As is now a tradition, 2011 will see Les Voiles d’Antibes (8-12 June), in the French Côte d’Azur resort of Antibes, opening the Mediterranean Circuit of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the circuit of regattas reserved for vintage and classic yachts, sponsored for the seventh year running by Officine Panerai.
The old port of Antibes will act as host to approximately 50 vessels, divided into four main categories: Vintage Yachts (pre-1950 hull), Classic Yachts (hull built between 1950 and 1975), Spirit of Tradition (post 1970 classic style construction) and Metric Class yachts (former America’s Cup yachts and those belonging to the same metric tonnage, built from 1906 on). The larger boats will be racing in the Big Boats category.
A host of internationally famous boats are set to arrive in Antibes. These include the 15-Metre International Tonnage Mariska, the 1928 Cambria, the majestic 1915 steel schooner Mariette, and the auric cutter Mariquita, a 1911 Fife which will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of its launch this year. Back again to compete in the Classic Yachts category is the 1975 sloop Emeraude, three times winner of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge in its class. Even the 1916 Rowdy, one of the 14 monotypes in the NY 40 class, won’t be missing out on the chance to make an impressive race performance. The vintage auric cutters category promises an open challenge between the multi-titled Bona Fide, Tigris – both launched in 1899 – and the 17-metre 1908 Wayward. Also racing is Patience, the Bermudian cutter which this year celebrates the 80th anniversary of its launch from the English shipyards Camper & Nicholson.
In accordance with the Mediterranean Circuit regulations, the Finals trophy of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2010 will be presented at Les Voiles d’Antibes for the Vintage and Big Boats categories. The crews of Rowdy and The Blue Peter – which came first and second in the Vintage class – as well as Cambria and Mariska – first and second in the Big Boats – will challenge each other to a match race for the trophy, already assigned to Emeraude in the Classic category during the most recent Régates Royales regatta in Cannes.
The regatta schedule foresees one race per day starting from Thursday 9 June. On Sunday 12 June, in the late afternoon, the closing ceremony will take place with the presentation of the trophies and Officine Panerai prizes for this first stage of the Mediterranean Circuit of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge.
Officine Panerai creates a special limited edition watch for each year of the circuit. For the 2011 event, it’s the Luminor Submersible 1950 Regatta 3 Days GMT Automatic Titanio – 47mm: a professional underwater watch, water resistant up to 30 atmospheres (approximately 300 metres), fitted with a rotating bezel with graduated scale to calculate dive duration and a hand indicating the second time zone.