Skylark wins Ajaccio 2013 two in a row

The 53ft S&S yawl Skylark has completed yet another challenge on Les Regates Imperiales in Corsica with an overall regatta win in conditions which exceeded 30 knots. With one race cancelled, her final score over the 5 day event was 2, 1, 1, 2 which gave her a comprehensive lead over Manitou, a larger S&S yawl once owned and sailed by American President JF Kennedy and his close friend Marylin Monroe. Other yachts competing included Eva, owned and sailed by Pete Townsend the famous guitarist from the rock band The Who and Argyll, owned and helmed by TV comedian Griff Rhys Jones.

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Skylark lead the event from the outset. She would have won the first race but dropped to 2nd when the wind ran our for her just a few hundred metres from the finish, allowing Eileen to find the new breeze inshore and sail to the finish. In Race 2 Skylark split from the fleet tacking into the centre of Ajaccio Bay in search of a significant left shift in the breeze which she found lifting her to the windward mark. In Race 3 Skylark also built a commanding lead but this was reduced when she ran out of wind at the last mark of the course. She managed to struggle free from the calm and finish close enough to her larger competitors to win.

The final race was held in 25 knots of wind which at times gusted to 30 knots. Large waves rolled down the Bay and the yachts ploughed into the building seas with crews and toe rails awash. Skylark sailed a conservative race without flying a spinnaker as she would likely discard it if she didn’t win. Back at the dock the regatta win was confirmed once Manitou’s crew shook the hand of Skylark’s owner.