For once the beautiful old port of Ajaccio has greeted the classic fleet with warm weather and perfect sailing conditions for the 12th running of Les Regates Imperiales. Following the rain and squalls of previous editions, the current climate on the west coast of Corsica is perfect for four days of classic yacht racing.
From the outset, the larger S&S designed yawl Manitou led the fleet and during the week managed to achieve an impressive run of 1st places meaning she won the event with at least a race to spare. During the winter Manitou has optimised its boat with a new larger genoa and running spinnaker and pole which she and her Swedish America’s Cup crew used to good effect.
Skylark was running in 2nd place overall for the entire week, fighting off a strong challenge from White Wings which is now under new ownership. Going into the last race, whichever of Skylark and White Wings won gave them 2nd overall. Whilst Skylark led White Wings around the course by a few boat lengths the yacht’s were neck and neck on the run to the race finish. Skylark arranged for herself a commanding position but unfortunately a spinnaker wrap as the yacht’s gybed simultaneously 200 metres from the finish mean Skylark took 3rd overall.