club paid tribute to its elegant flagship with a photo exhibition, 4000 copies of a specially printed book and a unique Hublot chronograph.
Meanwhile, at sea, the 15-metre IR Tuiga put up an admirable fight against her competitors, finishing second in the Epoque category in the expert hands of Dennis Conner, quadruple winner of the Americas Cup, and Sofia Bekatorou, Greek 470 Olympic champion. Tuiga was beaten to the finish line by Pesa (1911), a 15.73 metre gaff-rigged ketch sailed by her owner Jean-Yves Roubinet.
After a week of celebrations, Tuiga paid one last tribute to her home port before taking to the seas. She spent several minutes cruising close to the Oceanographic Museum and the harbour wall, to the delight
of spectators and photographers alike, before heading for other ports as the Principality’s ambassador.
Performance and elegance
The Monaco Classic Week 2005 was first and foremost about striving for excellence. Mariquita (1911), an impressive 19-metre IR with a boom of over 20 metres, finished third in the Epoque category and first in the Elegance competition chaired by Princess Beatriz de Orléans-Borbon. Combined with her other successes and the results of the Restoration and Heritage competition, Mariquita took home the overall trophy.
The J Class also drew an exceptional line-up, with three of the four remaining yachts in this class and two 23-metre IR yachts adjusted to fit the class. Velsheda (1932) outdid her rivals Cambria (1928) and
Shamrock V (1930), demonstrating her ability to capture even the lightest breeze. Astra (1928) and a replica of Ranger joined this impressive line-up in their first encounter since 1930. These J Class
yachts sailed to fame in the 1930s Americas Cup races and offered Classic Week crowds a dazzling display of elegance and power. Although not competing in the Grimaldi Trophy, they sailed out of the Bay of Monaco with the other classic yachts in a moving tribute to a bygone era of luxury and beauty. Monaco awaits their return in 2007.