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Fifth edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club's Centenary Trophy

by Carla Anselmi 3 Oct 2015 10:22 PDT 1 October 2015
Oriole wins the Centenary Trophy organised by the Gstaad Yacht Club in cooperation with Societe Nautique de Saint Tropez © Juerg Kaufmann / GYC

NYYC 30 Oriole, won the 5th edition of the of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy, the regatta that has become the true and unique rendezvous for the oldest ladies of the circuit and the focal point of classic racing at the Voiles the St Tropez, hosting event of the regatta. Second on the finishing line, reigning champion Olympian, skippered by France's Bruno Troublé whilst 7MI Mignon got the bronze.

For the fifth consecutive year the Centenary Trophy gathered one hundred years and more old yachts that went go head-to-head in a pursuit race based on a special handicap system, a format that has proved extremely attractive for the sailors and the public alike, with the first boat to cross the line off the St Tropez breakwater to be declared the winner. This year's edition was raced in particularly tough conditions, with a strong easterly of over 20 knots and high waves that put crews, boats and equipment to the test.

Oriole is a stunning gaff sloop, launched in 1905 as the 11th of the 18 New York Yacht Club 30 one design built on a Nat Herreshoff's design, with 30 indicating the waterline length. Oriole has an interesting story, being left totally original until the 30s when she was converted into a Marconi yawl. At the beginning of the 21st century she was re-discovered by French classic yachting expert Francis Van de Velde and after being acquired and restored by a group of North American owners, took part to several regattas in the Newport's area. Oriole was later delivered to the Mediterranean where she has been collecting successes in various events.

In 2011 it was Italy's Five tonner Bonafide (launched 1899) that beat the strong competition, Richard Allan's fore and aft cutter Marigold (1892) engraved her name on the trophy in 2012, whilst in 2013 due to adverse weather conditions the race could not be sailed and the title was not awarded. Finally, in 2014 it was beautifully restored gaff cutter Olympian to grab the exclusive trophy created by Wakely and Wheeler of London in 1911.

And finally this year, it was NYYC 30 Oriole, to be crowned winner of the Centenary Trophy, at her fourth attempt.

www.gstaadyachtclub.com

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