Classic Yachts Challenge 2007
The grand return of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2007
The Watch Quote™ - July 1st, 2007
The great 2007 yachting season, with the excitement of the America’s Cup in Valencia, also sees the return of the unique glamour of the exclusive Mediterranean circuit for vintage yachts, the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, now in its third edition. The world of traditional sailing – the magnificent wooden boats, the timeless names and designs, the passion of the great characters of yachting: the owners, designers, constructors and champions – has a close connection with the values, the history and the technology of haute horlogerie, represented by Officine Panerai, the leading brand and symbol of the love for the traditions of the sea.
The world of historic vessels and vintage yachts is about to enjoy another season of remarkable success with the participation and involvement of many owners and enthusiasts. It is proving to be one of the most thriving sectors in the nautical world, each year attracting an increasingly numerous band of sailors, enthusiasts and onlookers through its character which superbly embodies the values which the sea alone can represent. Also for this reason the events devoted to vintage yachts become a great celebration in which the key moment is the parade of the most beautiful “ladies of the sea” past the quaysides thronged with the public.
The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2007 Circuit is organised by AIVE (Associazione Italiana Vele d’Epoca / Italian Association of Vintage Yachts) and CIM (Comité International de la Méditerranée / International Mediterranean Committee), together with Officine Panerai which is the title sponsor. Five races are planned, as well as three off-shore transfers from one leg to another, making a total of eight events in which the participants are allotted points counting towards the final classification. In 2006, 239 yachts took part and for this edition the organisers are expecting 300 yachts.
This is the calendar of the meetings. The first event is at Antibes (France), the “Voiles de Antibes”, from 30 May to 3 June; then comes the classic event at Porto Santo Stefano (Italy), the Argentario Sailing Week from 13 to 17 June; next to Port Mahon in the Balearics (Spain), for the V “Copa del Rey de Barcos de Epoca”, from 28 to 31 August; then back to Porto Rotondo, Italy in Sardinia from 6 to 9 September; and finally the conclusion at Cannes (France), with the Régates Royales, from 24 to 30 September.
The transfers will start with the La Spezia-Porto Santo Stefano off-shore race (8-10 June), followed by Mahon-Porto Rotondo (1 September) and ending with Porto Rotondo-Cannes (17 September).
As is customary, many new appearances are expected this season, including above all appropriate acknowledgements to the America’s Cup. It has been confirmed that the great Denis Connor, one of the legends of the America’s Cup, will be racing, and the International 12 Metre World Championship at Cannes will see the appearance of many yachts from the history of the Cup.
The events will also see the meeting, on the quayside and in the races, of the great admirals of the fleet, the Big Boats, which the Panerai Circuit will also honour this year with a special trophy: Lulworth, the auric cutter of 46.30 metres designed by Herbert White, Southampton, in 1920, belonging to the Dutch owner Johan van den Bruele; Altair (32 metres, 1931), Cambria (34 metres, 1928), Mariette (32 metres, 1915), Mariquita (31 metres, 1923), which will add a new chapter to the continuous replay of the historic duel between William Fife and Nay Herreshoff, the legendary naval architects of the most beautiful yachts of the 20th century.
The distinguished presence of Dennis Conner is confirmed: the great protagonist of the America’s Cup in the 1980s will appear with his 16-metre yacht Cotton Blossom II, to continue the never-ending challenge with Giuseppe Giordano’s Bona Fide (winner of the Panerai Challenge 2006 in the Vintage category). Expected for the first time are Armorita owned by Claudio Mealli, the sister ship of Cholita, the 14-metre sloop of 1937 in the California 32 class, which has proved to be particularly competitive in the Mediterranean circuit (1st in 2005, 3rd in 2006).
Among the yachts which took part in 2006 and returning this year are Oriole owned by Francis Van de Velde, Tirrenia II of the president of AIVE Gianni Loffredo (in the Vintage category), and the winner of the Panerai Challenge 2006 in the Classic category Emeraude of Vittorio Cavazzana, Strale of Antonio Bandini, Madifra of Matteo Rossi, Windigo of Andrea Boroli, the English Outlaw (winner of the circuit in 2005), and the ketch Alba of the Spaniard Damien Ribas, president of the CIM. Among the small boats also returning is Lona, the English cutter of 1905 launched at Chiavari in the first week of 2006 by its owner Maurizio Manzoli, brother of the solo sailor Franco Manzoli who won the Ostar in 2005.
For the 2007 Circuit, Officine Panerai, whose association with traditional yachting is based on its fundamental sharing of identical values and on its cooperation with organisers and owners, will once again launch a new watch model: the Luminor 1950 Flyback Regatta Rattrapante 2007, with new features reflecting the remarkable tradition of the house.
Officine Panerai is also established across the Atlantic as sponsor of the Antigua Classic Week 2007 (19-24 April), organised by the Antigua Yacht Club, recognised as one of the great events of vintage yachting and now in its 20th edition. The other prestigious events in which it is involved across the Atlantic are in the USA at Newport, Rhode Island (6-8 July) and Nantucket, Massachussets (11-19 August). In the USA too, alongside traditional yachting, Panerai presents its established values of research, innovation and tradition, establishing a deep association with places and events through time.