2022 winner Kismet - © Juerg Kaufmann for GYC
The Gstaad Yacht Club's Centenary Trophy 2023: one week to go
One week to go to the 12th edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy and more classic yachts have confirmed their participation to the regatta, that will take centre stage next Thursday October 5th in Saint Troppez, an event that has become a unique and unmissable rendez-vous for the aficionados and a new challenge for boats that line up for the first time.
A record number of 17 centenarians will be participating, including some past winners and regulars to the Trophy, or newcomers to the event and four boats dating back to the 19th century: gaff cutters Jap (William Fife III 1897), Kismet (William Fife III 1898), Madcap (Davis & Plain1874) and the ketch Sky (Thetis Ware1890).
Besides, Italian flagged Marconi yawl Barbara, designed in 1923 by Charles Ernest Nicholson and built at Camper & Nicholsons shipyard in Gosport, UK as a cruising family yacht, another "rookie" was created fo purely racing purposes. The 12M Thea, was in fact designed by the Norwegian sailor, double Olympic medallist and prolific architect Johan Anker in 1918. Built by the Anker & Jensen shipyard, according to a proposed S-Class formula. For over one hundred years, Thea ( sail number D-1) was loved and cared for by each of only four owners, so much that she has never required a complete restoration, and has been racing on the classic circuit and as a part of the 12mR fleet. In 2001, she was one of three Nordic twelves that sailed in the historic 12mR fleet at the America's Cup Jubilee in Cowes.
Yet the two debuting centenarians will have to watch out for the more experienced crews, some of them having won the Trophy more than once, to the likes of P-Class Olympian (William Gardner, 1913) that has an historic triplet, having taken victory in 2014, 2019 and 2021, out of eight editions she participated to, or last year's winner Kismet (William Fife III 1898).
Since its creation, the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy is raced under a Pursuit Race format with staggered starts, that has proved extremely attractive for the sailors and the public alike over the years. Thanks to an especially created and constantly refined handicap system, the competitors cross the starting line according to their handicap, with the first boat to cross the finish line in front of Saint Tropez to be declared the winner.
Daniel Heine, GYC Sailing Officer and owner of Silhouette (William Fife III 1910) declared: "It's a real pleasure, as a sailor and as a member of the Club, to see that every consecutive year the Centenary Trophy grows both in numbers and in quality of the classic yachts that decide to take part. Our aim has always been to celebrate the beauty and performance of these boats, to highlight the skills of their crews and appreciate the love and the constant care the owners have for them. And, of course to provide good racing and competition on the water and good fun ashore. The Gstaad Yacht Club is very proud to celebrate the Centenarians and is looking forward to welcome them in Saint Tropez."
Organizers are in fact working on the social activities ashore, to make sure the Centenary Trophy is fun too. On the menu a Swiss night, at the Cinéma in the historic Place des Lices on Wednesday where sailors will have the chance to taste the specialties from the Alps but also put their abilities to the test in a very Swiss activity...
The Trophy, handed over every year is also over centenarian, having been created by Wakely and Wheeler of London in 1911, that is exactly 100 years before the first edition of the regatta.