ITA 56 bounced back yesterday after being “Black Flagged” in race 3 to win race 6 and take the most slender of leads going into the last day of this exciting Trophee Panerai 2011 in Cannes.  Yes Campers, Giuseppe Duca helming his petticrow dragon “Cloud” under the guidence of the local hero Jean Sebastien Ponce, won the only race yesterday in very light wind conditions to set up a most thrilling climax to this terrific anual event in the sun……

Firstly I want to congratulate FRA 401 Joseph Varoqui and DEN 380 Peter Warrer  who were the 4th and 5th race winners from the day before, but due to copious amounts of white wine consumed by “yours truly” at the Yacht Club de Cannes buffet, I was unable to get my lap top operational…….thus bring you the daily up-date.  True story 🙂

The 58 boat fleet have now completed 6 races over three days, after losing the first day due to the often present “Mistral” that can blow in through the mountains of Cannes at a steady 35 kts !! So with just one day remaining and another light wind forecast it seems likely that only one race will be sailed today before the boats crane out at Port Canto. Many of the fleet will pack their boats away to just move a few kilometres west to St Tropez in preparation for the next regatta which begins on 5th Oct. But before that let me just explain to all you “Armchair” sailors at home who is still in contention to win overall.

 Does the name Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen sound familiar ? Or Anatoloy Loginov ? Or first day leader, Martin Byrne from Ireland ? Well Campers they are all still very much in the hunt to lift the trophy this evening at the 6.30 prize giving in the Old Port of Cannes. The scores after one discard, are so close that only 2 points separate these top 4 boats !!   ITA 56 is on 26pts, as is GBR 765. Then RUS 27 is on 27pts and IRL 201 has 28pts……..Quite amazing really when you consider how difficult the race courses have been to “read”, where place changes can happen at a blink of an eye or one small mistake. But the cream always rises to the top and one of these 4 top teams will get it right today and win the spoils…  Who’s your money on ?????????????????

In closing it was really nice to see HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark join the fleet yesterday to helm his beautiful White Lady DEN 166. He then “Christened” (with excellent champagne), the wonderful new wooden decked Doomernik Dragon, HKG 55 “Zephyr” owned by a delighted Tam Nguyen. Tam will now ship the boat back to Hong Kong to join a growing fleet of around 20 dragons who will hold their National Championships in November.

Higher, Faster, Longer………………..   Stavros. (HKG 55).