SUI 44 Astree II

Originally Z 44, Astree II was designed by Bjarne Aas and built at Frederickstad in 1951 for Pierre Biggar of Switzerland, who was based at Cannes. In 1958 she was purchased by King Constantine II of Greece, re-named Meltemi, and re-numbered GE 1 and was also raced at Cannes. In 1960 she was purchased by a M. Camoletti and rather surprisingly re-named Mecara, still being based at Cannes. By 1980 however she was based on the Bodensee, taking part in the preparatory regattas for the disastrous 1981 Worlds, raced by Ivo Lanka. In 1985 she was bought by M. J. de la Revelliere, who kept her until 1991 when she was bought by Pierre-Paul Heckly and re-numbered F 44. In her he won the classics in the 1992 British Open Championships at Benodet, before taking part in the 1993 Worlds at Cannes, finishing well down, as the Moderns were now thoroughly outclassing the pre-1965 boats. However, in her Pierre-Paul then won the 1994 European Classic Championships at Benodet and the 1996 Classic Europeans at Cannes, as well as being runner-up there in the Classic World Championships there in 1997. At the end of that regatta she was deliberately sunk by vandals alongside the quay and when raised, was catastrophically damaged.

She was rescued and over the next few years, Philippe Durr spent a long time having her very carefully restored to original. In 2010, beautifully restored, she once again appeared at the European Championships at Brunnen, finishing third with Philippe Durr. Since then together they have maintained their very high reputation, finishing 2nd in the 2011 Coupe Bnque Privee Edmond de Rothschild at Lutry, beating Irene and Mecara and only losing to the modern SUI 100 Duclop with Thierry Graf and winning it at Geneva in 2014, beating three Moderns.

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