ITA 56 helmed by Giuseppe Duca made an excellent start on day one of the St Tropez regatta to lead comfortably overall with a 1st, 3rd and a 2nd after three tricky and shifty races….. Giuseppe, still delighted after winning in Cannes last week in his Petticrow “Cloud”, is looking over his shoulder as the “Blue Haze” GBR 375 Ivan Bradbury, follows his every move. But neither Giuseppe or Ivan can afford to relax as the “Bear” NED 316 helmed by Pieter Heerama is now running like hell after them!!  Yes, Pieter started with a medicore result in this 50 boat fleet, but then stormed the last two races taking two “Bullets”! in my chartered Petticrow. This will really make the next two days of sailing so interesting as this competitive fleet hopes for another 7 races……

However, at the start time of 11.00am today, the experienced race officials expect winds gusting over 30+kts as the Cote d’Azur see’s the westerly wind blow from the Rhone Valley. But there is light at the end of the tunnel as this will not be a full-on 3 day Mistral it is just a strong wind day that hopefully will see some racing take place by late afternoon. Competitors were warned last evening to make secure their boats as this wind has been predicted all week, originally it was due on Saturday, but as I type this report I can already hear the whistling of the wind and the outer window shutters dance against my hotel wall.

Should today prove to be a “non sailing” day, it is hoped that 2 or 3 races will be sailed on Saturday (final day), before the boats are craned out and many of the fleet head up to Lake Garda in Italy for the next regatta of this wonderful one design keel-boat……

Higher, Faster, Longer……..    “Batten down the Hatches”           Stavros.  (Ned 372).