Monthly Archives: June 2017

Argentario Race Week 2017

One of Skylark’s favourite regattas is Argentario Sailing Week in Porto Santo Stefano on the coast of Western Italy. She has competed four times and won her class overall four times, despite a very competitive class and complex and testing variable conditions.

The light and variable winds led to close mark roundings, meaning crew work, momentum and strategy were at a premium. In the video below we can see Skylark overtaking her main competitors by overstanding the layline in light winds to come into the mark on port with enough speed and momentum to carry her round the outside of her competitors.

With her main competitors White Wings, Cholita, Argyll and Stormy Weather all being sailed by competitive crews, Skylark had her work cut out in 2017 winning enough races to win overall. In the last race, the first 5 yachts finished within two minutes of each other on Corrected Time which is testament to the level of racing between these beautiful classic boats. In the final results Skylark discarded her 3rd place in Race 2 leaving three 1sts to win the regatta overall. Happy Birthday Sean!

Porquerolles Classic 2017

Porquerolles Classics, set around the wonderful Islands off Hyeres, France, was simply a stunning event. The beautiful island, friendly people, and flat, tactical waters made for both great racing and a fun social programme. Each evening after racing Skylark’s crew headed off on rented electric mountain bikes to tour the gorgeous islands – with navigation left on the water – often way more ‘off road’ than anyone anticipated.

This fabulous event heralded the return of two key crew members from 2015/6, who’d taken a year’s sabbatical from responsibilities. Bill ‘Quartermaster’ Ennis dropped straight back into his established role on board, motivating his team from his central position low in the cockpit with victuals, provender and sustenance, reliably allocated by need and in timely fashion. Mike ‘Papou’ Kakinis, also leapt aboard for this regatta taking charge of the new fully-battened mizzen and staysails. Requiring no familiarisation since his outstanding race wins in Spetses, Greece, Kakinis yet again generated enough horsepower from his charge to lead Skylark to another regatta victory in Porquerolles, winning 2 races out of three – the final day 4th place breaking Kakinis’ perfect score of 5 wins from 5.

Other crew on board, racing under the stewardship of the Papou/Quartermaster ‘Dream Team’, included Mogens Thorstrop who did something important and Tara who drove whilst the autopilot wasn’t on and Tony who fixed stuff. Toby, Letitia, Wouter, BB Tom and Richard ran around doing lots whilst The Headmaster rambled on.

A definite ‘must do’ event for 2018. And a nice watch too!

Voiles d’Antibes 2017

Skylark’s first race with her new mizzen mast and repairs completed could not have gone better. With Skylark’s Captain Tony Morse at the helm for Race 1, and an entirely new foredeck crew, Skylark had a great start at the favoured Committee Boat end of the line and performed well in the lights winds right around the coastal course which took the fleet near to Les Isles des Lerins off Cannes. A win was just reward for a race well sailed.

For Races 2 & 3, with Skylark’s owner back at the wheel, Skylark again fought for the favoured Committee Boat end but on both occasions was ‘boxed out’ (pushed out) as the gun went. This required a tight circle around to approach the line a second time, losing over a minute in the process. However, on both occasions Skylark fought back to place well in the fleet.

The final race was particularly exciting. In stronger breeze Skylark had a great start and with her A-team crew of Evan Marshall, Mogens Thorlstrop and Nigel ‘Squiffy’ Hawkins trimming, she led her main competitors right around the course winning the race over all across all classes.

The final race win meant that Skylark was able to discard her worst score leaving a full set of bullets for her return event. With crew Toby, Leticia, Richard and BB Tom doing all the hard work.