Lafayette, owned by Murdoch McKillop and skippered by Allan Manuel took the lead on the first day of the 8 Metre Centennial World Championship 2007, run by the Royal Northern Yacht Club at Rhu, sponsored by Chopard.
The Scottish yacht has yet to sail in a championship and not be on the podium. She has always been pretty much unbeatable in heavy air and since her keel was changed she has become a superb all-round performer for the conditions in Scotland.
In spite of poor visibility the first race started on time at 11.00 in 12 to 14 knots of wind. Wyvern was disqualified for being over the start line early. Soon after the start the wind backed, resulting in a rather one-sided course.
The leading boats at the first mark were Lafayette, Aluette and Hollandia. These three were in the lead throughout the race which lasted just over an hour. Lafayette extended her lead throughout the race and the crewing was conspicuously superior to other boats.
First of the classic boats was Saskia from Australia which finished 6th overall having sailed a very good race.
Carron from Norway retired with damage to her mainsail, but managed to return to the race area in time for the second start.
A second race was started in about 6 to 8 knots of wind but was abandoned soon after the leading yachts had passed the windward mark as the wind there died to virtually zero. At time of abandonment Hollandia was leading followed by Lafayette, then Alluette, which had just passed Peter Wilson’s Ganymede, the newest boat in the fleet, which had its first sail only two days ago.
Lafayette, better in heavier conditions, struggled off the start line in the second race, but recovered impressively to be closely in touch with Hollandia at the top mark, with the remainder of the fleet well behind.
After a long wait for new breeze the race officer abandoned racing for the day.
Swiss take world cup
The final day of the 8 metre Centennial World Championship 2007 started with very light winds and only three points between the leaders, the Swiss boat Alluette and the Scottish boat, Lafayette.
The start was postponed because of the light easterly winds. Following a general recall the race finally started at 1.00 pm. At the first weather mark Hollandia were first round ,closely followed by Windy, then Yquem, Saskia, Ganymede and Alluette. Lafayette was well down the fleet and rounded the mark with Catina and If, managing to overtake both boats at the mark.
Coming up to the leeward mark Hollandia had taken a commanding lead with Yquem second. The wind veered as the boats were coming up to the second weather mark. Hollandia was still in the lead but was caught by Yquem, followed by Wyvern and Alluette.
On the final leg Yquem overtook Hollandia and pulled away to cross the line first. Hollandia was second, Alluette third and Wyvern fourth.
The overall winner, taking the World Cup was Alluette, Lafayette finished second and Hollandia third. Chris Proffit, Managing Director of Chopard, the main sponsor of the event, went on board Alluette at the finish to be the first to congratulate the World Cup winners.