The very first edition of the Frers Cup came to a dramatic end on the race course, with three Maxi yachts tied on points for second place, with less than a minute deciding the eventual podium positions. The penultimate party at the Frers Cup was just as exciting, but much more relaxed. Frers owners and their guests enjoyed a sundowner on Friday night at Erice, towering over the west coast of the beautiful Sicily yacht charter destination, 751m above sea level. Erice is a fabulous ancient town, providing fantastic views of Trapani as well as the Mediterranean Sea.
Under the auspices of the Club Canottieri Roggero di Lauria and assisted by Match Race Trapani, the final day of the Frers Cup took place on Saturday 28 June. Blessed with sparkling Mediterranean sunshine and a gentle north easterly breeze, GWM Racing selected a ten mile windward leeward course west of Favignana and Levanzo with an offset mark and an upwind finish. Light conditions produced a close encounter for the fourth and final race of the inaugural Frers Cup.
Starting well is always important, especially with the monumental sail area of the Frers Maxis, where the amount of disturbed air is a significant proportion of the true wind. Vicente Garcia Torres’ Swan 80 yacht Plis Play chose to hang back and take the windward end of the line, to avoid the wind shadow from the colossal Frers Maxis. The fleet, save German Frers’ Swan 112 charter yacht Mystery chose to head for Levanzo, and were rewarded with an increase in wind funnelling between the islands. Once again, Plis Play showed great speed in light airs to make the top mark in first position and once into clear air, the Spanish team were unstoppable taking their third win of the regatta and the overall prize of the Frers Cup.
“Our owner and all of the crew feel honoured to be here and to win the Frers Cup has been incredible. The conditions were suited to our boat but we have a very good team that have been together for a few years, so handling the boat is something that we have really worked together to try to perfect. This is the first time I have ever sailed in these waters and I was really surprised. Racing around the islands you see some really beautiful scenery, castles and historic buildings, The Egadi Islands are so interesting.”
The last race of The Frers Cup proved to be a tremendous battle for second place at the regatta. Juan Entrecanales’ Frers Maxi, Alarife crossed the line after Plis Play following a tremendous battle with Armando Grandi’s Wally 100 superyacht Gibian. Frers Maxi charter yacht Bristolian was the next yacht to finish followed by German Frers Swan 112, Mystery. After time correction three yachts were tied for second place for the regatta. Bristolian, Gibian and Mystery had all scored the same number of points. However, Bristolian’s second place in the last race, secured the British yacht as runner up for The Frers Cup by just 32 seconds from Gibian.
North Sails, Yves Montanari is part of the crew racing on Frers Maxi, Bristolian. “The spirit of the Frers Cup has been fantastic. North Sails does not have a major loft facility in Sicily. However, Francesco Valenza from Doyle Sails, Italy was very happy to allow all of the competitors to use their large loft in Palermo. Wally 100, Gibian needed a small sail repair and Francesco was quick to offer help. Francesco has been sailing on Bristolian for the regatta and he has been a pleasure to sail with and while we had a great battle with Gibian in the last race, ashore all of the teams are always happy to help each other out, that is the nature of The Frers Cup.”
The official Prize Giving was held at one of Trapani’s finest public gardens, Villa Magherita. Exclusively opened for the Frers Cup by the City of Trapani, the gardens were planted in 1878, shortly after the unification of Italy by Garibaldi, who started his quest in Sicily. Honoured guests included Vito Damiano, Major of Trapani and Giancarlo Russo, Trapani Harbour Master.
German Frers Snr. Opened the ceremony with a light hearted, yet passionate speech about the competitors. Each competing yacht owner and crew was roundly applauded with the biggest cheer saved for the first winner of the Frers Cup. Vicente Garcia Torres, owner of Swan 80 Plis Play, lifted the trophy and the Spanish owner was roundly applauded for their excellent performance.
German Mani Frers took the podium to give a closing address and was quick to thank the organisers of the event, especially Kathryn Thomson, Sarah Goodacre and Francesca Natoli and also announced that The Frers Cup, will be once again, held in Trapani in 2015.