The stunning bay of La Napoule provided the competitors with great sailing conditions, ideal for close, fast racing. Under blue skies, in bright sun and good breeze the sixty-eight classic yachts and fifty-eight Dragons completed the second day of the Régates Royales, final and decisive event of the Panerai Trophy 2011.
The Big Boats sailing past the Lérins Islands stole everyone’s attention once more, the magnificent high masts and immense sails making spectators and photographers happy. The 20 mile long coastal race was won by Moonbeam of Fife III followed by Moonbeam IV, the couple are still on top of the provisional ranking at 4 and 6 points respectively while James Thom’s Mariquita coming in fourth is tied at points in third place. Among the big gaffers Nan of Fife scored another first that keep her on top with 2 points, British flagged Avel scored another second and is following at 4 and, thanks to a fourth today the third provisional place is occupied by Oriole. Among the nine Classics Arcadia is in the lead by a little point on White Dolphin and four on Italian Navy’s Stella Polare. In the big Marconi class, the reigning champion Rowdy left the first step of the provisional podium because of a fourth, and is now tied at points with Havsornen at 5, the top spot going to The Blue Peter that scored two second places. Among the smaller Marconi Leonore got a clean score and leads with 2 points, but Cholita is still in her tracks at 4 and Anne Sophie is third at 6 points. Irish flagged Shamrock is securely leading the Spirit of Tradition class with two wins, second placed are Gaulois and the modern J Class Lionheart at 5 points.
The Russians bounce back
The 58 boat strong Dragon fleet had two more windward/leeward races today. Day 2 marked the comeback of reigning champion Anatoly Longinov on Annapurna. With a twelfth and a second, the Russian skipper managed to keep his competitors at bay and jump on top of the provisional ranking with 36 points. Ever consistent Poul Richard Hoi Jensen on Danish Blue, scoring a third and a 15th is now second on the overall scoreboard distanced by only one point whilst luck was not to Martin Byrne’s side today: the Irish helmsman could not keep up to the excellent result of the opening day with a 29th and a 17th that make his Jaguar Bear slip back to third in the ranking with 22 points. Italian Giuseppe Duca on Cloud, with a second and a sixth, and having discarded a black flag disqualification he got yesterday, is now fourth and still close to the top trio. HRH Prince Heinrik of Denmark on White Lady is now fifth in the overall standing at 26 points and British Ivan Bradbury on Blue Haze sixth a 33 points.
Phoebus II, fast from the lake…
In 1892 French designer Auguste Godinet conceived an original and experimental new rule, offering an alternative to the traditional V-shaped hulls and fin-keeled and bulb-keeled boats. As the former are theoretically more seafaring, more powerful upwind, but heavy and less spacious, the latter are beamer, flatter and subsequently faster downwind but less safe. Considering the real hull shape, by measuring the “offset”, decreasing the stem to half the hull length, Godinet managed to make the new boats less extreme, more harmonious and sufficiently stable.
Poil-de-Carotte, built by Emile Belly and Auguste Godinet himself was the first of the eleven produced “Three Tonners”, they were pretty different from one another and designed by well known architects like Guédon, de Cactus, Herreshoff or Costaguta. Calypso (Guédon) was also a heavy displacement boat with a V-shaped hull contrary to Poil-de-Carotte (Godinet), a lighter, shorter but also faster boat. Phoebus II is a replica of the original Poil de Carotte launched in 1903. She has been built as an identical copy in 1991 using the hull of Phoebus that was in such a bad state that it was impossible to give her a second life. Phoebus II has taken part to several Bol d’Or races on Lake Geneva since 1992, was also present to the classic yachts events in Brest (92-96-2000) and Gironde in 1996.