Blue skies, reflected on the flat sea of the Mediterranean, a steady breeze filling up the sails at 20 knots – against this backdrop, the 13th edition of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Mediterranean Circuit hit a high note at the charming French Riviera town of Antibes, where the first of the four events that make up this circuit, Les Voiles d’ Antibes took place from 31st May to 4th June 2017.This was followed by the Argentario Sailing Week, which took place in Porto Santo Stefano in Tuscany from 14th to 18th June 2017.
The entire calendar of the Mediterranean Circuit of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge (PCYC) wraps up by end September, and takes place in Italy, France and Spain.
The dates of the four events are as follows.
- Les Voiles d’Antibes 31 May – 4 June 2017
- Argentario Sailing Week 14 – 18 June 2017
- Mahon, XIV Copa del Rey de Barcos de Epoca 29 August – 2 September 2017
- RégatesRoyales, Cannes September 26 – 30 September 2017
The majority of the boats entered on the Panerai circuit had already competed in many of the previous editions,taking either class victories and adding their names to the Roll Call of Honour of the prestigious trophy itself. The latter include Moonbeam IV, winner of the overall Big Boat trophy in the 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016 seasons. Stretching 35 metres, Moonbeam IV was built in 1914 by the Fife yard in Scotland and was once owned by Prince Rainier of Monaco.
Competing in the same category is the 54-metre schooner Shenandoah of Sark, launched in the US in 1902 to a design inspired by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany’s yacht. Chinook, a gaff cutter splashed in 1916 by the legendary American yard Herresh off, competed in the Vintage Yachts class for the third time after her wins in 2014 and 2016. Likewise, Il Moro di Venezia I after her overall class victories in 2013 and 2015. The 1976 20-metre was the very first Italian IOR Maxi Yacht and belonged to Italian chemical magnate Raul Gardini. Il Moro competed with the likes of Ganbare, a 10-metreOne Tonner that won the 2016 PCYC trophy and also marked Californian Doug Peterson outas one of the world’s leading designers after her launchin 1976.
In the very large Vintage Marconiclass was the historic 1930 International 12-Metre Class Emilia,the multi-Panerai Trophy winner Rowdy (1916), Serenade(1938) and, of course, the 22-metre ketch Eilean acquired and restored by Officine Panerai in 2006. Three 19th century vessels, of a bygone era of yachting were – the pleasure yacht Lulu, launched in 1897, and awarded national historic treasure status in France, Tigris (1899) returns to competing in the same town where she was restored a decade ago and the 18-metre Marigold, built by Camper & Nicholson in 1892.
22nd edition of Les Voiles d’Antibes – The first round of the 2017 PCYC concluded on Sunday, 4th June, with the winners of the 22nd edition of Les Voiles d’ Antibes being awarded the Panerai watches as prizes for the four main categories. This is the 13th year of Panerai being the title sponsor of the Les Voiles d’ Antibes. The prize winners were the yachts Mariska (Big Boats), Chinook (Vintage Yachts), Encounter (Classic Yachts) and Tabasco 5 (Spirit of Tradition). The 80 classic and vintage vessels that took part in the French Riveria event competed in four races, with a different course each day.
The 18th Argentario Sailing Week – In all, 47 boats from 10 different nations competed in the second Mediterranean stage of the 2017 PCYC. For the first time in the event’s history, the fleet competed in four rather than the usual three races. The formidable racing arena in the Golfo di Talamone featured courses of between 15 and 20 miles in length. All of the races were successfully run thanks to good weather and sea conditions. Moonbeam of Fife(1903)won the Big Boats category in all four races. Linnet(1905) swept the boards in the Vintage Yachts at Porto Santo Stefano. With three victories and a second position in her class, Ganbare, the 1973 One Tonner dominated the Classic Yachts standings. As happened in 2016, the little gaff sloop Raindrop(2014) won the Spirit of Tradition class.
With the placings spread so widely between the various boats in the first round at Antibes in France and Porto Santo Stefano in Tuscany leaves the battle for end-of-season honours wide open in all the various categories of the 2017 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge.
The third round on the Mediterranean Circuit will beat Mahon in Spain between August 29 and September 2.
About the Mediterranean Circuit of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge
The regattas comprising the Mediterranean Circuit of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge are organised by the Yacht Clubs and by the local Associations of Antibes, Porto Santo Stefano, Mahon and Cannes.
The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Trophy for the “Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge” Mediterranean Circuit is awarded to the winning yachts in the Vintage, Classic and Big Boats categories at the end of the four scheduled regattas. Each stage is organised according to:
- The ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) 2013-2016
- I.M. Regulations 2014/2017
- The Notices of Race and Racing Instructions of each organising Yacht Club
Vintage Yachts are yachts build of wood or metal before 1950. Classic Yachts are those built before 1976, as well as their replicas that are in accordance as described by the Regulations for the Rating and Racing of Vintage and Classic Yachts (C.I.M. 2014/2017 and its modifications).
The yachts in the Classic and Vintage categories may be sub-divided into further classes based on their Rig, Rating and Length Overall (LOA).Also eligible are Spirit of Tradition Yachts conforming to the requirements of the C.I.M. Technical Committee, yachts of the International Rule and Universal Rule classes and one-designs. All the yachts entered must present a valid measurement certificate complying with C.I.M. regulations.
Each entry must be validated directly by the organising Yacht Club. All yachts that take part in at least one of the four events in the programme are automatically entered in the classification for the awarding of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Trophy During every regatta, measurement checks of the boats entered are carried out by the official measurers of the C.I.M. and of the National Associations. In the event of a dispute, the race committee’s decision will be final.
The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Trophy is awarded only to yachts which have taken part in at least two events on the calendar.
Founded in Florence in 1860 as a workshop, shop and school of watch-making, for many decades Officine Panerai supplied the Italian Navy in general, and its specialist diving corps in particular, with precision instruments. The designs developed by Panerai in that time, including the Luminor and Radiomir, were covered by the Military Secrets Act for many years and were launched on the international market only after the brand was acquired by the Richemont Groupin 1997. Today Officine Panerai develops and crafts its movements and watches at its Neuchâtel manufacture.The latter are a seamless melding of Italian design flair and history with Swiss horological expertise. Panerai watches are sold across the world through an exclusive network of distributors and Panerai boutiques.
Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge
In honour of its historic links to the sea, Officine Panerai has promoted classic sailing culture for many years through its sponsorship of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, theleading international circuit for these vintage craft. In 2007,the company also acquired and restored the Bermudanketch Eilean. Built in 1936 by the legendary Fife yard at Fairlie in Scotland, she is now the brand’s ambassador at vintage and classic boat rallies and regattas.