Westward & Windward

When writing this article, we just realised that the event in question took place exactly one year ago. We also realised that unfortunately, there’s nothing like that happening this year and we don’t even know if there will be one next year. We hope, of course!

We are talking about the Windward Cup, a regatta of the Royal Yacht Squadron in order to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the launch of the racing schooner Westward, designed by Nathanael Herreshoff, in 1910. The regatta took place between the 5th and the 11th of July, bringing together 4 exceptional yachts in one of the world’s most famous sailing waters, the Solent.

First there was 15m Fife designed Tuiga (92ft), then there was Mariquita (125ft), the sole survivor of the 19m Class built in 1911. Next came Mariette (138ft), a marvellous schooner from 1915 (just recently voted ‘most beautiful classic yacht’). The forth yacht was Eleonora (160ft), a replica of Westward ( the original was scuttled according to the will of her owner, in the English channel, close to the point where her famous opponent, Britannia, was resting)

Christian Leyk: “The team of Ken Freivokh Design was taking the opportunity to have a closer look at those incredibly beautiful yachts. A trip like this (including lunch in Cowes on the Isle Of Wight) may not be the most productive way to spend a day in the office, but it’s certainly inspiring!

It reminded me of that moment many years ago when I first saw the J-class yacht Endeavour at the Travemünder Woche in Germany. As a young and spirited designer I was feeling almost a bit sad, because I was thinking that whatever I do, I would not be able to match the beauty of this J! But then again, for every client there might be a different ‘most beautiful yacht ever’, and hopefully for some owners in the future I would be the one who would design it!”