We always like working on beautiful boats and so it has been a pleasure to be involved with the preparation of Kismet, a 55’ Fife designed cutter, before her trip to the south of France to ‘do the circuit’ this autumn.
“Kismet” spent many years unloved and slowly disintegrating in an Essex mud berth before her current owner rescued her and restored to her to her full glory some 10 years ago. After the refit our sister company, Gowen Ocean, were ask to supply a full inventory of sails. Whilst ‘modern’ woven polyester fabric was used, much of the finishing was by hand in the traditional method – hours of painstaking work.
The boat enjoyed success at various local and international regatta’s before being put away whilst the owner enjoyed sailing his IRC rated yacht.
Once it was decided that ‘Kismet” would be campaigned in this years south of France regattas we were again asked to help plan an inventory of sails that worked best with the CIM rating system and maximise the potential of the boat and the likely conditions.
After much consideration the main, 3 headsails and the asymmetric were replaced. Each sail was made using Contenders Fibercon Pro classic light cream. In addition to the new sails the existing whoompa was converted to a 150% light genoa.
The classics started off in Cannes at the Régates Royales Cannes, racing for Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge. In a strong fleet of 20 boats, “Kismet” placed an excellent second overall.
Being 120 years old “Kismet’ qualified for the unique Gstaad Yacht Club Centenary Trophy, this is open to any yacht over 100 years old. In a close race she narrowly finished second to last years winner.
After the Centenary Trophy, “Kismet” set off on the feeder race from Cannes to Saint Tropez, she handsomely won the Coupe d’Automne trophy.
The final event was the hotly contested Les Voiles de Saint Tropez. With 3 of the 4 races counting and only a couple of points separating the top 6 boats “Kismet” stood of the podium with an excellent 3rdplace.
Overall a very pleasing and consistent set of results against many of the top classic sailors in the world.