Olympian, the William Gardner’s gaff cutter from 1913 skippered by Guillaume Fetas has won the 9th edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy in a nail-biting photo-finish with Viola.
Sunny, blue skies, light wind conditions that never exceeded 10 knots, just perfect for the centenarian beauties, welcomed the 23 yachts – the highest number of entrants so far in the history of the regatta – on a 9-mile course in the bay of Saint Tropez. After a real sailing duel, Olympian this year skippered by Guillaume Fetas, managed to take over Viola just five hundred metres from the finish, by hoisting the big spinnaker, getting the necessary extra speed to cross the line in first. At the end of an exciting 3 hours race, the two boats were separated by only a half boat-length.
“We knew from the start it was going to be tricky for the light wind conditions, very changeable. We just chose not to stick to tactical choices, but to adapt to find the best lane to catch up with the boats that started before us. Our competitors sailed very well, so it was hard for us to beat them.” Declared an elated Guillaume Fetas. “It was a great day on the water and winning with a finish like that is very cool.”
Olympian thus becomes the second boat to have won the Centenary Trophy twice after the success in 2014, together with Tilly XV that this year unfortunately could not defend her title. Olympian is a P-Class gaff sloop designed by American William Gardner in 1913 that spent almost her entire life in the USA scoring several wins on Lake Michigan, before being rediscovered and restored in 2013 by French America’s Cup veteran Bruno Troublé who had her delivered to the Mediterranean. Since then Olympian successfully took part to the top regattas and became double winner of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy.