It was Cote d’Azur at its best for the opening day of the 33rd edition of the Régates Royales, final and decisive event of the Panerai Trophy 2011. A bright sun, a good southerly breeze later veering southwesterly and flat sea were on the menu on the stunning Bay of La Napoule. As tradition in Cannes, the classic yachts offered a superb show to the many spectators’ boats and to the public that crowded the beaches on a warm late summer day. The fleet sailed in the area just off the Lerins Islands, on a twenty and twelve mile long coastal course, for the Big Boats and the other classics respectively. Among the Big Boats it was Chris Barkham’s Cambria to cross in first, followed by Moonbeam IV and Moonbeam of Fife III while James Thom’s Mariquita came in fourth. Nan of Fife, Avel and Oriole were on the top three spots in the Classic gaffers class. Stella Polare, the ketch representing the Italian Navy won among the Classics, leaving behind the French couple White Dolphin and Arcadia. Reigning champion in the Marconi class, Rowdy confirmed her supremacy, coming in front of The Blue Peter and US flagged Manitou at her absolute debut in the Régates Royales.
Leonore, Anne Sophie and Harlekin respectively jumped on the provisional podium among the smaller Marconi class. And finally, it was Ireland’s Shamrock V to beat Gaulois and Grey One in the Spirit of Tradition division.