Decision on the finish line

  21.01.2020 Sports & Leisure

On Thursday, 3 October, 2019 the Voiles de Saint-Tropez on the day traditionally dedicated to the individual fights, more than 20 of the most beautiful boats of the classic yacht scene gathered in the port of Saint-Tropez to participate in the 9th edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy, the only sailing trophy dedicated to centenarian boats. The regatta is sailed in a pursuit format with staggered starts. These are determined with a handicap system, which allows boats of very different sizes and rigs to compete at eye level, with the first boat crossing the finish line being declared the winner.

Sunny blue skies and light winds of up to 10 knots – perfect conditions for the century-old beauties – welcomed the 23 yachts, the highest number of participants in the history of the regatta.

In a real sailing duel Olympian, this year driven by Guillaume Fetas, managed to overtake Viola just five hundred meters before the finish line. By hoisting the big spinnaker, the team gained the extra speed needed to cross the line first. At the end of an exciting three-hour race, the two boats were separated only by half a boat length.

“We knew from the beginning that it would be difficult in the light and very changeable wind conditions. We just decided not to stick to tactical decisions, but to find the best line, to catch up with the boats that started in front of us. Our competitors sailed very well, so it was hard for us to beat them” explains an enthusiastic Guillaume Fetas. “It was a great day on the water and to win with such a finish is very cool.”

Olympian is the second boat to win the Centenary Trophy twice. Olympian is a P-class Gaff Sloop that was designed by the American William Gardner in 1913. She has spent almost her entire life in the US and achieved several victories on Lake Michigan before she was rediscovered in 2013 by the French America’s Cup veteran Bruno Troublé, who resaured her and brought her to the Mediterranean.

Since then Olympian has successfully participated in the top regattas and won the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy. “It was a super exciting race, one of the tightest finishes in the history of the Centenary Trophy. To see that up close was incredible, a great combination of regatting art and boat handling on these old yachts,” said Gstaad Yacht Club Commodore, Manrico Iachia. “We are looking forward to next year, it will be an important milestone of the regatta, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary. We will work hard to make it one of the most memorable events, both from a technical and from a programme perspective, in the hope of reaching a record number of centenarians”.

The award ceremony with more than 140 guests took place directly on the banks of Saint-Tropez.

Gstaad Yacht Club

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