PRADA CHALLENGE FOR CLASSIC YACHTS: Race 3 - Porto Cervo, September 3rd 1999


On the third day of the Prada Veteran Boat Rally the classic yachts left port in unusually bad weather conditions for Porto Cervo. The strong north-easterly wind (locally named Grecale) whipped the sea into huge steep-crested waves creating difficult conditions for the skippers and crew.

They set off on Course No. 5, a 24 nm course taking the boats first north up the coast around the La Maddalena and Caprera Islands and then heading off into flatter water amongst the many smaller islands downwind, before returning to the finishing line off Porto Cervo past Capo Ferro.

The conditions were in contrast to the civilised sea state of the first races where, at times, drinks were even served on deck. Today, bowmen out on bowsprits were literally drowned as the long bowsprits were crashed under water as the yachts pitched in the huge seas. On some, the decks were awash and consistently the leeward rails were right under water with crew up to their waists as the yachts power reached at between 10 and 15 knots.

The conditions took their toll on the 14 metre Carcona designed yacht, Vanessa, who broke her rudder under the strain of the breaking waves and, after initially being assisted by Susanna II who was close by at the time, had to be towed back to Porto Cervo for repairs.

Perhaps not surprisingly, once again Mariette of 1915 powered away and pulled out a lead on the fleet and took line honours. Her real time was fast enough to give a first place on handicap, which also gave her the overall regatta win after her victory yesterday. “It was a great victory”, said Christopher Gartner her skipper. “Porto Cervo is one of the best places to race these boats. The YCCS does an excellent job setting very exciting and picturesque courses amongst the rocks and islands here. There are few places that can match it anywhere in the world. The fleet has been very competitive and those boats that are going on to race in the Trophée Grimadi, on their way from here to Monaco Classic Week, are sure to have a great event

In the 12 metre fleet, South Australia demonstrated her superiority in the wind and waves and notched two straight victories. The older 12’s such as Nyala and Tomahawk struggled in the conditions for which they obviously had not been designed. In the second race, Tomahawk was forced to retire straight after the start after she developed a split in the boom. Even though the crew lashed two metres of the boom with rope, the cracking was so bad tha the crew were in danger and the boat returned to the dock.

Tomorrow, only the 12 metre fleet sails, as the rest of the fleet lines up for an impressive parade of sail out of the harbour.

Provisional Division results from the Prada Veteran Boat Rally, (in real time)

Race No.3 :
Veteran A Mariette of 1915 (USA) Thomas Perkins 2:26:01
Veteran B1 Cerida (Italy) Cerida Yachting Co 3:30:45
Veteran B2 Roberto III (Italy) Enrico Terzi 3:39:57
Classic C1 Golondrina (Italy) Francesco Gaparini 3:38:21
Classic C2 Nora Seconda (Italy) Allessandro Gucci 3:29:03

Race No 4:
12 metres South Australia Alain Claude Marlin W Class Wild Horses

Race No 5:
12 metres South Australia Alan Claude Marlin W Class Wild Horses

Provisional Series results from the Prada Veteran Boat Rally

After 3 races:
Veteran A Mariette of 1915 (USA) Thomas Perkins
Veteran B1 Cerida (Italy) Cerida Yachting Co
Veteran B2 Marjatta (Italy) F Broggi
Classic C1 Mania I (Italy) F Giovagnoni
Classic C2 Capricia (Italy) Marina Militare