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Yachting World - - Les Voiles De St Tropez -

One of the most in­trigu­ing bat­tles in the clas­sic divi­sion took place in the Epoque Mar­coni class, which saw close rac­ing be­tween Tara Getty’s Sky­lark, Ger­man Fr­ers on Fjord III, and Charles Dun­stone’s newly re­stored and launched S&S Bl­itzen. The win nar­rowly went to Cholita, a Cal­i­for­nia 32, in a fleet which in­cluded the fa­mous Stephens de­sign Stormy Weather.

For leg­endary de­signer Ger­man Fr­ers, it was a chance to re­con­nect with one of his father’s break­through de­signs. “The boat was built in 1947 for the Rio race – it didn’t make it in time for the start then, but started a day and a half later. Then she won the race in 1950, when she was ready. She went on to win the Ber­muda Race in 1954. But when I was a kid she was very close to my heart. I was five when she was launched,” he ex­plained on the dock.

“The pre­sent owner bought her in the States. I didn’t have a boat this year, so I asked him if he would char­ter the boat to me, but he said ‘No, I’ll give it to you for the week’. So I’m sail­ing with friends and the crew of my boat. I can­not sail mod­ern boats, I can­not race with pro­fes­sion­als, so I’ve found my niche on these clas­sics, to have some fun.”

Charles Dun­stone mean­while was rac­ing his beau­ti­fully re­stored 1938 S&S Bl­itzen with Peter Mor­ton, who ex­plained: “[Dun­stone] was look­ing to do less grand prix rac­ing and more fun rac­ing. So we talked about do­ing some clas­sic rac­ing be­cause it’s ac­tu­ally a grow­ing fleet, and looked for a boat with some her­itage.”

Bl­itzen’s her­itage in­cludes win­ning the New­port­ber­muda Race in her launch year, and the 55-footer rounded off her 2016 Les Voiles with two wins in a row, fin­ish­ing just one point away from first over­all in her first com­pet­i­tive event.

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