A stunning performance by Skylark winning Race 2 of Les Voiles d’Antibes was enough for her achieve 3rd place Overall for the 4 race regatta which finished last night in the famous superyacht port on the French Riviera. Skylark’s overall performance is all the more remarkable after she was forced to retire from the second half of the event following a fire in her engine room which prevented her from participating further in any racing. The damage has been quite extensive and Skylark is already in the shipyard with her crew and a team of workmen attempting to repair and ready her for racing in Argentario in ten days time.
Tony Morse, Skylark’s Captain, explains: “We were motoring out of the port towards the start of Race 3 when I heard above the noise of the engine a crackling sound under the floor of the cockpit beneath me. As I couldn’t work out what it was we opened the lazarette which then billowed smoke and flames out onto deck. It was incredibly fortunate that Skylark was able to extinguish the fire quickly and reach a shipyard less than 100 metres from where the accident happened. Whilst it’s devastating for my team and I that have working on the boat all winter, in a way, we have been incredibly lucky because this couldn’t have happened under better circumstances – calm, controlled conditions, right next to a shipyard. The cause of the fire is still unknown but I suspect it was a wiring fault in a component related to the engine room air extraction system.”
Based on her 6th place in Race 1 and victory in a hard-fought Race 2, with Race 3 abandoned, Skylark was able to discard her DNS in Race 4 and still retain 3rd place overall, for which she received a silver salver with flowers at the Panerai Prizegiving ceremony in the historic Port Vauban.