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Regates Royales invades the Cote d'Azur - A classic invasion

The 75 classics and the six Tofinou, three 12 Metres, all once owned by Baron Bich, and finally, 50 Dragons offering a stunning show to the many spectators crowding the beaches.

It was not easy, even for the cunning and experienced international crews in the Dragon class, to find the best tactical call today to disentangle from the group and get into the lead in such a light and shifty breeze.

Convergence skippered by Mikhail Senatorov won the first race. His compatriot Vasaliy Senetorov on Even Better took third, behind Finland's Christian Borenius on Thouban.

The fourth race (the second for the day) changed the leaderboard once again with Estonia's Vitamine-One (Mimkel Kosk) in first place, followed by Germany's Smaug (Nicola Friesen) and France's Ar Youleg (Christian Guyader).

At the end of the day, the Russians on Even Better were back on the saddle with 9 points, in front of the Germans on Smaug with 10. With three more days and at least six races to go nothing is carved in stone.

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Slightly more offshore in the Juan gulf, the 12 Metre racing had an air of nostalgia to it with the three boats once owned by legendary baron Bich meeting for the first time since 1970: Chancegger, Sovereign and France.

The three crews fought hard, alternating at the lead and looking for every shift and puff. After three matches Sovereign, the oldest boat on the water, came out on top with two victories, followed by France that won the last match of the day and Chancegger in third.

The 75 classics raced in about 10 knots of shifting easterly to south-easterly breeze, the bigger boats sailed twice around and the smaller ones once.

Not an easy race course to read, but apparently the best tactical option was to keep inshore and close to Cannes. It was hard work for all the crews, hoisting and taking down huge spinnakers, balloon spinnakers, genoas and jibs...

At the front, a real match-race between Cambria (23 metres long, design William Fife III dating from 1928) and the huge Elena (55 metres, a replica of Nathanaël Herreshoff 's original from 1910) took place.

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But this year the “Big Boats” series was revived by the newcomers Puritan, Sincerity, Sumurun and several more.

Behind them gaffers clashed with classics, one-tonners, Admirals' Cup boats or Marconi rigged boats, designed by the some of the biggest stars of all times:

Nathanaël Herreshoff, Charles Nicholson, Olin Stephens, Clinton Crane, Arthur Tiller, Sparkman & Stephens, François Camatte, William Fife, Eugène Cornu, Henry Rasmussen…

Full results here

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