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.
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.