GYC Centenary Trophy - Excitement builds as start nears

Voiles de Saint Tropez 2013
Jürg Kaufmann
The third edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club's Centenary Trophy is just a few hours away and, as excitement is building among the crews, the organizers are double-checking the last details for tomorrow's racing, keeping under close scrutiny the weather forecast, set for pretty challenging conditions.

Thursday, the day that the Voiles de Saint Tropez traditionally devoted to the 'défis'- individual challenges between boats- has been chosen by the Gstaad Yacht club to host the event gathering classic yachts, 100 hundred years or more of age and raced in a pursuit race format.

Italian Beppe Zaoli, skipper of Bona Fide, the Sibbick designed five tonner from 1899 and winner of the inaugural edition of the Trophy in 2011, is indeed a strong supporter of the race's concept. 'I congratulate the Gstaad Yacht club for having created this event because this is an excellent way to maintain and spread the culture of sailing, of seamanship, especially among the younger generations. This year's crew on Bona Fide is particularly young. I hope the Trophy will go on for many years to come and that there will more boats and more sailors involved.'

Since the weather forecast for tomorrow is set for strong wind conditions, testing ones for these centenarian classic yachts, everyone involved is keeping their fingers crossed that the breeze in the Bay of Saint Tropez will be benevolent enough to them. According to the Voiles de Saint Tropez Principal Race officer, George Korehl, backup solutions have already been put in place. If the wind will not exceed 20/25 knots the Centenaries will race in more protected waters closer to shore on a shorter but equally spectacular course, set in the Bay. The start signal for the first yacht is scheduled for noon, the other competitors will then follow the line according to their respective handicap, calculated with the especially created Centenary Trophy rating system.

Centenary Trophy - Provisional entry list

Bona Fide - 1899 - gaff cutter - Sibbick
Kelpie -1903 - gaff cutter - Mylne
Lulu - 1897 - gaff cutter - Rabot
Marigold - 1892 - gaff cutter - Nicholson
Mariska - 1908 - 15M class gaffer - Fife
Nan of Fife - 1896 - gaff cutter - Fife
Oriole - 1905 - NY30 class gaff cutter - Fife
Partridge - 1885 - gaff cutter - Beavor Wegg
Phoebus - 1903 - gaff cutter - Godinet
Shenandoah of Sark - 1902 - gaff schooner -Ferris
Sif - 1894 - fore and aft schooner - Hansen
Veronique - 1907 - fore and aft yawl - Luke
Windover - 1904 - Marconi sloop -

GYC website