Comet in Cannes

Cannes is always a competitive event for Skylark and her entirely amateur crew. Is it the flat water? The shifting breeze? The configuration of the race courses? Earlier nights for the crew? We will never know.

Race 1 Day 1 kicked off with a traditional course around the bay. Breeze was strong and Skylark was alive. An exciting start began the race with the fabulous Ken & Barbie joining the crew – MasterBates running middle deck and Barbie supervising crew calmness, confidence and control.

For this week Skylark enjoyed the support of JP from North Sails on the main supporting Squiffy Hawkins who, in fairness, probably knows more than anyone. About everything. Especially car racing. And helicopters. And … well lots of things really.

For Race 2 Skylark decided (not the dodgy tactician) that the pin end of the line was favoured and, without software to assist, would attempt a time on distance run at the pin end. It went oh so beautifully wrong – but very nearly right. By two seconds in fact. But that was two seconds too much and Skylark was early, gybed at the buoy and came back across under the fleet on port. It mattered not in the end as Skylark performed well and achieved a top 3 result.

The start that was ever so nearly right. But wasn’t.
A late drop at the leeward mark beautifully executed soaking down from above the layline


Race 3 was again a classic Cannes course around the bay but with stronger breeze. JP on main sailed her more like a modern boat and in breeze this appears to be faster. MBK coils his Genoa sheet whilst we sail slightly fuller upwind.

Race 4 start was another exciting affair with Skylark crew showing excellent boat handling skills. Comet again pulls out a great result and there seems little Skylark can do at this regatta to match her.

Several close encounters with Meerblick on this race appears to be a hangover from previous events. In this scenario they claim to be protesting us for passing inside the yellow markers depicting the limit of powerboats near the shore. By pointing to the flag that is clearly not evident they demonstrate that the protest is invalid before it’s even heard.

Some great crew work on Skylark sailing her pre-start like a dinghy. Squiffy and Tommy working together on the main (did I just type that?). Mogensie trimming the Genoa with great skill and coordination. The boats ahead at the pin stack up – we tack away on the header onto port and have a good lane upwind on the first leg.

All the most enthusiastic owners, captains and crews gathered one evening for the inaugural meeting to the VCYC – Vintage Classic Yacht Club – to discuss plans for future events in 2022 and beyond. Jono masterfully conducted the meeting covering a large number of proposals and comments. Trophies were presented to the winning boats over a civilised cocktail or two aboard Manitou, Rowdy and Chinook.

A challenging rounding in light breeze with Stormy and Racluta. By maintaining better boat speed we sail right round the outside of Stormy and keep clear air on Racluta. Again great crew work means we can take advantage of complex scenarios like this and, on average, come out on top. And that is the philosophy we want with Skylark – the more complex the day or the situation the better we perform as, on average, our crew work and coordination is just that little bit better than those we race against. Our challenge now is to maintain this intensity onboard Baruna where we won’t have boats close around us all the time.

Another lovely late drop with excellent crew work and coordination. Following White Wings around the last mark just ahead of Manitou
After a long, hard day on the water Squiffy Hawkins let’s off a little steam. His job was to screw in a little block.
Skylark crew Mark, Sarah and Captain Martin pick up the prizes for another podium finish