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GP Week : Issue 230
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 It's full steam ahead for plans to make the 2017 spec formula 1 more 'aggressive' following discussions between the teams. Announced earlier this year, it was claimed the sport would make the cars look meaner and perform better, with the target of reducing lap times by as much as five seconds. The overhauled regulations come in response to declining spectator figures as the sport seeks to reinvent itself and become more exciting. However as always discussions have centred on how the changes could be made affordably while acheiving the goal of improving the on-track action. The fear was that the new look cars could prove unable to run in close proximity, therefore hurting the racing rather than helping it. A number of different proposals were made but that which was accepted came from Red Bull - which at this point may not even be in the sport for 2016 let alone 2017 - after a meeting of the Technical Working Group following the Japanese Grand Prix. Red Bull's proposal called for a wider front wing, which will grow by 200mm to sit 1850mm wide, and a lower and wider rear wing. There are also changes to the floor of the car, taking designs back closer to what they were in 2010 at the height of the blown diffuser war. Tyres will also be wider, though not as wide as first thought, with the front's growing to 300mm wide and 400mm for the rears. For the changes to be passed into the regulations they will need to be ratified by the World Motor Sport Council later this year, but before then will need to pass one final meeting of the TWG, scheduled for later this week. fast future for formula 1 12 GPWEEK.com // 12 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> news