In a reversal of fortunes, Mariette of 1915 sailed a near perfect race Thursday when she comfortably won the day on handicap from her arch-rival, the 128ft Naema, levelling their scoreline at one-all at this half way stage of Capri Classica.
With her smart navy topsides, the 138ft 1915 Nathanael Herreshoff gaff schooner made the best start, immediately pointing higher than Naema, winner of yesterday’s race.
Mariette of 1915’s superior upwind pace allowed her lead to increase as the frontrunners passed between the Sorrento Peninsula and Capri. By the time Mariette of 1915 rounded the first turning mark off Punta Campanella she was already some 10 minutes ahead of her rival.
Benefitting from being first on to the run caused Mariette of 1915 to extend; Naema’s superior downwind pace less evident today perhaps due to her having less ballast and less stability than her rival in the big breeze.
Certainly witnessing Mariette of 1915’s 180 tonnes thundering downwind at 12 knots, under full canvas, including her fisherman, blasting apart the substantial seas that were otherwise hammering Capri’s southern shore, was a sight to behold.
After returning to a much calmer Gulf of Naples, in the lee of Capri, she comfortably won the day on handicap from her rival, Naema.
Bringing up the rear, Puritan retired for a second day, and this left Orianda, the smallest of the four schooners at a mere 85ft long, to complete the course, coming home third.
Orianda is the only one of the four giant schooners competing without gaffs, and her rig is at present substantially shorter than it was originally designed – this is being rectified next year when 5m is being added aloft.
However Thursday’s big conditions were perfect for her, even if the large waves weren’t helping, said Orianda’s captain Sebastiano Marulli d’Ascoli.
“We saw 9.5 or 10 knots with the gennaker which was nice. I have been told that Orianda has done 12 but I haven’t seen that. Maybe one day . . .”
The Capri Classica competitors
Mariette of 1915 –138ft 1915 Nathanael Herreshoff schooner
Naema – 128ft built in 2012, inspired by the 1938 Alfred Mylne design Panda
Orianda –85ft 1937 Dahlstrom staysail schooner
Puritan –126ft 1930 Alden gaff schooner