The first Spirit Yachts Regatta received top reviews from owners, crew, guests and sponsors
Spirit Yachts held its first regatta in Guernsey from 25th June to 2nd July in partnership with Locate Guernsey. Ten Spirit yachts ranging from 37 to 65 feet competed in a six-race series, which was won by Spirit 52 Flight of Ufford.
Above: Spirits on the upwind leg (photo Waterline Media)
Sean McMillan, Spirit Yachts CEO commented, “The Spirit Guernsey Regatta was a culmination of nearly three decades of dedication, teamwork, and passion. To see a fleet of Spirits flying across the start line at our own regatta was a very proud moment for all the team.”
Sean continued, “We couldn’t have asked for a better week. Perfect racing conditions, fantastic location, and a wonderful group of people. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and as a result we are already discussing the Spirit Regatta 2024; watch this space for details!”
Above: the Spirits enjoyed plenty of champagne sailing in amongst the Channel Islands (photo Waterline Media)
Based in Guernsey’s capital St Peter Port, the regatta comprised a six-race series of passage, round the cans, and windward/leeward courses organised by the Guernsey Yacht Club (GYC).
Under the regatta racing rules, each yacht also had to submit a female-helmed race result. Designed to provide opportunities for young female sailors, the rule allowed yachts to choose any race based on availability, skill set, and weather conditions.
Above: Spirit 63DH Gwenhyfar racing (photo Waterline Media)
The highly competitive regatta was won overall by Spirit 52 Flight of Ufford, with Spirit 52 Oui Fling in second but only missing out on the top spot by 0.5 point, and Spirit 65 Chloe Giselle one point behind Oui Fling in third. The WEST SYSTEM passage race was won by Oui Fling and Flight of Ufford took the Locate Guernsey passage race. Spirit 46 Whisper of Lymington placed fourth overall and took home the prestigious Spirit Cup for “embracing the Spirit of the regatta”.
Above: The crew of Whisper of Lymington with Jenny Whitmarsh, Spirit Yachts director (photo Chris George)
Ashore, over 120 regatta competitors and guests were treated to a varied programme of social events in iconic locations. From welcome drinks at the 800-year-old Castle Cornet to sunset BBQs, and a glamorous prize-giving dinner, the socialising was as lively as the racing. The regatta also raised funds for the Guernsey Sailing Trust with an Optimist race on the model yacht pond at Guernsey Yacht Club.
At the end of the regatta week the owner of a Spirit 46 commented, “What a great event, so professionally organised with such friendly people. What a great family Spirit is.”
Another Spirit 46 owner said, “An unforgettable week. What a privilege to be part of the Spirit family and thank you Guernsey!”
Above: welcome drinks at Castle Cornet (photo Waterline Media)
For its inaugural regatta, Spirit Yachts partnered with Locate Guernsey, a Guernsey government agency established to promote the benefits of Guernsey as a destination of choice for individual and business relocation.
Director of Locate Guernsey, Jo Stoddart, commented, “The Spirits brought a stunning spectacle on the water and the owners, crew and guests were also able to make the most of all that Guernsey offers ashore. It was a brilliant week for Guernsey and showcased some of the benefits of the island to a discerning audience; it also demonstrated we can successfully host high profile sailing events.”
Above: the racing took in scenic views of Guernsey, Herm and Sark (photo Waterline Media)
The Spirit 2022 Regatta attracted a raft of high-profile sponsors from across the marine industry. Lead sponsor WEST SYSTEM was accompanied by supporting sponsors Lewmar, Oceanskies, OneSails GBR (East), Raymarine, and Torqeedo.
Watch the regatta video below.