by Soazig Guého
The 34th edition of the Régates Royales-Trophée Panerai will get underway on Monday in the famous bay of La Nouple. Some 50 Dragons will set in motion the week long regatta organised by the Yacht Club de Cannes. The weather will be crucial this week as the forecast speaks of mixed and varied conditions from light wind to stiff breeze, from sunny to overcast skies and even some possible rainstorms.
A busy Vieux Port on the eve of the 2012 Régates Royales
Some one hundred fascinating boats are already moored in the Cannes Vieux Port: from small ones like Dainty, the1922 Westmacott designed eight metre long vintage sloop, to the impressive 55 plus metre Elena by Nathanael Herreshoff. Along Quai Laubeuf, already packed with spectators and fans, one can also admire the late Eric Tabarly full Pen Duick fleet of boats, exceptionally reunited in Cannes. All go to sea on Tuesday from 11:00 with the classics starting the racing: gaffs, vintage Marconi (up to or over 15 metres), Spirit of Tradition, Big Boats, Classics…
'The best boats will once again be present, making the event really unique. Big boats side by side with small ones, all united in sportsmanship and fair play. And after racing at the race village, everyone can enjoy the festive mood and take part in the numerous social activities,' explains Jean-Claude Montésinos, President of the Yacht Club de Cannes.
Once again, it will be the Dragon fleet to kick off the 2012 event: some fifty boats will compete fiercely for a prestigious win at the 'Régates', as it is the case of Italy’s Giuseppe Duca on Cloud who is back to replay last year’s success but who will have to watch out for some serious contenders in such as British experts Ivan Bradbury on Blue Haze, Ron James on Fei-lin’s Flirtation and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox on Jerboa.
The strong Russian contingent will feature champions Anatoly Loginov on his Annapurna and Victor Fogelson on Sunflower, not to mention the French armada. Ten crews will try to triumph on home waters among which Gérard Blanc on Tsuica II, Pierre François on Imagine and Joseph Varoqui on Rusalka will be present. Action is guaranteed for tomorrow, with a light south-westerly breeze of around ten knots in the early afternoon.
Regates Royales website