Ronstan

PHOTO: Line honours for Atlantic in Trophée Bailli de Suffren leg one

Published on June 24th, 2013

The 185 foot schooner Atlantic was first to finish the 193 mile opening leg of the 2013 Trophée Bailli de Suffren, following a 22 hour match race with the 137 foot Herreschoff schooner Elena – and with just 90 seconds separating the two yachts as they reached Porto Rotondo in Sicily.

The fleet of 22 classic yachts left Saint-Tropez on Saturday (June 22) on the first of three legs that cover 600 miles of offshore racing between the south of France and the island of Malta.

This year’s race features the most impressive fleet ever assembled for an offshore classic race in the Mediterranean, with the giant schooners Atlantic and Elena competing with such famous yachts as Lelantina, Mariska and the 1903-built Moonbeam III.

The opening stages of the race involved a short windward/leeward in the Golfe de Saint-Tropez in a light easterly breeze that saw Mariska lead over the line from Moonbeam IV with Noryema IV getting a good start at the leeward end.

Rowdy, a previous winner in 2009 and 2010, quickly cleared some early traffic and joined the front runners, holding a better lane of breeze to lead Mariska by three boat lengths at the windward mark.

An hour later as the leaders left the bay and headed offshore, Rowdy had extended to a three minute advantage over Mariska, with Moonbeam IV lying in third. But over Saturday night the wind veered to the west and freshened to 20 to 25 knots, giving all boats a fast ride and enabling Atlantic and Elena to make the most of their massive waterline length.

On corrected time Moonbeam III finished first into Porto Rotondo with the 15m Class Mariska, sailing in her first offshore race, coming in a close second. The second leg, to Trapani in Sicily, starts on Wednesday, and the final leg to the finish in Malta’s Grand Harbour is scheduled for Sunday.

View the photo gallery and follow the race on Facebook. Full results are on the event website.

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