- 44 boats and more than 500 crew members make the world elite of classic boats visiting Barcelona these days
- Much of the regatta has passed parallel to the coast, so hundreds of people have been able to enjoy the yacht show from the beaches of Barcelona
- The initial lack of wind has postponed the first test and forced to relocate the tour so that finally the day could successfully end
Barcelona, 16th of July, 2015. From early in the morning, more than 500 sailors from the VIII Barcelona Puig Vela Clàssica have worked to hone their sailboats before heading out to compete in the first day of the regatta, a competition included in the official calendar of the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation (RFEV) and scoring for the Spain Championship of Classic and Vintage Boats.
The possibility of admiring these boats in Barcelona is comparable to receive in the city a competition of the classic sailing Grand Slam. The world elite of this sport is assembled at the Real Club Náutico of Barcelona and his followers in every corner of the world, are focusing their attention in Barcelona during these days of pure spirit and seafaring tradition.
Difficult day for the Regatta Committee, which after a postponement, has started the first race of the VIII Barcelona Puig Vela Clàssica Regatta with a shy 6 knots East wind. Barely half an hour after the South thermal wind has been progressively entered the regatta course, distorting the started race. Without hesitation, the race committee has decided to cancel the test and proceed to relocate the course and start the regatta again around 15 hours.
With the sea breeze set around 10-12 knots, the new race has started in a triangle of four sections for both categories of Vintage and Big Boats, with a total of 7.7 miles, while the Classics sailed five sections and 10 miles.
The expected duel between Moonbeam has not disappointed anyone, because in the pre-outs a close marking has been seen. Moonbeam III, being conscious of its smaller size and rating, has been able to win an advantage in the application of the corrected times, and it has kept itself close to Moonbeam IV and has crossed the finish line almost stuck to it. Thus, the delay in real time 2:19 minutes became 1:09 in his favour after computing the corrected time. But its spectacular size and shape has not been enough to crush all rivals in the category Cangreja Époque, since Marigold, skippered by Jason Gouldstone, has won the game, arriving just 10 seconds before Moonbeam III, while the fourth position has been for Morwenna.
Marconi Époque fleet has had on the Irish Hallowe’en his great master. Mick Cotter’s boat has been imposed in real time despite in corrected time the timer has been really tight. 51 seconds was his margin over the Italian Amorita, from Claudio Mealli. A little further back, a bit later, just two minutes away from Amorita, Islander, from Ramon Albiñana completed the Barcelona podium.
In the Classics 1 category, Argos from Barbara Trilling hass imposed to the local Guia, from Ramon Rosés, which after missing the last editions has competed again in the Puig Vela Clàssica. The third place on the provisional podium has been for the Italian Emeraude owned and skippered by Vitttorio Cavazzanna.
The two favourites in the Classics 2 category have confirmed the forecasts. Alba from Damian Ribas had no trouble today in winning the Diana from Marcos Palomar, from the first beat. 8:10 minutes of margin was the time difference between both of them, partly because of a complicated lowering of Diana’s spinnaker, which almost costs it the second position for the sake of Kanavel, to which it has finally exceeded by 6 seconds.
Tomorrow, Friday, the second day will be held, with scheduled departure time at 13 hours.
Two “Moonbeams” in the same regatta
There are very few occasions throughout the year where fans of classic sailboats can enjoy two jewels of the sea like these sailboats designed and built by the also legendary shipyard Fife & Sons of Scotland, Moonbeam III and IV.
These two vessels, the “Moonlight” (Moonbeam) originally commissioned by its first owner, the British lawyer Charles Plumtre Johnson (in 1903 and 1914, although due to the First World War it could not be launched until 1924) are meeting together these days in the eighth edition of the Barcelona Puig Vela Clàssica.
Both have lived an eventful life of ownership changes over the past century to reach the hands of their current owners who have restored in a particular lovingly way, giving them back their splendour so that not only the owners, but thousands fans can enjoy them, recognizing them with satisfaction in the leading test of the classics circuit. While one replaced the other in the care of its first owner, both were born in order to enjoy long cruises with maximum comfort and to participate in competitive regattas of the time, ignorant of their also competitor future in regattas, further on, into the XXI century.
Moonbeam IV was the last and greatest of the built ‘Moonbeams’. It was considered as one of the most beautiful boats in the world, not only because of its exterior but also for its luxurious details. Its coating was Palo Santo waxed wood, Persian rugs, antique lamps and leather upholstery. It was one of the most competitive ‘cutters’ in the twentieth century. It won the prestigious 1920 and 1923 British King’s Cups, disputed in Cowes.
In 1950 Prince Rainier of Monaco bought the boat and called it ‘Deo Juvante’, the motto of the Grimaldi family. He spent his honeymoon in it with Grace Kelly. After passing through several owners, it is still the ‘cutter’ with the world’s largest gaff rig (Auric / Marconi).
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