Every year, yachting photographers from all over the world submit photographs to the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image contest for a chance to win one of two prizes—the main Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image award, which is decided by a panel of specialists from the yacht racing world and photographers, and the Public Prize, chosen by both the number of popular votes an image receives and the votes of delegates from the World Yacht Racing Forum. As always, this year’s contest produced a bevy of breathtaking images of boats of all shapes and sizes sailing all over the world in a variety of conditions. So, sit back and enjoy a photographic stroll through the year in yacht racing.
The award for Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2014 went to Alfred Farré for his photo of the classic yacht Mariquita pounding through the swells during the VII Puig Vela Classica Barcelona regatta last July. “I am very honored by this prize,” Farré said during the award ceremony. In addition to taking home the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image trophy, Farré also won a nice Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 watch. Not too shabby. Farré’s camera: Nikon D 7000, 180mm, ISO 100, 2.5, 1/3200
Erik Brin captured this shot of the J Class Ranger sailing through choppy seas during the first day of the 2014 Les Voiles de Saint Tropez. “The conditions were very difficult for shooting,” Brin said, “but it was worth it despite the amount of water we took on. The result was a very wet photographer and gear!” And, of course, this great photo.
While waiting for the start of New Zealand’s Bay of Islands Race Week, Will Calver took this photo of a pod of dolphins playing off the bow of Jim Farmer’s TP52, Georgia. Calver noticed the animals playing around the boat and waited for his moment to capture not one but three dolphins breaking the surface.
Guillaume Grange photographed windsurfers Victor Fernandez Lopez, Kilian Du Couedic, Florian Jung and Philip Köster competing off La Torche, France, during an event in the Professional Windsurfers Association’s Grand Slam. Fernandez, along with two other competitors not shown, advanced to the title event of the 2014 PWA Wave World Tour.
French photographer Charles Marion took home the 2014 Public Award, selected by delegates of the World Yacht Racing Forum, with this photo taken in Saint Tropez bay around midday as the sun shone down on a Wally yacht sailing in the 2014 Les Voiles de Saint Tropez regatta. Marion’s camera: Nikon D4, ISO 320, f4.5, 1/3200
Pierrick Contin took this shot of Gurvan Bontemps and Benjamin Amiot test-sailing the Flying Phantom catamaran on a winter afternoon off the coast of Saint Cast (a seaside town next to Saint Malo, France) a few weeks after the boat debuted at the Paris Boat Show. Bontemps and Amiot are members of the Phantom Sailing Team.
The bright blue waters off Key West provided a stark contrast to the leaden, stormy skies as a fleet of J/70s hit the starting line during Key West Race Week. Photographer Sharon Green captured this image moments before the squall hit the fleet.
Onne van der Wal took this shot of Comanche, the 100ft sloop built for Jim Clark by Hodgdon Yachts in Maine, as she headed out of Newport, Rhode Island, bound for Charleston, South Carolina, on her first offshore shakedown. Skippered by Ken Read, world-renowned sailor and president of North Sails, Comanche is looking to make a name for herself on the long-distance ocean racing circuit. At press time, the cutting-edge behemoth had just been offloaded in Sydney, Australia, where she is set to compete against Wild Oats XI, the 100ft super maxi skippered by Australian sailor Mark Richards, in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Mark Lloyd snapped this shot of Alex Thompson, skipper of the IMOCA Open 60 Hugo Boss, at the very end of his “mast walk” off the coast of Cadiz, Spain. (Shortly after this photograph, Thompson dove off the mast into the ocean.) Lloyd said of the image that it “is one of the pinnacles of my working relationship with Alex Thompson Racing and the team at Hugo Boss.” To see a video of the mast walk, check out sailmagazine.com.
Nic Compton captured this shot of the 18ft Chryssopigi rail-down in the azure waters of the Aegean Sea as she sailed home from Paros, Greece, to Aegina after winning her class in the 2014 Cyclades Classic Yacht Race. Built out of wood in 2003-2004 by Nikos Daroukakis, Chryssopigi is based on a traditional Greek fishing boat from the island of Hydra known as a hydraiki.