There is nothing like a competition in home waters to raise the stakes – and home, for Skylark, is the translucent waters surrounding the elegant French town of Saint-Tropez. In 2011, Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez (formally known as La Nioulargue) was Skylark’s inaugural regatta. One long summer, thousands of sea miles via Croatia and four regattas later, Skylark returned to her home port to face stiff competition from yachts racing all around the 2012 Mediterranean circuit. “Les Voiles”, as it is affectionately known, is the season finale – the Big One!
Skylark’s strategy going into the event was to play the long game – be conservative, be consistent, avoid poor results. In effect, this meant staying to the rhumb line between marks which in the light breeze Skylark did effectively. Her final score over four races of 1-2-2-1 was testament to great preparation, hard work and consistency.
On the final day, it was clear that Skylark could win her class convincingly, provided Mercury did not win the last race. Skylark sailed supremely to win the last day by eight minutes on corrected time – helped in part by both Stormy Weather and Mercury being judged over the startline by the Race Committee (OCS) and given a 10% time penalty.
Across all classes, there is nominated an overall winner. Both Skylark and Avel, the yacht owned by the Gucci family, were tied on 6 points after 4 races. This led to a count back as to who had the most 1st places – as Avel was also 2-1-2-1 both yachts had two firsts so were still tied equally. The last recourse open to the organisers (before literally tossing a coin) was to count who had their firsts last – both yachts won the last day, both yachts were 2nd Day 3 – it was only when the committee saw the 1st by Avel Day 2 and a 2nd by Skylark that they decided The Rolex Trophy and engraved Submariner watch in steel should be awarded to Avel.