Pasqui Trophy 2006 Report

10/2006 –

Spring is in the air

At the second edition of the Trophée Pasqui, from May 18th to 21st
2006, the classic yachts gliding around the bay of Villefranche sur Mer
began their regatta season in French waters.

In Spring, the sea picks up almost as quickly as the wind. Fresh from
their winter makeovers, the classic yachts emerged from the past few
months spent on land with their spotless varnish and brand new or
recently repaired sails, relieved to at last be back at sea for the
regatta season. Yachts like Tuiga and Moonbeam IV were back in the
sunlight after some major renovation work. On Friday May 19th, the
first leg of the Trophée Pasqui 2006, which is the very first classic
regatta of the season, got underway in ideal weather conditions with
bright sunshine and a force 4 wind. Spectators could admire the new
Hallowe'en and the impressive Zaca, as well as their very first glimpse
of Cotton Blossom II, designed by John Anker in 1924. Her new owner
since 2003 is quadruple Americas Cup champion Dennis Conners, who has
at last decided to enter her in the Mediterranean regattas.

Changing weather

The first leg was magnificent. Cotton Blossom II was in the lead from
the start, with Tuiga and Hallowe'en battling it out behind her. Ever
elegant and racing their hearts out, they sailed all the way to the
Promenade des Anglais in Nice, then back to Cap Ferrat before finishing
in front of the Villefranche port. Tuiga's excellent manoeuvring kept
her in second place, and all the competitors were looking forward to a
new battle the following day. Unfortunately, on Saturday, race
organiser Thierry Leret was forced to cancel the regatta due to the
menacing weather conditions. This allowed Cotton Blossom II  to
take home her first victory of the season, whilst Tuiga was once again
the victor of the gaff rig class.

Villefranche and the sea

After the cancellation of the Saturday's race, the crews were at
leisure to enjoy the peaceful and beautiful port of La Darse, where
many exhibits were on show in the arched galleries that run some 40
metres into the hillside. Formerly used to store munitions before they
were loaded on board the galleys, the space is now occupied by various
yachting professionals. For the past 5 years, Villefranche has been
working hard to ensure that its nautical related business activities do
not die out. The dry dock that had been unused since 1994 was reopened
for Doriana, a 35-metre gaff rig schooner that was restored there in
2002. Several other projects are currently ongoing in the port
The Trophée Pasqui, which was founded in 2004 by Evénement Voile, also
plays an active role in Villefranche sur Mer's nautical revival. 

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