IMG_20150925_191644 (640x480)Stefan Waack, Michael Schmidt (helm) & Mario Wagner are the Champions of Cannes.

It was a wonderful final day of the 2015 Regates Royal yesterday, with a clear blue sky, 10 hours of sunshine and a gentle 7 kts of a warm southerly breeze. So after a short postponement the 40 Dragons were released from the beautiful “Old Port” in Cannes and made their way over to the East Bay for the final race of the week. After losing Thursday due to 30+ kts of wind, the series was eventually completed with a total of 6 races and one discard.  

In the end there was no doubt about the winners, as GER 1157 “M3” (a brand new Petticrows) helmed by Michael Schmidt, crewed by Stefan Waack & Mario Wagner had out-sailed the rest of the fleet recording 3, 1, 1, 4, 6, & 5. This was enough to win the regatta by 4 clear points from runner up & last year’s champion, GBR 375 “Blue Haze” helmed by Ivan Bradbury, crewed by Lars Hendriksen & Claus Olesen (despite winning the final race).

3rd overall after sailing a superb last race was GBR 761 “Jerboa” helmed by Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, crewed by Marc Hart & Philip Catmur, who climed up through the fleet to finish 2nd in the final race which gave this excellent team the final “podium” place.

IMG_20150925_191008 (640x480)          (3rd) Philip, Gavia & Marc .  (1st) Michael, Mario & Stefan.  (2nd) Lars & Claus.

The first beat was interesting as the fleet divided with half choosing to go left and out to sea, whilst the other half went right towards the Island. For a while the left looked strong, but the Island once again produced her “Magic” and it was the boats from the right who rounded ahead. GBR 375 “Blue Haze” was determined not to give up the trophy won last year without a fight and were soon to take the lead and eventually go on to win and secure the runners up spot. Many congratulations to Ivan, Lars and Claus.

So the fight was on to see which of the remaining top 3 boats (Jerboa, Pow Wow or Bear) could secure the final podium position. On the final downwind whilst the 3 mentioned boats were all abreast in amongst the first 10 boats the wind completely shut off from the favoured right side of the course which allowed Jerboa to gybe away and round the bottom gate ahead of her rivals. This move proved to be crucial as Gavia, Marc and Philip were able to chase the lead boat in clear air and finish in 2nd place, thus take 3rd overall.

Top “Corinthian” Team was NED 305 “Dawn” helmed by Bram de Wilde, crewed by George Etty and Etty Ruitenberg who finished the regatta very strongly with a 6th position. Bram and his team finished just outside the top 10 overall and is a great supporter of Cannes where he will keep his boat so that he can take part in the popular “Winter Series” which begins in November. Many of the 40 competitors will also winter their boats here after a short trip over to St Tropez in a few weeks time…..

In closing it was nice to see two new “Young” teams on the water GBR 770 and GBR 610. Both boats were racing with 4 crew and I am sure Jonno Brown & Selina Dicker will be back next year.. This was an excellent regatta with 6 quality races.  Winning helm Michael Schmidt thanked the International Race Officer Philippe Faure and all the helpers & Volunteers of the Yacht Club de Cannes for setting nice long courses after sensibly keeping us ashore until the wind filled in.  Michael also complimented the organisers and thanked the sponsors for the superb “Gala Party” at the Palma Beach Casino on Thursday.

Great Sailing Michael, Stefan and Mario, very well done.

So in closing we will all be back next year, so why not come to Cannes in 2016 & join in the fun yourselves  …?

Higher, Faster, Longer……….    Stavros.  (GBR 789).