Classic Boat
March 2002

"…US boats seemed to have had a fantastic time in Europe. Annalea Mills, bowman of the 12-Metre Gleam was one of a 16-strong crew that had competed in all the European regattas. Asked about the highlights she told me: "There's been something special in each regatta. They've all been so different and so good. Cowes was really hardcore with a tough schedule. Monaco has great parties and Cannes was really well organised." At St Tropez she'd enjoyed the crew parade for which the Gleam crew dressed in Medieval garb as horses, maidens and knights. "It was so funny, I fell off twice," laughed Annalea.

A seasoned competitor, Annalea has participated in many events across the pond, but told me that she'd never experienced anything quite like the Grand Tour. "Antigua Classics is really up there, but there's a totally different feeling. Here there's just a continual run of it."

One of Gleam's main rivals was Onawa, designed by Burgess Starling in 1928, the oldest 12-mMetre competing. In 1999, after 20 years ashore she was bought by a consortium for five owners of whom the best known is Elizabeth Meyer. These new owners put her through a refit in Newport, RI lasting 14 months, with Earl MacMillan overseeing the work as project manager.

Describing the regatta at St Tropez, crew member Rudy Jurg told me: "For a last place to come it's been a beautiful close to the season." Other Onawa crew members told me how much they had appreciated the lay-days, which had allowed them to recover from partying. One of the US crew members continued: "St Tropez has been the best all round for partying and I really like it that the Europeans get up at noon to start sailing."

Gleam's big genoa touches the water as she heels.
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