Yesterday, Monday September 21st, was the beginning of the 2015 Regates Royal which started with a clear blue sky and in beautiful warm sunshine that put a smile on all the lucky Dragon Sailors who have made the journey south.
With the Classic Yachts starting today, Tuesday the Dragons had the option of racing in the West Bay yesterday. However, with all the visiting Million Dollar Yachts and Huge Cruise Liners moored in close proximity to the “action” our experienced Race Officer, Philippe Faure took us all over to nearby Gulf Juan Bay that offered a more peaceful and less hectic race area.
After several General Recalls, in which 9 boats were Black Flagged, the first race eventually got underway shortly after 1pm in a light Easterly wind of no more than 7kts. The remaining 31 boats split sides with half the fleet heading to the Island and the remaining boats trying to make a gain from the left side. At the top of the 1.5 mile beat the 2 lead boats were GBR 761 “Jerboa” who came in from the left and GBR 789 “Bear” who had gone all the way right to the Island (showing that both sides of the course were equal). With FIN 85 “Thouban” & EST 17 “AAB FUN” in hot pursuit these 4 boats where the first to hoist their spinnakers for the downwind leg.
Although the “Bear” took the lead at the bottom gate and decided to cover the top 10 boats who elected to play the left hand side of the second beat, it was in fact GBR 375 “Blue Haze” and FRA 371 “Childs Dream” who rounded the top mark in front for the second time. These two boats along with GER 1157 “M3” had chosen to sail all the way right towards the Island and all three managed to pass the “Bear”….
This decision won the race for GBR 375 “Blue Haze” a beautifully restored Pedersen & Thuesen from 1959, owned and helmed by Ivan Bradbury, crewed by experienced Lars Hendriksen and Claus Olesen. In 2nd place was FRA 371 “Childs Dream” helmed by local sailor and Yacht Club de Cannes President Jean Pierre Gailes and 3rd was GER 1157 “M3” helmed by Michael Schmidt.
I spoke with winning tactician Lars Hendriksen after the race he told me “Yes Martin, you were leading by a mile after a great first beat and extending on the downwind. You did cover the fleet and did a great job covering them all. We just chose not to follow the fleet going left, as it did not look so good from behind, we saw more pressure on the right, plus a right shift sneaking in due to the sea breeze effect late into the afternoon. It worked out well” 🙂
Yes, indeed it did Lars and many congratulations to Ivan, yourself & Claus. Today I shall be keeping a watchful eye on you for sure….
Higher, Faster, Longer……….. Stavros. (GBR 789).