Veteran Big Boat Rally 2011, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, held in Porto Cervo started on 12th September and concluded today, 15th September. The 38 metre schooner Mariette of 1915 claimed three wins in three races to be crowned victor.
The event saw majestic sailing yachts dating back to the beginning of the last century racing off Sardinia's Costa Smeralda. In second place overall was the 1914 gaff cutter Moonbeam IV, owned by Xavier Tancogne, while the largest of the big boat fleet, the 55 metre gaff schooner Elena, took third place.
Mariette of 1915, named after the wife of the original owner - the American industrialist Jacob Brown, is captained by Charlie Wroe: 'All the crew and the owners of Mariette have had a fantastic time. The great thing about Porto Cervo is that even when there is very little wind you can still get in some good racing. On board Mariette the teamwork was excellent and our tactician Duncan Adams and our navigator Rodney Pattison did a very good job but a great deal of credit must also go to the boss, who drove the boat all week. We were racing with a crew of 25 and the vast majority of us have done many regattas together so the crew work was seamless.'
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda Sports Director, Edoardo Recchi: 'It was a fantastic regatta, even though we had light air we were able to race on all three days. These classic boats are stunning and it was a particular honour for us to have Croce del Sud here and acting as Committee Boat today, taking the arrivals at the finish line. It was special because the boat has always belonged to the Mentasti family and Giuseppe Kerry Mentasti was one of the founding members of the YCCS.'
Eleonora and Elena - Veteran Big Boat Rally 2011 - © Alessandro Spiga/YCCS
Today's race was shorter than the previous two due to the light easterly breeze which just touched six knots. The fleet crossed the starting line off Porto Cervo, headed north to round the island of Monaci and on to finish the 10 mile course in front of the port. Today's race saw Elena take line honours while the classification in compensated time had Mariette in the top spot ahead of Moonbeam IV and Elena.
The 49.5 metre schooner Eleonora took fourth place today as well as in the overall classification. Also present in Porto Cervo for the event, although not competing, were the triple-masted 1931 schooner Croce del Sud, the 1907 gaff yawl Veronique and the 1925 ketch Sylvia.
The top four classified yachts were awarded trophies during the prize giving in Piazza Azzurra. Elena was awarded a prize as the top classified yacht among the those enrolled in the Big Class Association. YCCS website