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Corsica Classic 2018

14 yachts lined up against Skylark in the annual Corsica Classic regatta, in which traditionally Skylark participates every other year. Lighter, faster, contemporary boats were mixed with the classic fleet, which gave everyone the rare chance to compete directly against each other.

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The race course over several hundred miles took the fleet in 10 days almost all the way round the island of Corsica, between a number of beautiful bays and beaches and idyllic fishing ports. The first race from Ajaccio to Bonifacio ended under spinnaker in 30 knots of wind. The participating yachts thundering across the finish near the port. Skylark started well and pursued the faster Mr Fips all the way to the finish, eventually beating her on corrected time.

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From startline to finish, from port to headland, from beach to bay – no matter what course configuration was put before Skylark she managed to win every race on corrected time. The greater test was line honours against the more modern boats which she managed to achieve on several races.

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Sadly, several race days were lost due to Mistral winds cancelling racing. Unfortunately, this detracts from Skylark’s intention of winning the over classic yacht rankings for the 2018 season organised by AFYT.

At the final prizegiving Skylark was awarded a myriad of trophies including the Dorade winch which she has won each time she has competed.

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For some of the event, the crew of Skylark were joined by Sandy Oxley (Argyll), Doris Sangeorzan from National Geographic and Michael ‘Papou Never Loses’ Kakinis.

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Hennessy BlueBird Cup 2016

The 54ft 9″ Blitzen, the latest Sparkman & Stephens renovation to hit Mediterranean waters, was the 53ft Skylark’s combatant for the BlueBird Cup 2016.

One of the most famous of the S&S designs, Blitzen was built by Henry B. Nevins of City Island, New York. She was launched in 1938. She was designed and built for R. J. Reynolds, the son of the founder of the R. J. Reynold Tobacco Company. She was built as an all out ocean racing yacht with minimal interior. She was a very successful racing machine, winning her division in the Bermuda Race on her first outing. Now restored by British businessman Sir Charles Dunstone, she is faster today than she has ever been. With a tall  sloop rig, powered by a large coffee grinder to the stern, Blitzen is built for speed and was crewed for the BlueBird Cup by a strong team of top sailors which included rockstar Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran.

Two other remarkable yachts joined the race, though not eligible for the overall trophy prize. Alibaba II, designed in 1948 by famous Tore Holm for shipowner Sven Salén, is one of the most famous 6 metres ever built, participating in the London Olympics in 1948 representing Sweden (Bronze) and also again in Helsinki in 1952 representing Finland (Bronze). She was powered for this event by brand new hi-tech North Sails and crewed by a professional Spanish racing team which included talented sailors from the Volvo Ocean Race. In addition, Peter Dubens’ magnificent Spectre participated alongside Alibaba with a royal guest on board, His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, himself a talented sailor. Built in Italy in more recent times Spectre is a 60ft speed machine, designed in contemporary style by famous architects Mani & German Frers. Aboard her for this event was a crew of top sailing professionals including double Olympic silver medalist Nick Rogers, Volvo Ocean Race skipper Neil McDonald, America’s Cup winning tactician Tom Whidden and talented sail trimmers from North Sails.

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A big wind shift just before the start caught Skylark at the wrong end of the line and her 69 second handicap advantage was almost eradicated by the time Blitzen and Skylark crossed the start only 8 seconds apart. On the first and second of the five legs, Skylark managed to stay in a lee bow position and so keep Blitzen behind her and she maintained her 8 second lead. After the first lap of Talitha and BlueBird, both boats dropped their spinnakers very late and Skylark pulled 30 seconds ahead on that rounding. From that position she then extended her lead on the second lap to finish 1m 28s ahead of Blitzen. Whilst sailing different distances and courses, Alibaba was first to cross the line one minute ahead of Skylark whilst Spectre with The King on board rocketed across the finish at 15 knots a mere 20 seconds later having completed and additional lap of the course.

At the prizegiving ceremony aboard the 80m classic motoryacht Talitha, His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain presented Tara Getty with the perpetual BlueBird Cup Trophy presented by the United Nations to Sir Malcolm Campbell in 1938, along with beautifully presented bottles of Hennessy Paradis Imperial to the owners of the boats competing. In addition, Tara Getty presented invitations to The King and each of his fellow owners, for each to stay at the Hennessy Chateau in Cognac, yes Cognac, France.

An Afternoon Sail

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Man or Mouse?

Skylark’s new foredeck crew free diving to the sandy sea bed beneath the 104ft BlueBird of 1938, Skylark’s long serving mothership.

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Skylark Interactive

Skylark is uniquely featured in an interactive App called BOYD Yachting Lifestyle which is free to download to your iPhone and iPad from the App Store. Touch each crew member to hear their role on board – includes audio from her owner Tara Getty and video footage from the Panerai races – it’s the first interactive production on a classic yacht EVER! Click here to download the Skylark experience now: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/boyd/id561408995?mt=8

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Copa del Rey 2014

There was a controversial end to the Copa del Rey di Barcos Clasica 2014. In the last race the large S&S yawl Enterprise was awarded a generous redress following a port starboard gybing incident with her near sistership Manitou. With a torn spinnaker Enterprise appealed to the Jury and was awarded sufficient time compensation to move her into 2nd Place Overall in the regatta – relagating Skylark to 3rd – her fourth 3rd Overall placing this season.

But it was not all bad news. The result for Skylark was impressive in that many of the boats in the fleet boasted local and professional sailors aboard lighter craft which excelled better than Skylark in the calmer conditions experienced on Day 1. Races 2 & 3 saw Skylark excel and with good placings in these races she moved onto the podium in the overall standings.

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The regatta will be remembered for its dramatic harbour finishes. On two of the three races the 48 boat fleet sailed the full length of Mahon harbour – the largest natural harbour in Europe – to finish right inn front of the town where the motoryacht Blue Bird was moored.

 

Royal Yacht Squadron Award 2013

Royal Yacht Squadron

At the annual black tie ‘Race Officers Dinner’ on The Platform of the Royal Yacht Squadron on March 1st, Skylark was presented with the ‘Yachting Committee Award for Racing 2013’. The trophy, a large engraved silver platter and smaller keep-sake by Garrard & Co of London, was donated by John & May Grandy in 2004 and is awarded annually by the Royal Yacht Squadron to whichever member achieves the best racing results internationally during the past season. The award was announced formally by RYS Commodore The Hon. Christopher Sharples and then presented to Skylark’s owner by May Grandy.

Painting Paris Blue

On a chilly December evening at the Paris Boat Show and afterwards at the beautiful restaurant La Plage Parisienne on the banks of the River Seine, Skylark representatives Capt Tony Morse and Chris Savage collected two more awards for the 2013 season. The first was a stunning oil painting of Skylark by famous French artist Johnathan Florent which had just been completed by him minutes before the awards presentation. The paint was still wet! The work was commissioned by Thibaud Assante, organiser of the Corsica Classic Race, and was presented in celebration of Skylark’s series win in 2013.

The second award was an engraved plaque presented by the Association Francaise Yachts de Tradition (AFYT) in recognition of Skylark’s 2nd Place Overall out of 177 yachts racing across all the classic yacht events in French waters in the 2013 season.

The owners and organisers dinner held at La Plage Parisienne in December is the finale social event in the annual classic yacht racing calendar.