Muchas Gracias Mahon!

Mahon, Menorca … one of the most beautiful islands in The Balearics played host to three days of racing with a competitive fleet of over 50 classic yachts coming together from countries around the Mediterranean. The event was also the first time the new Vintage Classic Yacht Club presented by BOYD visited Spanish waters.

The first race day was challenging with 18-20 knots wind from the north and a sizeable swell running outside of the harbour. For the first time in the event’s history the race was started by the moorings in front of the Club in the port. It made a dramatic sight as the fleet reached in close formation out of the harbour.

Exciting start in front of the Club inside the harbour was not liked by some boats on the grounds of safety … but we say …YES!
There’s just no telling some people …!

Skylark was placed well after she left the harbour leaving behind the bigger yawl Varuna. On handicap she was tied for first place with Argyll. But Skylark’s day it was not to be. On the first and only gybe of the race the lazy sheet came out of the block and as the kite filled the sheet skied off the winch. It took 4 or 5 minutes to sort the problem out running the old sheet around by that time Skylark was back in 9th. She held this position till the end of the race.

Like always … that result proved to be decisive. Had Skylark been 7th that day or better she would have finished the regatta in 3rd overall behind Varuna and Rowdy and ahead of Comet … but it was not to be.

Powering upwind to the finish

Race 2 was an entirely different affair. With a start offshore outside the harbour the wind was very light and yet the swell remained from the day before – not normally Skylark’s conditions. She (yet again) mistimed her run to the pin end and arrived early, gybed around and started on port on a lift tack crossing the sterns of the fleet. By continuing to the right side of the course she gained back the initial loss and rounded the top mark in a good position alongside her nemesis Comet and miles agreed of Argyll who had a 2nd on day one. A long light downwind followed to the island where Skylark held her position. The finish was right up inside the harbour and Skylark was unable to over take Comet but finished a respectable 5th out of 12 in class.

After racing the pure bred Menorcan horses did their thing … which is not everyone’s thing …
A cheeky sausage party hosted by Manuelle the owner of Argyll

Race 3 was Skylark’s day. Yet again her useless tactician misjudged the time on distance by a similar 10 seconds (one boat length) however an early decision to gybe and return to the line on port was simply genius 😉

Skylark held her own for the initial part of the windward leg but when finding herself in a lee bow with Fjord designed by Frers tacked early to keep out of phase with the fleet. This gave Skylark a clear lane to the windward mark which she rounded just ahead of German and Mani Frers on Racluta.

Time on distance waits for no man … or sailor of any identity. Having identified we are 30-40 seconds from the pin we pull the trigger 10 seconds too early. Hard to judge in light winds on a 22-ton boat. The key to being early is to acknowledge it early and take action. Easy said – hard to do.

After a long 4-sail reach on which Skylark extended her position, she enjoyed a great race with the larger Racluta all the way to the finish line with both boats crossing the line in front of the Club overlapped.

Marriette and Sumurun cross the finish right by the Yacht Club – such a beautiful sight.

After a racing a Whispering Angel drinks party was held aboard BlueBird of 1938, the flagship of the Vintage Classic Yacht Club, which was attended by the members of the VCYC fleet. Jonathan Greenwood, President of VCYC, gave a speech thanking all for their support of this new yachting club.

And so brings to an end the A-Team’s time with Skylark at Vela Barcos Clasica di Menorca …

Muchas Grazias Mahon!

Te Veo Pronto!