Early lead for Tuiga
After a short ‘settling in’ period over the past few days as the four yachts and their huge crews competing in the inaugural Westward Cup Regatta familiarised themselves with racing in Solent waters, today’s first day of racing went off without a hitch as Tuiga 27.36m (92ft) came roaring home in first position. Tuiga, helmed by the Secretary General of the Yacht Club de Monaco, Bernard d'Alessandri, was followed by Mariette 42.06m (138ft), then Mariquita 38.1m (125ft) and taking up the rear was the beautiful, but damaged 49.5m (160ft) Eleonora.
During practice sailing on Sunday, Eleonora suffered a severe blow to her anticipated racing prowess in this particular series, having incurred dreadful damage to her top masts in some gusty conditions that resulted in her losing both. Fortunately no one on board was injured and the yacht went into Southampton Yacht Services to be re-rigged in time to be on the start line this morning. She still looks a million dollars even with shorter masts! However the damage has rather put paid to her winning races this week.
These most beautiful Big Class classic yachts are racing against each other to win the prestigious Westward Cup, a perpetual trophy crafted on behalf of the owner of Eleonora, in celebration of the centenary of Westward’s launch in July 1910. The Cup is similar in design to the Cup that Westward won when she was racing in the Solent and it will be presented to the overall winner of the inaugural Westward Cup Regatta.
The Regatta has been organised by three of the most prestigious yacht clubs in the world, the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS) and two partner Clubs, the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) and Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM) and in collaboration with Boat International Media.
Images from Rick Tomlinson - www.rick-tomlinson.com: