Please select your home edition
Edition
Seaview Studio 2020 LEADERBOARD
Product Feature
Zhik Superwarm V Skiff Suit and Tops
Zhik Superwarm V Skiff Suit and Tops

Olympian wins Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy 2019 at photo-finish

by Gstaad Yacht Club 4 Oct 2019 22:57 BST
Olympia Winning the 2019 Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy © Juerg Kaufmann / www.go4image.co

Olympian, the William Gardner's gaff cutter from 1913 skippered by Guillaume Fetas has won the 9th edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy in a nail-biting photo-finish with Viola.

On Thursday, the day traditionally dedicated to the Défis (the challenges), over 20 of the most handsome boats from the classic yachting circuit gathered on the waters of Saint Tropez to fight for the 9h edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy, the only sailing trophy reserved to one hundred years or older boats.

The event is raced in a pursuit format with staggered starts and features an especially created handicap system, allowing very different boats in size and rig to compete on equal terms, with the first boat to cross the line off the breakwater to be declared the winner.

Sunny, blue skies, light wind conditions that never exceeded 10 knots, just perfect for the centenarian beauties, welcomed the 23 yachts - the highest number of entrants so far in the history of the regatta - on a 9 mile course in the bay of Saint Tropez.

After a real sailing duel, Olympian this year skippered by Guillaume Fetas, managed to take over Viola just five hundreds metres from the finish, by hoisting the big spinnaker, getting the necessary extra speed to cross the line in first. At the end of an exciting 3 hours race, the two boats were separated by only a half boat-length. Despite having won almost all the races she participated to this year, 1908 gaff cutter Viola could not write her name in the books of the Centenary Trophy for just a handful of seconds, while third on the finish line was the 10 m I.R. Marga from 1910.

"We knew from the start it was going to be tricky for the light wind conditions, very changeable. We just chose not to stick to tactical choices, but to adapt to find the best lane to catch up with the boats that started before us. Our competitors sailed very well, so it was hard for us to beat them." Declared an elated Guillaume Fetas. "It was a great day on the water and winning with a finish like that is very cool."

Olympian thus becomes the second boat to have won the Centenary Trophy twice after the success in 2014, together with Tilly XV that this year unfortunately could not defend her title. Olympian is a P-Class gaff sloop designed by American William Gardner in 1913 that spent almost her entire life in the USA scoring several wins on Lake Michigan, before being rediscovered and restored in 2013 by French America's Cup veteran Bruno Troublé who had her delivered to the Mediterranean. Since then Olympian successfully took part to the top regattas and yesterday became double winner of the Gstaad Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy.

"It was a super exciting race, one of the closest finishes in the history of the Centenary Trophy. Watching from close such an incredible display of racing skills and boat handling on these old yachts was just fantastic." Declared the Gstaad Yacht Club's Commodore, Manrico Iachia. "We are looking forward to next year, it will be an important milestone with the regatta celebrating its 10th anniversary. We will be working hard to make it a memorable event, from both a technical and a social standpoint, hoping to gather a record number of centenarians."

The prize-giving night, with more than 140 guests, was held right off the Saint-Tropez waterfront.

Past winners of the Centenary Trophy

  • 2011: Bonafide (1899)
  • 2012: Marigold (1892)
  • 2013: due to adverse weather conditions the title was not awarded
  • 2014: Olympian (1913)
  • 2015: Oriole (1905)
  • 2016: Spartan (1913)
  • 2017: Tilly XV (1912)
  • 2018: Tilly XV (1912)

Related Articles

10th Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy
Olympian's triple hat trick After her wins in 2014 and in 2019 the stunning Olympian did it again and won the 10th edition of the Gstaad Centenary Trophy in the waters of Saint Tropez on Thursday. Posted on 1 Oct
10th Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy preview
22 centenary yachts are expected on the starting line in Saint Tropez Tomorrow will mark the 10th edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy. For this anniversary edition, 22 centenary yachts are expected on the starting line, ready to fight for the prestigious trophy created by Wakely and Wheeler in London in 1911. Posted on 29 Sep
Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy preview
10th edition to be held on 30th September in Saint-Tropez In just under a week's time, on Thursday 30th September, the most beautiful centenarian yachts will meet in Saint-Tropez for the 10th edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy. Posted on 24 Sep
Anticipation grows for Gstaad Centenary Trophy
The most beautiful boats aged a hundred years or more Anticipation is growing for the tenth edition of the Centenary Trophy, the regatta-event organised by the Gstaad Yacht Club to celebrate the most beautiful boats of one hundred years and more. Posted on 15 Aug
Gstaad YC postpones 10th Centenary Trophy
Difficult quarantine measures between France and Switzerland The Swiss Club has taken the tough decision to move forward the 10th edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy, the regatta dedicated to boats one hundred years and more of age. Posted on 23 Sep 2020
Gstaad YC Centenary Trophy - Two days to go
The clock is ticking on the Cote d'Azur Organisers at the Swiss Club are giving the final touches to the Gstaad YC Centenary Trophy the regatta dedicated to boats one hundred years and more of age that has become a true tradition and an unmissable rendez-vous for centenarian sailing yachts. Posted on 1 Oct 2019
Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy is back
Some of the most handsome boats will gather once more Feels like yesterday when the Swiss Club launched the idea of an event dedicated to boats one hundred years and more of age, but the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy will celebrate its ninth anniversary this year in Saint-Tropez. Posted on 17 Aug 2019
Second win for Tilly XV at Gstaad YC Trophy
Second win for Tilly XV at Gstaad YC Trophy On Thursday some of the most handsome boats from the classic yachting circuit gathered again on the waters of Saint Tropez to fight for the 8th edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy Posted on 6 Oct 2018
Exceptional line-up for Gstaad YC Centenary Trophy
Eighth edition on the Cote d'Azur today On Thursday October 4, some of the most handsome boats from the classic yachting circuit will reunite again on the Cote d'Azur to fight for the 8th edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy. Posted on 4 Oct 2018
Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy: A month to go
Celebrating at the 8th Gstaad Yacht Club's Centenary Trophy Some of the most handsome boats from the classic yachting circuit will reunite again on the Cote d'Azur to fight for the eighth edition of the Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy and to celebrate some very special anniversaries... Posted on 11 Sep 2018