Spartan wins 6th Gstaad Yacht Club’s Centenary Trophy at photo finish
USA’s flagged NYYC50 Spartan has won the 6th edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy in an exciting photo-finish with 2014 winner Olympian, skippered by Bruno Troublé.
The USA-flagged NYYC 50’ class Spartan, dating from 1913, has won the 2016 edition of the Centenary Trophy, the prestigious regatta raced during the Voiles de Saint-Tropez’s and reserved to classic yacht one hundred years or more old.
The regatta, raced in a pursuit format with staggered starts, began at 12.30 with the 19 yachts starting staggered defined by a special handicap system, considering their age, size and type of rig. Thanks to a good south-easterly wind of a dozen knots all the boats covered the 9-mile long course in less than two hours.
Spartan, sailed by an American-Finnish crew and debuting in the Mediterranean circuit, was the first on the finish line, off the French village’s breakwater, beating 2014 winner Olympian, skippered by Bruno Trouble, for just a few seconds, proving once more that the format is ideal for such a varied fleet and guarantee fair competition and great show.
Third on the finish line was another Herreshoff design, the NYCC 40 Rowdy, at her first participation in The Centenary Trophy that just came of age, having been launched in 1916, exactly one century ago.
“Spartan was honoured to have been invited to participate in the Gstaad Centenary Trophy race here in Saint-Tropez. It was absolute ideal conditions with flat water, firm breeze and a picturesque backdrop. As one of the last boats to start it was truly exhilarating to move forward through the fleet and manage a photo finish with one of our season rivals, Olympian. No question this is an event we will make sure to participate in the future.” said an elated Justin Burman, Captain of Spartan. He was echoed by the yacht’s owner, who declared: “This was one of my most enjoyable days on the water, I love pursuit racing!”
Bruno Trouble skipper of second-placed Olympian’s commented: “The concept of the regatta is exciting and proved to be extremely successful and enjoyable. The boats are always sailing very close to each other and the game become more exciting. Spartan’s fast finish was surprising, in a shorter race, just 5 minutes shorter we would have won!”
Extreme satisfaction was also expressed by the Swiss club’s organizers: “What an exceptional photo-finish for the winner and the runner-up! The first two boats were separated only by twenty seconds and a couple of metres, after just two hours of racing. I am delighted to note that every year we have a different winner, despite having different sailing conditions. This proofs that the format of the Centenary Trophy is correct.” Said Rear Commodore Manrico Iachia.
Spartan was awarded with the exclusive trophy, created by Wakely and Wheeler of London in 1911, during the prize-giving ceremony held in Saint-Tropez last night.
“Yet again this year, for the sixth time, we enjoyed a fantastic and friendly atmosphere. I’m especially happy of the prize-giving ceremony we had at the Chateau Saint Tropez. I want to thank Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Charles of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duke and Duchess of Castro who kindly opened the doors of the castle to the Gstaad Yacht Club for the night.” concluded Commodore Peter Erzberger.
Past winners of the Centenary Trophy
2011: Bonafide (1899)
2012: Marigold (1892)
2013: due to adverse weather conditions the race could not be sailed and the title was not awarded
2014: Olympian (1913)
2015: Oriole (1905)
2016: Spartan (1913)
The Centenary Trophy is organized by the Gstaad Yacht Club in co-operation with the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez and is one of the focal point of classic racing at the Voiles de Saint-Tropez.
The Gstaad Yacht Club was founded in 1998 by a group of sailor enthusiasts with the vision to „create a unique global yacht club away from the waters, instead of another local club by the waters“. Based in the Swiss mountains and in the beginning, very often acknowledged with surprise, the GYC developed to a club with 400 members from over 20 different countries and to a place where members and their guests love to meet.
The GYC supports sailing projects on all levels from juniors to professional sailors and it has become a solid force on the Swiss sailing scene and especially among Olympic sailing and the classic yachts.