Cambria set off 2010 with an ambitious racing program. The most exciting event was a planned match race against Astra to be held at the Portofino Rolex Cup. This would have been the first meeting of the two 23 metres since 1930. However, due to poor weather, Astra could not attend and thus the race was cancelled.
As a result the first regatta of the season was the Voiles d’Antibes. As usual the regatta was well organised and had fair weather. The competition included Moonbeam 3 and 4 and Mariska, the newly rebuilt 15m. Racing was close, Cambria holding on over the water but finishing down the list on corrected time; fourth with Mariska winning the first of the Panerai Mediterranean series.
Following cruising the Cyclades in Greece we returned to the racing circuit in Mahon, Menorca. This regatta is a fantastic event held in a beautiful location at the end of August. Moonbeam 4 also made the voyage to join the event. It ended up being just the two of us match racing, as Creole stayed on the dock whilst their crew raced Avel. Cambria took line honours Friday and Saturday whilst Sunday was cancelled due to 35 knot mistral. Cambria won the regatta on corrected time due to Moonbeam 4 withdrawing from Saturday’s race.
The Nice regatta followed where Cambria again took line honours but came second on corrected time to Tuiga. This is a relatively new regatta run by the local yacht club and the Consierge Generale. It was an excellent event with a very local feel. The racing was close with conditions ranging from 5 to 25 knots of true wind.
The feeder race from Nice to the Regate Royales in Cannes was painfully slow with the wind maxing out at 5 knots. After six and a half hours (for an 18nm course) Cambria ghosted over the line. The Cannes regatta is the final Panerai event of the season and this year had an excellent turn out of yachts. Cambria’s class consisted of Tuiga, Mariska, Mariquita, Sunshine, Moonbeam 4, Moonbeam 3 and Thendara. Shamrock V also shared the start line though raced in the Spirit of Tradition Class. Cambria again took class line honours and finished 5th on corrected. However, because we finished above Moonbeam 4 (the only other Big Class yacht which had competed in as many Panerai events as Cambria) she won the overall trophy for ‘The Panerai Classic Challenge – Big Class’.
The final event of the season is the Voiles de St Tropez. An excellent fleet was present: Cambria, Mariquita, Moonbeam 3, Moonbeam 4, Mariska, Tuiga, Elena, Altair, Thendara and Sunshine. The committee split the ‘Big Class’ into two: schooners/ketches and cutters, sharing the same start. With ten large classics all over 30m on the same line, the starts were always going to be exciting! Cambria had excellent racing and managed to take line honours Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, losing the clean sweep on Saturday to finish mid fleet. The pick of the days was Friday when once out of the gulf of St Tropez we found 25knots of westerly wind. Without a reef, Cambria was over powered and had to shorten to main and staysail only. With only a relatively short distance to the windward mark it was worth holding on ready for the downwind ‘sleigh ride’! Rounding the mark Cambria set her jib again and took off at 13 knots. We left the fleet behind, some still in the gulf yet to receive the wind.
Traditionally Thursday at St Tropez is a lay day or challenge day. Cambria was the holder of the Club 55 Cup. The 55 Cup was the original event which grew into the Voiles de St Tropez and thus quite a prestigious trophy. The holder and challenger race from the Portalet, on the St Tropez breakwater out to the Nioulargue bouy and back to finish off Club 55 restaurant on Pampolone beach. This year Cambria challenged Mariquita. It was a beautiful day, though unfortunately very light winds. Conditions certainly favoured Mariquita, but Cambria was also sailing well in the light. Mariquita won the start, however it wasn’t long before Cambria claimed the upperhand and once in the lead did not look back. After a couple of hours racing with conditions going lighter, Mariquita conceded defeat and the two boats sailed in to have a fantastic lunch together at Club 55.
This winter Cambria is once again calling Cannes home and continuing her planned winter maintenance program, having a well earned rest whilst looking forward to next season.