2011 Captain's Report
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Captain’s report

Portofino May 2011 – Match race Cambria v’s Shamrock V for the Portofino Rolex Cup.

Very light conditions prevailed 6 – 10 knots. Reduced crew of 14. Excellent racing with Shamrock racing with the double headsail configuration. Two races per day. Cambria 4 – 0, last day cancelled due to unstable conditions. Immediately after cancelling 25 knots steady came in from the North. Shamrock did some power reaching with their guests on board. Elizabeth Meyers thoroughly enjoyed the experience as did we all. Cambria wining the perpetual trophy which is an original cleat from Endeavour set on an original transom plank from Endeavour’s tender, Bystander.


Voiles de Antibes – June 2011.

Another fantastic event. The weather remained very light with nothing over 12/14 knots all week. Competition this year came from Mariska, Mariquita and Moonbeam IV.  Cambria had a fantastic regatta again proving the fastest on the water by a long way, up to 25 minutes in front of the nearest competition, however due the now farcical ratings, Cambria managed a third place overall on corrected time. There is some excellent footage on the video section of the website. For me, the highlight was a port start ducking both Mariska and Mariquita pre-start to gain the starboard side of the course and the upper hand hitting the windward mark. It is such a magnificent place to sail these beautiful yachts, only 25m off the 18th century ramparts.


Cruising this year took us to the Balearics: Menorca and Mallorca, which after a cold and wet start to July became sunny and hot and the perfect opportunity to discover new places. The north coast of Menorca remains unspoilt and quiet whilst the west coast of Mallorca is truly breathtaking in natural beauty.


Vel d’epoca  Mahon - August 2011

 We returned to Menorca to defend the cup from the 2010 regatta. Our competition was Moonbeam IV, Mariquita, Hispania, Mariette and Caroly. Unfortunately Mariette withdrew from racing at the last minute leaving the cutters to race it out. This was our first time out against Hispania, the rebuilt 15m, and the excitement of another classic joining the fleet was all around the port. Thursday’s racing was gentle with the wind maxing at 10 knots and easing during the afternoon. Cambria had a good race in a dying breeze and managed to hold a fast finishing Mariquita, who had an excellent downwind leg to the harbour, to pass across the finish line inside the Mahon harbour first.  Though we had an excellent day on the water, Hispania sadly lost their topmast. No one was hurt in the incident, however we are again reminded of how quickly things can go wrong, Friday promised better wind and after an excellent start all was going well until a rare tactical error saw us split from the other competitors, unfortunately in the wrong direction!!!! When we realised this error  (thanks to a cryptic radio call from Mariquita of “are you sure to leave the island to starboard.....?”).  Due to a reef to weather of us we had to gybe around. During the manoeuvre our Bowman/Engineer Andy, was knocked off his feet and into the water. He managed to grab the whisker stay with one hand and clamber back on board, just....! Certainly wet and shaken but no major damage other than a cut above his eye and another pair of sunglasses donated to Neptune!  Fortunately we were able to fight back into the lead and hold off a fast gaining Mariquita as the wind built behind us up to 20 knots. Sailing back into the harbour with a gusty breeze is an exciting time as the angles change constantly. Cambria caught some good shifts and managed to lay each head land and then the finish line. By Saturday the wind moved to the north and freshened to 20+knots. The swell arrived with it and the race officials wisely set a course to the south side of Menorca to race in the lee of the island. To get there however we had a short beat of a mile to the east and a weather mark.  As the swell was building it was difficult to see the mark. The start was conservative as each yacht concentrated on keeping their crew on board. Cambria was launching off waves and the foredeck crew were doing a fantastic job to hold on and keep the kites from washing of the deck! Once we all found the weather mark we all eased sheets and took off to the south side of Menorca. Cambria again held off the competition to cross the line first of the shorten race course. The race took us two hours to complete; it then took three hours to motor back into the harbour against the North wind and seas! The final results saw Moonbeam IV win the regatta on corrected time with Mariquita 2nd and Cambria 3rd.  Another excellent regatta in Mahon, certainly one of the season highlights.

Monaco Classic Week   12-17 September

Monaco is traditionally a light wind event with the emphasis on the show rather than the sailing. The highlight for everyone was the much anticipated competition between the four 15m’s; Tuiga, The Lady Anne, Mariska and Hispania (complete with new top mast after the Mahon incident). Cambria’s start line consisted of the four 15’s, Mariquita (celebrating her 100th year of design), Orion, Moonbeam 3, Zaca, Zaca Ti Moana and Sunshine. The breeze remained fickle all week, very light and patchy. Cambria maintained her line honour record over each day, and was even rewarded by the yacht club with a first place trophy for fastest in class. Cambria also did well to hold off Moonbeam 3 and take 2nd on corrected to Mariquita who fitting won the regatta celebrating her birthday.

Cannes Regate Royale  19-25 September

Cambria’s local event. This year again saw an amazing turnout of large classics. Cambria was joined by Shamrock V, Lionheart (the new Hoek interpretation of another of the J Ranger designs), Elena, Mariquita, Moonbeam 3, Moonbeam IV,  Milena, Sunshine,  Mariska and Lady Anne. Shamrock rated against Lionheart in the spirit of tradition class but shared our start line. Cambria’s competition on the water was to be Elena with memories of her speed last year in St Tropez returning to our decks. The first two days racing saw building conditions with the wind topping out at around 18 knots. Lionheart took off and lead the fleet all the way closely followed by Shamrock and Elena, with Cambria hanging on to Elena’s stern wave. The conditions certainly suited the heavier yachts, on corrected time Cambria finished 5th and 8th respectively. Days 3 and 4 saw the return of the lighter conditions, no more than 10 knots true wind. This certainly returned the odds to Cambria’s favour and with clean starts Cambria even caught and passed Shamrock with a 4 minute start advantage and never let Elena back into the picture. The racing with Shamrock was again a highlight, continuing the camaraderie between the two evenly matched yachts and crews. Cambria started to move back up through the results with a 2nd and 3rd on corrected time. Unfortunately the wind stopped at this stage and the following days racing was cancelled due to lack of wind.  Cambria ended up tied for 4th with Mariska, behind the victors Moonbeam IV, Moonbeam 3 and Mariquita in 3rd. Again the race committee acknowledged the efforts and results of Cambria and her crew by awarding a special “City of Cannes Trophy”

Voiles de St Tropez  25 Sept – 2 October

This regatta saw the return to the scene of both Mariette and Altair. With light conditions forecast all week, Cambria potentially had the best chance to do well in a regatta she has traditionally found difficult because of classes and conditions. Unfortunately she would still be hobbled by an additional 4% penalty on time for powered winches. This penalty is quite random with CIM being used at the discretion of the race committee and only in France.  Our class consisted of Mariquita, Elena, Moonbeam IV, Moonbean 3, Mariette, Altair and Sunshine. With the 15’s on our start line as well we decided to avoid the always favoured yet always busy committee boat end of the line and concentrate on fast clear starts. Unfortunately on race one, we were a little eager and crossed the line seconds early, incurring a further 5% time penalty.  Elena had the best of the day with a first on water and on corrected, Mariquita second and Cambria third.  Day two was a mirror image of day one with course and wind, however this time no OCS for Cambria and we were away. With a dying breeze we not only managed first on the water but also a first on corrected. Over the 4.2 nm course Cambria was 9 ½ minutes faster than Mariquita which corrects to a 90 second advantage. Friday brought more of the same conditions. The same course took us again up into a busy anchorage for the wind ward mark. Combining anchored boats, spectator craft plus eight other classic yachts all over 100 ft leads to some spectacular manoeuvres! Cambria gained line honours over Mariquta then Elena, unfortunately corrected time put Mariquita first and Cambria second. Going into the last day of racing for the season Cambria was one point behind Mariquita and one point in front of Elena, with such a large fleet anything was possible and we had all worked the possible scenarios on how to win the regatta. The breeze was the lightest and most unstable of the week. Cambria got away to an excellent start and was drawing away from the fleet, Mariquita was in sight but Elena had headed to the other side of the gulf looking for wind.  As the breeze died the committee shortened the course, but to no avail. The last race was cancelled leaving the results as they stood; Mariquita first, Cambria second and Elena third.  Of the 10 years Cambria has been competing in St Tropez, this is her best result. An excellent job by all involved.

2011 Race crew

John Wooderson (tactics), Florence Legrande(main sheet trim), Casper Mortensen (mast), Peter Skaarup (staysail trim), Adam Davis (foredeck), Graham Carter (aftdeck), Peter McMullan (primary trim), Christophe Ion (foredeck), George Mueller(primary trim), John Lammerts (foredeck/staysail trim), Burke Murphy (aft deck), Eric Burrus (primary trim), Peter Lambrecht (midship), Nicky Mcfarlane (midship), Fiona Mcfarlane (midship), Sam Laurie (mast), Manni Avenia (primary trim), Francis Langrenay (foredeck), Chrissy McCarron (staysail trim), Geoff Condell (aftdeck), Alexi Strawn (aft deck), Tim Jaques (midship), Scott Huntley (foredeck), Frano Tregaskis (bow/foredeck), Steven Jackson (midship),Ez  Hammerton(aftdeck), Simon Wergan (primary trim).


An excellent season all round from the match racing with Shamrock in Portofino to the fleet racing in St Tropez. Special thanks to the permanent crew: David Hambly (Mate), Andy Carter (Engineer), Natasha Whiteford (chef), Sean Kippers (Bosun), Sarah Simsolo (Stewardess/deckhand) and Anna Barkham (logistics shoreside). Another fun, safe and competitive year sailing one of the finest pieces of yachting history afloat. Each year Cambria’s rating improves to become more competitive on handicap. This is still secondary in the attitude of the program. The most important thing is to enjoy sailing and competing with such an incredible collection of beautiful yachts. It is hoped however that we can eventually establish a class that is truly ‘Big Boat’, > 23m waterline. This would solve the issues of rating with the smaller yachts and the added penalty of the 4% for powered winches, as all Classic racing yachts over 23m WL have powered winches thus negating the need for an additional penalty at all. 

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