The Cowes regatta is unique within the worldwide Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge series for the extraordinary diversity of yachts it attracts. From Hugh Morrison’s majestic 27m award-winning modern classic sloop Savannah to Michael Frith’s delightful 7.4m Bermudan sloop Blue Eagle, and from David Aisher’s 1888 cutter Thalia to the brand new, but classically designed 8 Metre Luna, launched only a few weeks ago, the entry list features a dazzling panoply of classic and modern classic yachts.
The entry list is bursting at the seams with well-known yachts including Panerai’s own 1936 William Fife designed Eilean; David Sheriff’s 1897 Jap, also designed by Fife; Opposition (formerly Morning Cloud) the 1971 Stephens designed Admiral’s Cupper built for Ted Heath and now owned by Jamie Mattheson; and David Murrin’s legendary Laurent Giles sloop Cetewayo. Joining the fleet will be 11 of the classic 8 Metres who are in Cowes preparing for the 8 Metre World Championship, which starts on 15 July. Whilst the newest 8 Metre will be Luna, mentioned above, the oldest will be Rafferty Tanneguy’s Hispania IV designed by Joseph Guendon and built in 1927 by Sagredos Santander Spain, meaning that 85 years of 8 Metre history will be represented at the regatta.
British Classic Yacht Club Regatta Chairman David Orton is delighted with the large entry for this year’s event commenting, “It is very encouraging to see the numbers of entrants to the Panerai British Classic Week rising annually, even in the face of difficult economic times. I am looking forward to an exiting week of racing for these wonderful boats in this Olympic year.”
Owning and maintaining a classic yacht is a labour of love and those involved feel a great sense of responsibility to ensure that these unique and beautiful vessels will be enjoyed by many generations to come. Events like Panerai British Classic Week offer an opportunity not only to show off the boats’ racing skills, but also allow the owners and crews to exchange ideas and tips with fellow enthusiasts and share their stunningly beautiful pieces of history with the general public.
Based at Cowes Yacht Haven, The Panerai Regatta Village is open to the public throughout the event and visitors are encouraged to walk the pontoons and inspect the yachts after racing. Classic yacht sailors love to talk about their boats so members of the public are encouraged to ask questions and find out more.
Registration opens on Saturday 7 July and the event features six days of racing on a mix of Solent based courses, starting with a race around the Isle of Wight on Sunday 8 July. After racing each day competitors will be invited to relax and compare tales in the Panerai Lounge.
ABOUT THE BRITISH CLASSIC YACHT CLUB
The British Classic Yacht Club was formed in 2001 to provide a congenial environment for owners and other classic yacht enthusiasts to share experiences and enjoy each other’s company. Affiliated to the RYA, the BCYC strives to represent the interests of classic yacht owners and has developed good relationships with many leading yacht clubs in the UK and abroad. The officers of the BCYC are actively involved in both national and international discussions about the future development of classic yachting.The membership of the BCYC now consists of more than eighty boats. In addition to the Club’s flagship annual regatta held in Cowes each July, the Club also organises a full programme of other racing, cruising and social activities in the Solent and on the East Coast, and supports the popular East Coast Classic Regatta in early June. BCYC yachts also participate in many important sailing events, including classic regattas in the Channel, Mediterranean and West Indies.
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 Group in 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.www.panerai.com
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, the leading international circuit for these vintage craft. In 2007, the company also acquired and restored the Bermudan ketch 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.www.paneraiclassicyachtschallenge.comwww.eilean.it