A lot of perseverance was needed on the penultimate day at the 35th Régates Royales de Cannes – Trophée Panerai. The situation was not looking very encouraging when the crews gathered for the usual morning skippers’ briefing, but luck was on the organisers’ and sailors’ side and a finally around 2 pm the breeze made its appearance in the bay and Race Committee was able to launch a coastal race in the bay for both the Big Boats and the Classics. On the same course as yesterday, the bigger boats completed two laps and the smaller one, to get one more crucial result for the overall standing. The Dragons, after a long wait ashore, had one race that turned into a real duel between the two Russian crews on Annapurna and Integrity.
Weather forecasts often draw an accurate image, but sometimes time can change things over and turn the situation to the sailors advantage. Only expected in the late afternoon, the breeze decided instead to come in early and, at around 2pm, with some 10 knots of wind the Race Committee was able to fire the starting signal and free the crews from a long wait on the water. Racing on the same course as yesterday, the fleets encountered conditions good enough to complete the 13 mile long coastal course (23 for the Big Boats). The overall standing, almost unchanged after yesterday’s results should not be shaken up too much, even if some surprises could well come after the calculation of corrected time.
One owner, two boats
After having been the very happy owner of Rowdy for seven years, Graham Walker is a man that loves competition and new challenges. The latest deed of this gentleman sailor is called Chinook, the New York 40 gaff cutter he recently bought and completely restored. “I had seven years of absolute happiness on Rowdy, and a huge success. We got to a point that where we knew the boat by heart, she was at her top. Chinook is the start of a new adventure; we still have a lot to learn and so many things to get better at. The two boats are from the same class, the NY40, but Chinook has a different rig, she is a gaffer while Rowdy has a Bermudan rig. Boat handling and manoeuvring is not at all the same, and we need to learn new techniques to sail her.” said Graham Walker, just after docking in. “The fact that I’m on a different boat, though, allows me to admire Rowdy from the outside, and I must say that she’s absolutely magnificent” declared Walker with a bit of nostalgia.
It’s been going on since the very first race, and now the Russian duel between Annapurna skippered by Anatoly Loginov, currently leading, and Mikhail Senatorov’s Integrity in second is becoming even more intense. Separated by only two points, the Russian crews on the eve of the final day will sure leave no cards unturned to get this year’s title. Today’s winner was Jerboa skippered by female sailor Gavia Wilkinson – Cox, who now has nine points from the leaders, a win is not impossible but very hard, because no doubt the Russians will be there to control her every move.
In the One Design division, Roger Quenet’s Requin Daniela is at the top of the provisional scoreboard, followed by Johnny III and Sum whilst in the Broad One Design class Moorhen leads by one point on Marsh Harrier. Guillemot is in third.
For tomorrow, the last day of the 35th Régates Royales de Cannes the weather forecast is for light conditions again, with an easterly not stronger than 7 knots.