Destined exclusively for owners of yachts penned by German Frers, the inaugural edition of the Frers Cup kicked off with a dockside Welcome Party, hosted by the ancient City of Trapani, a lovely Sicily yacht charter destination, nestled in Italy. Following the Skippers’ Briefing from GWM Racing, Frers yacht owners and their crew enjoyed a Sicilian Wine Reception at the exclusive Regatta Village, courtesy of Terre di Giafar.
German Mani Frers bid the assembly a warm welcome and was especially praiseworthy of the City of Trapani for their generous hospitality. The stunning new trophy, The Frers Cup, was unveiled to the party. Designed by German Mani Frers and created by Andrea Salvatori, the art piece is fashioned from Faience tin-glazed ceramic and carbon fibre. The Frers Cup depicts Gianni Agnelli’s Frers 93′ sailing yacht Stealth, one of the fastest and certainly most remarkable racing yachts ever built.
Honoured guests for the Welcome Party included, Vito Damiano, Major of Trapani who welcomed the Frers Cup to the city of Trapani. Dr. Stefano Donati, Director of the Marine Protected Area of Favignana, presented a slideshow of the stunning Egadi Islands.
Under the auspices of the Club Canottieri Roggero di Lauria and assisted by Match Race Trapani, racing at the Frers Cup started with a scenic course around Levanzo, the smallest of the three main Aegadian Islands, nine miles west of Trapani. The three hour race provided spectacular views of Levanzo and a tactical challenge for the magnificent Frers fleet.
The 94ft Frers Maxi charter yacht Bristolian got a great start but was soon overhauled by Wally 100 superyacht Gibian which led at the first mark. A tight reach to the channel between the islands of Levanzo and Favignana proved to be a perfect angle for Gibian’s 700 square metre Code Zero and the powerful Maxi, helmed by Armando Grandi, extended her lead. Vincente Garcia Torres’ Swan 80 yacht Plisplay was first to hoist a spinnaker and correctly anticipating the lift on the approach to Levanzo, the Spanish team was closing the gap on the leader. The stunning north coast of Levanzo is a place of extraordinary beauty, steep rocky coves pitted with caves containing neolithic paintings dating back over 11000 years. Plisplay made a tactical move after rounding the top of Levanzo by staying high and re-hoisting their spinnaker to take the lead on the water, passing Gibian at the limestone lighthouse high above Capo Grosso. Plisplay took both line honours, and won the race on corrected time, to the delight of the owner and crew who come from all over Spain.
“We were all delighted to have the honour of an invitation to race at the Frers Cup,” commented Plisplay’s boat captain, Marco Ibanez. “German Frers have designed so many incredible yachts and I am sure that the event will not only grow but become a venue for these creations. Today, the meteorology was in our favour. The wind speed was only light and I am sure that with more wind the bigger yachts will have the advantage of a greater righting moment and bigger sail area.”
Frers Design Focus – Swan 112, Mystery
German Frers designed a flagship for the Nautor’s Swan fleet in the late 1990s. Charter yacht Mystery was the second of five Swan 112’s built. The Frers design pedigree is evident on Mystery with an easily driven hull form and powerful sail plan with megayacht levels of quality and redundancy.
“At that time, one of Mystery’s new design features was the custom designed upper salon, which provides the owner and crew with a sweeping panoramic view and protection from the elements, this was a very new design concept in the late 90s. On delivery to Trapani for the Frers Cup, this feature was put to great practical use. Mystery experienced 40 knot head winds, however the crew, including my son Mani, were well protected. At the time the yacht was created it was a new requirement to have a tender storage solution and we decided on a hydraulic lazarette, which could be let down to the waterline to make it easier to use. These features are now used on many yachts but in the late 90s, they were very new requirements.” – German Frers Sr.
Racing at the Frers Cup continues Friday 28 June with a social programme after racing in the Frers Cup Regatta Village, Trapani.