Monthly Archives: October 2015

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2015

Despite storm conditions on the French Riviera, Skylark has again won Overall victory at her home event of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, undoubtedly the most glamorous of sailing events worldwide. The first two days of the event were cancelled due to 45 knot winds and 4m waves from the East. After the Challenge Day when the BlueBird Cup was run, two races were held on Friday and Saturday which determined the overall winners.

Friday’s race was a true test of seamanship, teamwork and sailing skills. Aided by talented sail trimmer Guy Morrell, Skylark led the fleet at full speed across the startline and immediately hitched a tow behind the larger, faster yachts Manitou and Seranade.  This ‘ride’ enabled Skylark to sail over a knot faster than her normal speed for the full length of the spinnaker run to the leeward mark.

On reaching the leeward mark alongside the fastest yachts in the race, Skylark sailed well on the short windward leg that ensued. However, at the top mark near the shore Skylark’s main competitors sailed into a windless area which enabled Skylark to sail right around them and into stronger wind. With yachts like Manitou stuck for over an hour, Skylark was able to extend her lead right to the finish, winning the race by over 10 minutes on Corrected Time.

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Saturday’s race was equally testing with winds up to 25 knots and heavy rain storms giving all competitors an exciting and dramatic spinnaker run to the finish. Skylark finished 2nd only 3 minutes behind Cholita, giving her 1st place overall in the event.

Hennessy BlueBird Cup 2015

The BlueBird Cup, inaugurated in 2011, was a challenge this year between three yachts, Manitou, Spectre and Skylark. In customary fashion, Tara Getty challenged the owners of Manitou (Philip Jordan) and Spectre (Peter Dubens) to a race of ‘Speed Under Sail’. The larger 63ft Manitou gave the smaller 53ft Skylark a 1 min 12 sec head start, whilst the ultra modern Spectre was required to race two laps versus one for the classic yachts. In strong wind and waves Manitou managed to catch Skylark by the halfway point, however Skylark executed a more efficient gybe under spinnaker and led Manitou around the last mark which was created by the stern of the superyacht Talitha. At the finish, Skylark led Manitou across the line by a mere one second, with Peter Duben’s modern yacht Spectre following close behind. The BlueBird Cup and carafes of Hennessy Paradis Imperial were awarded at the prizegiving onboard Talitha by His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain.