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GP Week : Issue 223
After a near faultless performance from the start, the Victorian gaff rig cutter Partridge 1885 owned by the Jean Boulle group won the prestigious 2014 Rolex trophy at Les Voiles de saint-tropez, the regatta which closes the mediterranean race season and attracts 300 classic and modern yachts every year. It was a superb win for this yacht, built in 1885, which coped admirably with unpredictable conditions. Skippered by Alexander Laird, Partridge and her crew set the bar high by winning the first race in both real and corrected time, before raising her game in the second to finish a comfortable first 24 minutes ahead on corrected time. And while she did not manage to pull off the hat-trick on the final day, she did more than enough to clinch victory in the overall ranking. “It’s a great honour to win the Rolex Trophy. The crew has been incredible and throughout the week we were very focused on manoeuvring and calling tactics as the weather conditions weren’t easy. I’m very happy as it’s an accolade for us and above all for the boat,” said Alexander Laird, skipper of Partridge. Like many yachts built in the late 18th and early 19th century, their history involves many fine years sailing in the English Channel, before eventually being abandoned in a mudflat. The story of Partridge runs a similar course until she was rescued from anonymity in 1980 from the Blackwater River in Essex. After a long restoration, completed in 1998, Partridge began a new career in the South of France where her elegant silhouette has graced many a regatta over the years. With this excellent win, Partridge can add another trophy to her list. At the 2015 Monaco Classic Week (September 9-13), this doyenne of the Mediterranean classic yacht circuit will celebrate her 130th anniversary. Partridge 1885 retains pole position to clinch Rolex Trophy 2014 at Les Voiles de saint-Tropez Imola has emerged as a potential saviour for the Italian Grand Prix. The circuit, which for more than two decades hosted the San Marino Grand Prix, has thrown its hat into the ring by offering to share the hosting of the Italian race with Monza. Discussions between Monza circuit officials and Bernie Ecclestone broke down over the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, primarily over money. Ecclestone has stated that, while Monza is part of Formula 1's history, promoters must pay the going rate in order to host a race beyond its current deal. The current contract secures the race only for 2016, with nothing in place for 2017 and beyond. However last the week Daniele Manca, Mayor of Imola, met with Ecclestone to discuss the future of the race. "Imola is proposing to alternate with Monza," Ecclestone told Gazetta Dello Sport. "We could do that,” he continued. "I want to ensure Italy stays on the calendar." Imola has hosted the Italian Grand Prix once, in 1980, but has other wise hosted the San Marino Grand Prix from 1981 to 2006. The circuit under went a revamp in 2007 in which the Variante Bassa was straightened. Monza has recently received 20 million Euros from the Lombardy regional government, however those funds cannot be used for sanctioning fees and instead are going towards reorganising the circuit and facilities. It leaves promoters 10 million Euros to find to satisfy Ecclestone’s demands. It's best hope now is to seek assistance from the national government. 15 GPWEEK.com // 15 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> news imola to save italian gp?