- Published on Saturday, 27 October 2012 15:18
- Written by Carlo Caraluzzo
27 October, 2012, Les Voiles: The Genie is rapidly becoming the boat to beat and its powerful near sweep during Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez only reinforced the potential of the exclusive Wally fleet. The vessel and crew seemed to function as a single unit as the boat swept to three victories and two second places. The rest of the field was far from weak either, with the likes of Sensai, Dark Shadow, and Ryokan in the race to win. The Genie, a Prince Charles de Bourbon-Siciles`s yacht is the oldest in the Wally fleet but age does not seem to have slowed it any as the captain-owner and extremely cohesive crew launched a two pronged attack that got them their first victory. Instead of worrying about the win the team simply maintained a rapport and utmost professionalism while having a lot of fun at the same time.
A win is a dream held closely by thousands of racers worldwide and Genie owner Charles de Bourbon-Siciles is happy indeed with his boat and crew. The win should not have been much of a surprise however. The ultra-modern Wally fleet is formidable indeed. Watching the sight of Wally`s racing against each other in their own “round-set” at Papelonne was inspiring. The vessels are exciting to watch due to their massive outlines and clean lines. The setting for the races could not have been better as well with sunshine, calm seas and a good breeze. The Wallys competed in a total of 8 races, winning nearly half and placing in 5 total. The owner had the helm and had Damien Lehl for a tactician seated next to him, giving him the “little birdie” he needed to think past the next turn. The first race was only a 5th place but the team remained calm and professional and improved its game daily, walking away with an impressive finish.
Charles de Bourbon-Siciles admits that they were completely off guard during the first race. The entire team loves the boat however. Match race specialist Lehl said that for his money she was the best of the Wally line of modern superyachts. But some of the crew also made comments about the complexity of the vessel. It takes a while to pick up all her unique characteristics they said but once you did she was like an ocean stallion.