Monthly Archives: September 2019

2nd in Monaco!

Monte Carlo, centre of Monaco, was the glamorous setting for the bi-annual Monaco Classic Week, held at the prestigious Yacht Club de Monaco. Renowned for its light winds and waves, the event is a challenge for the heavy Skylark.

Yet again Cippino was Skylark’s major contender, joined in the line up of favourites at this event by Sir Charles Dunstone’s Blitzen. Blitzen was sailed by a very good crew with a lot of America’s Cup experience including Matt Cornwall and Chris Mason. She was helmed for the week by Sir Keith Mills.

The first race Skylark sailed incredibly well winning line honours against the much lighter Cippino, helmed by Argentinian Olympic Medalist and multiple World Champion.

Race 2 was just as challenging. Skylark started well then got on the wrong side of a wind shift. She fought back as the wind died completely and moved up her position to mid-fleet. However the wind then died completely and the race was abandoned.

Squiffy Hawkins lectures Sir Keith Mills & Friends

Squiffy Hawkins lectures Sir Keith Mills & Friends following his line honours win

The last race was again incredibly shifty. Both Skylark and Cippino sailed right round the becalmed fleet out to see and looked to have a massive lead. Then the wind came in strong from the east allowing all the becalmed boats to overtake Skylark. After finally rounding the windward mark, Skylark managed to sail a better course in the light winds and again over took Blitzen, Manitou and all her competitors (except … you guessed it … Cippino!). A long reach in light winds allowed Skylark to extend on those behind securing her another 2nd Place Overall.

It was a great achievement at an event which really doesn’t favour heavier boats.

And Cruuuuuuuz!

After some hard core racing it was time for a little relaxation … Sadly the weather did not play its part for one of the two days.

White Ensign at rest

So we headed for the Michelin Guide … and ashore in both Cannes and Villefranche, settling of the Kathleen Turner & Michael Douglas movie ‘Jewel in the Nile”.

Win! Vela d’Epoca Imperia 2019

On her first showing at the Vela d’Epoca Imperia in Italy, Skylark has won her class overall narrowly beating the Italian 12m Emelia.

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Three races were held off the old port, the first in 18-20 knots requiring all yachts to use smaller headsails on a long beat upwind. Skylark made healthy gains on her competitors and when the breeze ran out close to the finish, was lying in first place. 360 Icon

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Unfortunately a slow gybe left her lying further offshore than she wanted to be and Emila managed to lead Skylark over the finish beating her on handicap by less than a minute.

Oiseau de Feu winning track to the left – Skylark to the right

Race 2 was in lighter wind and again a wrongly timed gybe was Skylark’s undoing and she finished in 3rd place not being able to keep up with the larger Emilia and Oiseau de Feu, who won her first race at the event – again less than one minute ahead of Skylark on correct time.360 Icon

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Each evening Skylark’s crew completed long cultural bike rides to visit old Italian villages in the area. Shoreside, there was spectacular entertainment laid on each evening close to the boats.

With a discard coming into play after 3 races, it was essential that Skylark won the last race in order to win the event. On the start a big wind shift went against Skylark putting her immediately at the back of the fleet. Excellent upwind speed and two very fast and well sailed reaches let Skylark cross the line just a few minutes behind Emilia, meaning she won the race by more than 3 minutes on correct time.

With this fine score she narrowly won the event, including a handsome trophy.

2nd in Spain!

Cippino … Cippino … Cippino … it’s always Cippino! Skylark sailed two excellent races in Mahon – the third race cancelled due to the light and variable winds. Despite sailing incredibly well and beating Cippino on the water, Skylark again finished 2nd in both races sailed.

Light winds surrounding Menorca

Her performance won her a beautiful trophy for the Copa del Rey de Barcos de Epoca.

Each evening Skylark’s crew headed out on electric bikes for a tour of the island, on one evening stopping for drinks with friends and a beautiful house on the water.

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The third and final race was eventually cancelled early due to no wind – right before a huge storm coming across the Bay of Lyon. Both Skylark and BlueBird left early, heading east straight for her next challenge. Imperia!