- Over 600 shipowners and sailors from 10 countries in Europe and America have competed in two of the most relevant classic sailing trophies of this year
- The 12mR World Championship have gathered in the Catalan capital the mythical sailboats of the America’s Cup golden age (30s-80s) and the VII Puig Vela Clàssica Barcelona hosted the world elite of Classic and Vintage boats
- Samurai, Moonbeam IV, Marigold and Peter have been the winners of the VII Puig Vela Clàssica, and the Italian Nyala has won the 12 meters World Championship trophy
- The Mayor Trias thanked both, the Real Club Náutico from Barcelona and Puig, for their commitment to keep bringing this show to the city of Barcelona, capital of sports and cultural initiative
One more year, and this time twice, the 12mR World Championship and the VII Puig Vela Clàssica transformed Barcelona into the world capital of the classic sailing. After six successful editions, the seventh regatta of Classic and Vintage boats has strengthened itself both nationally and internationally, welcoming vessels from countries like Argentina, France, UK, Italy and Spain. All these mythical sailboats have one thing in common: despite their age, the different hands through which they have gone through and the multiple reconstructions to which have been subjected, in their decks you can still breathe the scent of their original soul. These are real museum gems of navigation provided with heritage and culture nautical, which keep sailing and which can rarely be seen in big cities like Barcelona.
Besides, and for the first time, the Catalan capital has been the scenario of a 12 meters class World Championship. These internationally well-known sailboats with over 100 years of history were the stars of one of the most splendid periods of the America’s Cup, which took place between the late 30s and the 80s. Sailboats from New York, UK, Denmark, Italy, France and Germany joined the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Puig and arrived at the Real Club Náutico from Barcelona to spend a whole week.
Both competitions were held in an excellent atmosphere, where sailors from nine different nationalities enjoyed both the excellent conditions of the Barcelona water, as well as the fellowship and fun of Real Club Náutico Village from Barcelona.
Them all classics … but two radically different competitions
Barcelona and the Puig Vela Clàssica are accustomed to a sailing competition aimed at making the most of the classic sailboats and their seaworthiness, but in this 2014, the addition of the 12m World Championship, the legendary competitors of the America’s Cup and of other international regattas from the 30s to the 80s, requires a radical change in the structure of the regatta.
On the one hand, the 12 meters World Championship regatta is assessed in real time, that is to say, the first boat to cross the finish line is the winner, whereas in classic boats regattas, there is a time compensation system between them to allow boats with very different lengths and riggings can compete on equal terms. While, in order to squeeze all their potential, the classics require a triangle or quadrilateral format course, which besides provide spectacular coastal tours, the really fast 12 meters –built for racing “in the wind”– demand a windward-leeward model where they can take full advantage of their upwind and downwind ability. These are very technical and demanding regattas with continuous levees in the navigation at angles up to 40 °, similar to those carried out by current highly professional competition sailboats and, therefore, the organization designs the regatta course equivalent to an ORC cruise race.
These boats, the 12m, built for the challenges and defense of the America’s Cup and, therefore, for 1 to 1 regattas or match races, can afford this level of demand since they are specifically designed for this purpose and is the most rigorous way to get the best results from their refined design. In fact, the expectations invested in this World Championship are very high, due to the coincidence of two almost “twin” boats –the Vim (1939) and the Nyala (1938) – who share designer (Stephens), shipyard and style – they were the model for later defenders of the America’s Cup– and because both crave the opportunity to measure one against the other, a challenge that has finally been won by the Italian Nyala.
New appointment of Real Club Náutico from Barcelona for sail showing varnishes and flashing bronzes, which this year has had 48 boats on the regatta course. A special call, given that the traditional regatta of Classic, Big Boats and Vintage boats was joined by the 12 Meters class.
The VII Puig Vela Clàssica Barcelona has been as special as the centenary of its sponsor deserved. Becoming an unprecedented milestone, the fleet of the 12 Meters class has competed in Spain, disputing its World Championship as part of the great Mediterranean event with the Puig Vela Clàssica Barcelona as a main protagonist.
The presence of the 12 meters in the competition of its World title required a special attention, and this is why they had their own regatta course and mooring area in the popular Moll de la Fusta, as well as a competition schedule broader than the three regatta days scheduled for the Vintage, Classics and Big Boats.
Throughout the week, the conditions were varied, but mainly technical. This time though, the Puig Vela Clàssica was not driven by the south-west wind as a the stellar role, as it happened in other previous editions, on the contrary, Eolo offered winds that put the tacticians to the text. Except from the easterly wind of the first day, the rest of the days were characterized by southerly winds, except from the last day, where the wind was torn between the east and the southeast, fighting against the sea breeze that ended in an agonizing becalmed sea. Although much of the fleet had the patience to complete the course, others did not. As stories of the day to be remembered, will remain the Friday competition day, which reminded blank due to lack of wind, and the Thursday competition day: a south-west 18-20 knots wind, a radiant sun and an almost flat sea, on the whole, one of those days that create fans.
zh1>The World Championship for the Nyala
The fleet contesting the World Championship was composed of seven boats belonging to the Vintage Yachts which gathers the 12 meters class according to their year of construction, in order not to mix the different generations created with changes in the rating formula on which the regatta is based.
The World Championship programmed up to nine rounds from Monday to Saturday, being Thursday the rest day. It was a generous and complete program that started on its right foot, by accumulating 6 rounds in the first three days. On Friday, the lack of wind did not allow the competition in the regatta course of Barcelona, and Saturday completed the series with two more rounds.
The discard of the worst result of the series allowed the Italian Nyala win without having to complete the last round. The armed boat skippered by Patrizio Bertelli and manned by his Prada crew from the America’s Cup won without any problem. Her partial ranking included five partial victories and several second. Once completed the first four rounds and the first two days, the Nyala skippered by Francesco Bruni showed her intentions very clearly. With a pair of first and second positions, compared with a pair of first, third and fourth positions of the German Trivia, she chained three first positions one after the other, which involved 9 points and made it unnecessary to compete the final round, so she was already mathematically the World Champion.
However, the fighting for the two remaining podium places was harder. After six rounds and already applying a discard, the Trivia of Wilfred Beck with 13 points, the Danish Vanity V of Patrick Howaldt with 14 and the British Wings of Guy Dumas Ribadeau with 15, sailed to the regatta course knowing that there was still a lot to decide. The final sprint upheld the abovementioned order, while confirming the American VIM of Herb Marshall in the fifth position, the Portuguese Seven Seas of Porto in the sixth, and the Italian Emilia in the seventh.
The majesty of the Big Boats
Six majestic Big Boats disputed the victory in the category reserved to these imposing legendary boats. It is worth mentioning the participation for the first time in the Puig Vela Clàssica Barcelona of Rosalind, an old acquaintance of the Real Club Náutico from Barcelona now owned by the French shipowner Olivier Claudeville.
The Moonbeam III of Laurence Waechter could not enlarge her legend in the Puig list of winners, holding the record in all categories with four victories. After signing a second position in the first round, the inability to complete the second and final round made her lose the chances to improve her results, but at least she could win the third place in the finish podium.
The top honors corresponded to Moonbeam IV of the Yacht Club of Monaco, which with a first and a second partial bent the British Mariquita, who accumulated a third and a first in her ranking. The Maltese Eleonora, the British Mariette of 1915 and the British Rosalind completed, in this order, the final classification of the category reserved to the Big Boats.
Resounding victories in the Vintage Yachts
The two categories of Vintage Yachts had several convincing victors. The British Marigold of Richard Glen Allan in the Gaff Yachts and the Peter of Claudio Mealli in the Marconi Yachts gave no options. Both won the two rounds held, dispelling any uncertainty about their merits.
The victory of Peter allows her to submit her name for the third time in the honors of victors, after her victories in 2011 and 2013. Despite her victory was clear, there was a lot of intensity to decide the order of the two remaining podium places. And it was so hard that the French Manitou of Philip Jordan and the Sonata of Jordi Cabau from the Balearic Islands, were tied in five points after exchanging identical partials (2nd and 3rd). The tie dumped in favor of Manitou, due to her better partial (2nd) in the last round.
The outcome of the Gaff Yachts was clearer. The British Kelpie of Falmouth was second in both rounds, as did the Malabar X from Barcelona, by monopolizing the third places. Behind them the Gipsy of Ricardo Rubio from Santander bent the centenary Marigan of Tim Liesenhoff, based in Majorca.
The Classics did not disappoint the audience
With 20 boats in the battlefield, the Classics category was again the most numerous of the Puig Vela Clàssica Barcelona regatta. Among them, there was a large group of applicants to the victory, which included the six winners of the previous editions: the Yanira of Leon Andrew, triply (2010, 2011 and 2013), the Alba of Damián Ribas, twice (2008 and 2012 ) and the Argos of Barbara Trilling in 2009, but stepping the podium on three more occasions.
The equality and excitement of this fleet is still a constant, and this year was the opportunity for the Italian Samurai of Cesare Sangermani to register her name in the honors book. Those who did not even got room among the identical four points also added by the Emeraude of Vittorio Cavazzana, and that got a tie after the two completed rounds. The Sonata won her first position of the opening day, by winning the Emeraude for two seconds, and thus occupying the coveted category.
The Argos completed the podium ahead of the local Galvana, and the Borja and Alex Pella brothers ended the regatta with a good taste in the mouth after winning the last round. Yanira was fifth and was tied in points with her local fellow Diana of Marcos Palomar. Silva Racing’s performance should not really be forgotten, since we are talking about the youngest of the regatta (a Folkboat for three crew participants) of only 7.68 meters length, and for whom the distances of the courses and the duration of the regattas are much more demanding. The crew led by the Portuguese boat was ranked thirteenth, since they were unable to complete the last round, but they left their mark with the eighth position in the first regatta sailed with a 20-knots wind and a slight swell, which was already considerably for their Folkboat.
Overall satisfaction in the awards
During the closing ceremony, both owners and crews, as well as the organizers and guests of the regattas showed their enthusiasm for the success of the VII Puig Vela Clàssica Barcelona and the 12 meters World Championships.
From left to right: Àngels Esteller, Sports Commission Councillor of the City Council of Barcelona; Xavier Torres, President of the Federació Catalana de Vela (Catalan Sailing Federation); Gerard Figueras, Director of the Catalan Sports Council; Jordi Puig, Vice President of the RNCB; Enrique Corominas, President of RNCB, Xavier Trias, Mayor of Barcelona; Maite Fandos, Mayor Deputy of Quality of Life, Equality and Sports; Damián Ribas, Commodore of the RCNB and Marc Puig, President of Puig.
The winners by categories of the VII Puig Vela Clàssica were the Samurai (Classics), the Moonbeam IV (Big Boats), Marigold (Gaff Yachts) and the Peter (Marconi Yachts). These vessels collected their awards from Marc Puig, the President of Puig; Xavier Trías, Mayor of Barcelona, Maite Fandos, Mayor Deputy of Quality of Life, Equality and Sports of the City of Barcelona; Gerard Figueras, director of the Catalan Sports Council, Xavier Torres, President of the Federació Catalana de Vela (Catalan Sailing Federation); Enrique Corominas and Jordi Puig, President and Vice President of the RCNB respectively. Besides, and for the 12 meters World Championship, Luigi Lang, Vice President of the Southern Europe Fleet of the ITMA (International Twelve Meters Association) joined the award ceremony. This category was won by the Italian Nyala of Patrizio Berteli.
Marc Puig, the President of Puig, thanked “the collaboration of Real Club Náutico from Barcelona, as well as the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trías and the sailors for keeping this competition as the best classic regatta of the Mediterranean”. Besides, the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trías wanted to thank “the Real Club Náutico from Barcelona and Puig, for their commitment of bringing this show to the city of Barcelona, capital of cultural and sport initiative.”
The Champions history
Marigold is a gaff rigging cutter beautifully renovated and maintained. She was one of the first designs of Charles Nicholson, launched in 1892 at the Camper and Nicholson shipyard, in Gosport. The sailboat shows authentic Victorian details, as her mahogany panelled salon and her central table with leather seats.
Primarily built as a regattas sailboat, the Marigold can also accommodate about 12 guests on board and three crew members. This boat catches the attention wherever she goes and has been awarded the “Concours D’Elegance”, the most precious prize to the elegance.
Designed by Jary Lindblom and built by Abo Batvarf, Peter is one of the fastest and lightest Marconi rigging cutters in her category in Finland. This boat got a stellar record in the CIM regattas, after winning the Championship of the Western Mediterranean and the Panerai Trophy in 2009. Besides being an excellent racing boat, she was built with enough space to accommodate from four to six people. She has recently incorporated sails and masts made of fine wood, which follow the original plans.
Samurai, a family boat
This Sloop Marconi from 1962 was designed by Cesare Sangermani and built by her owner, Secondo Pavese, an Italian sailor in love with the classical sailing. Since 1992, the three Pavese’s brothers have taken over her and still compete in regatta circuits of the Mediterranean. The original name of Samurai was chosen by Pavese because “she must win and if not, she does the harakiri”.
This stunning yacht, designed by the renamed William Fife III, is one of the few fore-and-aft cutters that keep sailing today. She is one of the most beautiful boats in the world, not only for her exterior, but also for her luxurious details. Her construction began in 1914, but the First World War made it was not launched until 1929. The Moonbeam IV has the distinction of having been chosen by Rainiero of Monaco and Grace Kelly to spend their honeymoon in 1956.
The Nyala’s history dates back to 1938, when the American Frederick T. Bedford, president of Standard Oil Corporation, decided to give his daughter a yacht to celebrate her wedding with Briggs Cunningham, an important boat captain. It was the first 12 meters vessel designed by Olin Stephens and, from the very beginning, she was a very fast boat, who eventually won two regattas in the year of her birth and achieved great results in different competitions during the following years.
Throughout her career she has been involved in various misfortunes. In 1947, due to a sudden storm while competing in the Mackinak regatta, her aluminium mast had to be replaced by a Mouette wooden one. Years later, in 1960, she was wrecked on the rocks of City Island during the Hurricane Donna. After that, she had to be restored and suffered several structural changes: the stern was changed and the mast was transferred. Currently, she sails through the European seas with great vigour. Her latest achievement was winning the 2008 Classic Boats World Championship in Flensburg.
Histories of the VII Puig Vela Clàssica
The awesome Big Boats category -Vintage and Classic boats with lengths from 25 meters- that includes the traditional boats Moonbeam III (25 meters), Moonbeam IV (29 meters) or Mariquita (29 meters) hosts for the first time to a real “mastodon” of the classic sailing: the Eleonora. This majestic vessel is almost 20 meters longer than the Mariette of 1915 (33 meters), the vessel with the biggest length that has ever participated in the Puig Vela Clàssica until now.
This 50 meters British boat is an exact replica of one of the most famous vessels in the regatta world, the Westward, built in 1910 and designed by Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, known as “The Wizard of Bristol”, after having built numerous challenger boats for the America’s Cup.
The Eleonora was built at the Van der Graaf shipyard in Holland and was launched in 2000. Since then, she has successfully participated in classic sailing regattas. Thanks to the VII Puig Vela Clàssica Barcelona, the audience can admire for the first time this stunning boat, who has the same length as an Olympic swimming-pool.
THE MOONBEAM IV CENTENNIAL
The construction of this stunning yacht, designed by the renamed William Fife III, began in 1914, but the First World War made it was not launched until 1929. This 2014, both the boat and Puig, the regatta organizer, are 100 years old this 2014. So, this afternoon this double centenary has been celebrated in the Real Club Náutico from Barcelona and Marc Puig, the President of Puig, has been commissioned to honor the legendary sailboat with a cake with the number eight, digit printed in the sail of a boat so loaded in history.
Histories of the 12mR World Championship
12 METERS AND AMERICA’S CUP: THE TECHNICAL SOLUTION THAT ILLUMINATED A NEW REGATTAS ERA
The America’s Cup had its first golden era with the election of 12 Meters. At the outbreak of the Second World War, the competition was suspended until 1958, and the expensive J Class boats were substituted by the more affordable and numerous 12 Meters. To do so, the Deed of Gift had to be modified in order to reduce the waterline length, from 65 to 44 feet, and to allow the international 12 Meters Class was chosen to compete in the America’s Cup.
Besides that, the most glorious era of the America’s Cup started in the edition of 1958 and lasted until 1987, when the challenge of Michel Fay, from New Zealand, clung to the initial rules of the competition to challenge Dennis Conner with a gigantic monohull 130 feet length, who chose to defend himself with a simple 40-feet catamaran.
The ten editions held between 1958 and 1987 meant the best time of the America’s Cup, as the previous wide acceptance of the 12 Meters led to a great turnout, which consequently led to the reorganization of the qualification series of the challengers, in hands of Louis Vuitton. Mythical sagas, such as the Columbia, the Weatherly, the Constellation, the Intrepid and the Courageos twice, the Australia II and the Stars&Stripes, inscribed in golden letters their names in the winners’ book.
As a technological spear tip, which has always been the America’s Cup, some teams found technology alliances with companies in the aerospace industry so powerful from those days. The emerging use of aluminum in shipbuilding and masts by then was one of the fields where there were significantly advances thanks to the 12 Meters.
But besides, these 12 M staged the first major event of the America’s Cup, when the Australia II was daring enough to win for the first time, in order to defend the U.S., by winning the Liberty of Dennis Conner after an agonizing 4-3. A real myth of the competition that could save the honor to recover four years later in Australian waters with his Stars&Sripes, where it would end up being the last edition held by the best boat the America’s Cup has ever had.
INTERVIEW WITH NICOLA SIRONI ORC MEASUREMENT RESPONSIBLE AND BEST EXPERT OF THE 12 METERS CLASS
Nicola Sironi the highest worldwide authority of the 12 meters class is these days watching the Puig 12mR World Championship. His association with the 12 Meter goes far beyond his link with the ORC, he started in 1980, or his roles as Measurement Responsible of the ORC or as a Measurement Responsible in the 12 M Class. Sironi has been great sailor, with victories including the 1980 One Ton Cup that took place in Naples and his competition in the Azzurra, as a Challenger of the 1983 America’s Cup. Certainly, he can offer a really worthy knowledge and an opinion.
According to Sironi “the 12 Meters are still really as attractive as they were the when they were built, some of which we have here, more 80 years ago. They are very competitive and technical boats, whose regulations were based on a very good measurement rule. A real proof of this is that even after almost a century, the equality in the fleet still continues. Shipowners and crews like competing in boats with characteristics and performances as similar as possible, where the human factor performance is the element that really tips the scale. This is what the 12 Meters class offers, so this is why it is here to stay, because it is a class fitted with good arguments to endure”.
The expert noted that “this are boats demanding a very experienced crew and therefore we meet these days in Barcelona professional sailors and the highest level experts and fans. For example, in the case of the Nyala, the presence of crew of the Prada of the America’s Cup, is not detrimental to the class, where the rest of crews are basically amateur and feel encouraged to compete with the best sailors. I think it will cause the opposite effect, one more attraction for the class. In the previous World Championship celebrated in Flensburg (2009, Germany) the Nyala already won without them, and perhaps she did it more forcefully than what she can get at this issue edition”.
About this regatta he states that “there is no doubt that Barcelona is a great regatta course, the thermal wind makes things easier. But it is not only about the regatta course, because the races most to be organised and controlled well in the water, and here they know how to do it. It is also important to have some effective ground facilities and the Real Club Náutico from Barcelona does so. But above all, I would like to emphasize the great willingness of the club to organize races, they really like that, and besides this helpfulness can be felt and it creates an amazing atmosphere, it results in improvements in all key aspects for sportsmen at offshore and ashore”.
In conclusion, Nicola Sironi thanks, on behalf of the entire 12m fleet “Puig for the effort they have made to bring together a group of boats as qualified as the one sailing in this World Championship. Vessels are very delicate, even when they have to be transported by truck. It requires a lot of effort and resources, and Puig has invested a lot of thrill to make this Championship happen”.