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Tuiga wins the Westward Cup in Cowes

Events

After celebrating her 100th anniversary in September 2009, Monaco’s 15 M IR maritime ambassador launched her new regatta season in style by winning the Westward Cup in Cowes.

Organised from 5 to 10 July 2010, the Westward Cup 2010 was an initiative of Zbynek Zak, owner of Eleonora to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the launch of the original Westward. This lovely schooner was launched on 31 March 1910 as hull number 692 at the Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. in Bristol, Rhode Island, USA. She was designed by the “Wizard of Bristol”, Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, the man behind the America’s Cup defenders which resisted all six challenges from 1893 to 1920.

Her dimensions were: length overall 160 ft (49.5 m), length on deck 135 ft (41.5 m), length on waterline 96 ft (29.30 m), beam 27 ft (8.20 m), draft 17 ft (5.20 m) and sail area 12,000 sq ft (1’115 m²). Her displacement was 214 tons. Nathanael Greene Herreshoff is certainly the most famous and accomplished American yacht designer and builder of all times. For some 75 years “Capt. Nat”, as he was called, dominated the naval design fraternity as an innovator who created vessels that were advanced and extreme, but always, always beautiful.

For a week Mariquita, Mariette, Eleonora and Tuiga, who had come to Cowes from the Mediterranean especially for the event, raced in the Solent. The aim was to recreate the ambiance, style and elegance of the Big Class classic yacht regattas of the 1910s and 1930s when Westward raced in Cowes.

It was an exceptional event which enjoyed the support of the Royal Yacht Squadron, the New York Yacht Club and the Yacht Club de Monaco through La Belle Classe. It was the first time that these prestigious Yacht Clubs had agreed to work together and pool their skills for a centenary.

For the occasion, the crew on Tuiga were nearly all members of the Yacht Club de Monaco who were joined by tactician, Harold Cudmore, a legend on the British sailing scene having taken part in many America’s Cup races. Also on board was David Arnold, a sailor who originates from Cowes and is used to the sandbanks and subtleties of the Solent’s currents which are among the strongest in Europe.

From day one Tuiga, helmed by the YCM’s Secretary General Bernard d’Alessandri, demonstrated her racing qualities and desire to repeat her 2008 success when she won Cowes Week.

Just 27 seconds! That was the narrow gap which separated the Monegasque yacht, second in real time, from Mariquita at the end of the first tightly fought race which lasted three hours and 20 minutes.

The next day in a steady 15-20 knot wind, which favoured the big boats from the start, the crew on Tuiga had to concentrate hard throughout the 38 nautical mile course to limit as much as possible the lead her competitors were inevitably going to have in real time. Mariette crossed the line first with an average speed of nine knots (!) followed by Eleonora and Mariquita. Tuiga achieved her objective and finished second in compensated time.

On the third day of racing, the 32 nautical mile course with the tide and 10 marks to get round proved a real challenge. It was to require more manoeuvres by all the crews than on the previous days. Tuiga and Mariquita had the best starts and seized the lead from the first tacks over the other two competitors. Tuiga is a real gem in these wind conditions and for nearly four hours the Monegasque 15 Metre was the equal of Mariquita. It was only on the last tack that the latter drew ahead and crossed the line first in real time.

On the last day of racing which took the fleet round the Needles, the western-most point of the Isle of Wight, Tuiga clinched victory not only in compensated time but also in real time with an average speed of seven and a half knots.

And so Tuiga wins the Westward Cup 2010. The Yacht Club de Monaco is delighted not only with this win but also for having lived up yet again to the expectations of the “Spirit of Tuiga” Club which unites all those who love this 1909 Fife design. She really is the finest maritime ambassador that the Principality could hope to have today.

Rankings

New York Yacht Club Race, Tuesday 6 July 2010:
1st Tuiga, 2nd Mariette, 3rd Mariquita

Boat International Race, Wednesday 7 July 2010:
1st Mariette, 2nd Tuiga, 3rd Mariquita

Yacht Club de Monaco Race, Friday 9 July 2010:
1st Tuiga, 2nd Mariquita, 3rd Mariette

Royal Yacht Squadron Race, Saturday 10 July 2010:
1st Tuiga, 2nd Mariette, 3rd Mariquita

Westward Cup 2010
1st Tuiga, 2nd Mariette, 3rd Mariquita

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