Friday, January 11, 2013

Ski-Yachting. Christmas Regatta in Nice, France.

The classic S-Y has a long history in Nice, France. So long that I remember at the age of fifteen participating in it with my twelve years old brother. Sailing on an old wooden Lippincott Star boat which had seen better days, including I believe a second place in the 1946 World's Championship in Havana, Cuba.
The regatta attracted in the winter crews from behind the Iron Curtain from the USSR, Romania, Bulgaria and naturally the cream of French, Italian and Switzerland.

Of course, the two of us had absolutely no chance against the best in a very competitive Class.
But, by extreme luck and with totally upside down sea and wind conditions, my brother and I found ourselves ahead of the fleet at the weather mark. It was not long before the Stars passed us slowly one by one, their crew standing up and applauding as they went by. Well, this was the best and the end of it, or almost.

A little side story: like I said, many boats came from the Eastern block, behind the Iron curtain. Their crew, with the escort of "commissars". One time, I went to the locker room to find to my surprise one of the crew lined up in front of their commissar. You know, Yacht Club gives small gifts, like ash trays, pens, pennants, tee shirts etc. to the visiting guests. I was dumbfounded when I was actually witnessing the commissar confiscating all the items right from the sailor's hands just before going home along with the trophies.

Do not talk to me about Communism. Scary like hell.

On another note: about one of my favorite boat and the folly of it. The super 3 times a Star; the dangerous Attila.