Published: Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The 36th edition of the Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai came to a close after a five-day regatta in beautiful Cote d’Azur conditions. Blue skies, warm weather and light airs graced the four races for the Classics and ten for the 12 Metres. This year’s winners were: Vanity V, Chinook, Mariquita, Sagittarius, Dorade, Sirius, Freya 2003 and Speedbird.

Rgates Royales Trophe Panerai 36th Edition Ends In Style

On the final day, the coastal course race was shortened for the Classics to respect the busy social schedule and let the crews join the prize-giving ceremony in the race village. In the Big Boats' group where Mariquita got gold, she was tied at points with Moonbeam IV, but with a higher number of wins, while Moonbeam of Fife III finished in third. In the Vintage Marconi under 15m, Dorade easily led from the beginning and finished with an impressive score of 3 points out of 4 races, followed by The Blue Peter and Skylark, tied at points while Manitou, third up until the eve of the final, slipped off the podium.

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Among the Spirit of Tradition, Shamrock V's powerful sail area was not enough to steal victory from Freya 2003 that clinched it with only one point to spare, Scherzo finished in third at four points from the leader. Sirius won almost undisputedly in the Vintage Marconi under 15m, leaving behind her fellow Italian crews on Jalina and Cholita. In the Tofinou class Speedbird ended with a clear score of four wins.

In some classes the winner wasn't decided until the very last race. In the Vintage Gaffers Chinook trailed Eva and Duet 1926 from the start, but finally managed to pull off victory with a 1 point margin on Duet 1926 and two on Eva, who earned a bronze. Similarly in the Classics division, Sagittarius clinched victory thanks to the last race, pushing Namib down from the highest step of the podium, and Naif finished in third.

Podium by class

Big Boats: Mariquita, Moonbeam IV, Moonbeam of Fife III

Vintage Gaffers: Chinook, Duet 1926, Eva

Classics: Sagittarius, Namib, Naif

Vintage Marconi under 15m: Dorade, The Blue Peter, Skylark

Vintage Marconi over 15m: Sirius, Jalina, Cholita

Spirit of Tradition: Freya 2003, Shamrock V, Scherzo

Tofinou: Speedbird, Camomille, Cambronne

The week was very intense for the 12 Metre class, with a strong debut by Vanity V and Wings that constantly battled for final victory during the rest of the series. So much so, that on the eve of the final day, the two leaders were distanced by a mere point but, at the end of the much contested 10-race series, Vanity V – skippered by Dane Bjorn Westergaard and flying the flag of the Royal Danish Yacht Club - jumped on the highest step of the podium, beating Wings by 3 points and Vim by 7 points. Germany's Trivia, helmed by Wilfried Beeck finished in fourth.

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(Photos courtesy James Robinson Taylor / Régates Royales)

“I would sign on for another edition like the one that just ended,” says Gérard Pascalini, General Manager of the Société des Régates de Cannes, organising body of the Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai. “The weather conditions have been excellent, despite a very windy first day, and everything went smoothly. The atmosphere, the crews, the boats, the weather, everything was perfect. And almost all the boats agreed to have several guests on board, getting the public and the crews closer. I hope we will able to replicate this in 2015, maybe adding a couple of new ideas, because one always need to improve things.”