Perfect conditions for Régates Royales-Panerai Trophy in Cannes 28/9/06

Yesterday’s racing at the Régates Royales-Panerai Trophy in Cannes was held in a moderate southerly breeze, with just enough shifts to make it interesting.

In the 10-mile race between the Lérins Islands and the Esterel the Big Boat Class made quite an impression, with 40 meters gaff cutter Mariette stealing Altair ‘s wind on the upwind leg, while 31 metre sloop Mariquita engaged Cambria in a fierce tacking duel.

In Cannes, each and every boat is a show in its own right. Beauty of the well crafted hull by so many masters named Herreshoff, Stephens, Nicholson or Fife. Magic of the thousand square metres of sails displayed on sloops, cutters or yawls… harmony of the white-dressed crews moving around in a delicate ballet to provide these floating pieces of art with the energy and the speed they were originally built for.

Off on a slow start well inside the staring line, Tuiga, the light and elegant 1909 gaff cutter managed to come from behind and thanks to her downwind speed closed the gap with Mariquita to come out a winner on the first race of the event.

Further west in front of la Napoule, 106 Dragons lined up for a windward/leeward race. After three races, Ireland’s Don O’Donaghue places his Seabird in first place of the overall ranking, ahead of Russia’s Red October skippered by Georgy Shaiduko. Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, currently ranks 5th.