The 27th Régates Royales – Panerai Trophy drew to a close on Sunday October 2nd 2005.
One by one, the classic yachts cast off from the Port of Cannes, their port of call for the past week, to line up for the start of their race to Saint Tropez for the Yacht Club de France’s autumn cup. Under sunny skies and listing with 20 knots of wind in their sails, Mariette, Mariquita, Altair, Lelantina, Moonbeam and Sunshine were first to roundthe Esterel at speeds of 10 knots, bidding a spectacular farewell to the bay of Cannes.
A top class performance
For six days, these classic yachts offered a breathtaking show for the crowds of spectators. Although one day was cancelled for lack of wind, all the other regattas enjoyed fine weather. In such ideal conditions, when Mariette (1915) and Altair (1931) unfurled their sails, they looked like close contenders in a beauty contest. Amongst the gaff-rigged yachts, the 19-metre IR Mariquita (1911) was an impressive sight, as was Tuiga (1909), with Christine Briand at her helm. In the Match Racing World Champion’s words, “There’s something magical for a sailor to see how Tuiga slides over the water, all 40 tons of her. The manoeuvres are very demanding but they make absolute sailing sense. It’s efficiency at the service of beauty and vice versa”.
Unfortunately, Monaco’s flagship was forced to withdraw on the Thursday when her spreaders broke, but thanks to the hard work of Bernard D’Alessandri’s team at the Pasqui shipyard in Villefranche, Tuiga‘s presence is assured at the Voiles de Saint-Tropez.
In the true royal style of this event, the two Moonbeam met in a memorable duel and fought an all-out battle. With over 200 yachts and 1500 crewmembers competing before some 3000 spectators, the Cannes regattas were a true success. At the closing ceremony, Bruno Faroux, the Commissioner of the Régates Royales, received showers of praise from the competitors and declared, “It is too soon to draw conclusions, but tonight I am a happy man! Our new organisation may not be perfect, but we have identified points to improve for next year’s event”.
Crews, skippers and classic yacht owners are expected back in Cannes from Sunday September 24th to Sunday October 1st 2006 for the 28th edition of the Régates Royales – Panerai Trophy.
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