Around 60 yachts will be participating in the 26th edition of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta between 18th and 23rd of April. The Caribbean event traditionally marks the start of the annual Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the international regatta circuit for classic and vintage yachts sponsored by Officine Panerai.
The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is completely unique on the international classic sailing calendar in terms of participant numbers, atmosphere, backdrop and racing conditions. Each year in April, its four days of racing celebrate the end of the classic sailing season in the Caribbean by bringing together dozens of classic and vintage ketches, sloops, schooners and yawls which put on a magnificent show along with a fleet of stunning J Classes, Tall Ships and Spirit of Tradition yachts. The latter category, in fact, first debuted in Antigua in 1996, providing ample testament to the pivotal role played by the event on the international classic sailing scene. It is also estimated that in the 25-years-plus since it was first competed, the Antigua regatta has attracted more than 450 different yachts.
The fleet participating in the 2013 edition is made up of seven to 45-metre yachts from ten nations, divided into “Vintage”, “Classic” “Traditional”, “Modern Classic”, “Spirit of Tradition” and “Tall Ships” categories, on the basis of their construction year and type. Wood and metal yachts may enter as may fibreglass craft with a full long keel that are descendants of wooden boat designs. Applications from other types of boat will be evaluated by a special expert committee.
The regatta programme sees the boats arrive and register on April 16th and 17th.The Concours d’Elegance, the Classic Single-handed Race and the official Skippers’ Briefing all take place on Thursday, April 18th. Four fleet races are also scheduled between April 19th and 22nd in the stretch of sea between English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour. Owners, crews, guests and international media attending the regatta may avail of the Panerai Lounge on the dockside or the facilities of the Antigua Yacht Club. From this year, the clubhouse, which has been renovated and upgraded, will also provide a pleasant meeting place for post-race discussions and strategy planning.
The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is a genuinely unmissable opportunity to admire some of the surviving designs from the drawing boards of the most legendary designers in yachting history, including Americans Nathanael G. Herreshoff, Sparkman & Stephens and John G. Alden, Scot William Fife, Italian Vincenzo Baglietto, and Van de Stadt of Holland.
Participants will include Lone Fox, a 1957 19-metre ketch attempting to repeat her victory of 2012, the 1961 Stormvogel, used in the movie Dead Calm starring a young Nicole Kidman, the 43-metre luxury charter schooner Zaca a Te Moana, and the two-master Bolero, a historic 1949 ocean racer that once served as the New York Yacht Club’s flagship.
Antigua will also be welcoming back the Spirit of Tradition, Wild Horses, the first of the new W-Class 76, built in 1998 to a design by Joel White from cold-moulded cedar and Douglas fir. This very fast 23-metre spent several seasons sailing the Mediterranean before returning home to the US.
New entries will include the Marconi cutter, The Blue Peter, a 1930 20-metre which has been an eager participant in all the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge regattas since 2005. Matthew Barker’s yacht also finished third in the Panerai Transat Classique 2012, a 3,100-mile dash across the Atlantic between Portugal and the island of Barbados held last December.
Another new entry is the now-Norwegian-owned Sincerity, a stunning 28-metre ketch entirely designed and built at the Baglietto yard in Varazze here in Italy in 1928. During a 1980s restoration, fittings from a former Orient Express cabin were also installed in her interior. Over the last decade, Sincerity has sailed extensively between the USA, Northern Europe, the Baltic States and the Mediterranean.
In the context of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge calendar, the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta remains very much a stand-alone event independent of both the Mediterranean and North American circuits. The Mediterranean circuit, of course, gets underway with Les Voiles d’Antibes (29th May – 2nd June 2013).
The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the leading international circuit for vintage and classic sailing craft, is making ready for the 2013 season, and is also pleased to announce the addition of a new host city and event to its ranks. Naples, one of the world’s most extraordinary cities, joins the PCYC’s Mediterranean circuit this year, with its legendary Bay providing the backdrop for the 10th edition of “Le Vele d’Epoca a Napoli” between June 26th and 30th 2013.
This debut on the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge international circuit is an acknowledgement of the Neapolitan regatta’s burgeoning status on the classic sailing scene. It also crowns the partnership between its organisers of the last decade, the exclusive Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia (www.ryccsavoia.it) and the Italian Navy’s Staff Sailing Offce, and the Offcine Panerai haute horlogerie brand, itself a sponsor of the circuit for the last nine years, thanks to its historic links to the sea and seafaring.
The 2013 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge opens, as per tradition, with the big Antigua regatta in the Caribbean. The long-standing events on both international circuits (Mediterranean and North America) also return as does Cowes on the Isle of Wight which is gaining in impetus with each passing year.
The full calendar for the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2013 is as follows:
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta (Antigua and Barbuda)
18th -23rd April 2013
Les Voiles d’Antibes (France)
29th May – 2nd June 2013
Argentario Sailing Week (Italy)
13th – 16th June 2013
Vele d’Epoca a Napoli (Italy)
26th – 30th June 2013
Panerai British Classic Week – British Classic Yacht Club (United Kingdom)
6th – 13th July 2013
Marblehead Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta (USA)
9th -11th August 2013
Nantucket Opera House Cup (USA)
15th – 18th August 2013
Mahon, X Copa del Rey de Barcos de Epoca (Spain)
27th – 31st August 2013
Newport, Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta (USA)
30th August – 1st September 2013
Cannes, Régates Royales (France)
24th – 28th September 2013
In 2012, the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge regattas attracted more than 600 entries in the course of the 10 international events on the calendar. All of the most important yachts from sailing history took part in at least one of the rounds, in fact. The winners of the Mediterranean Circuit were Moonbeam IV in the Big Boat category, Leonore in the Vintage class, and Naïf in the Classic. On the other side of the Atlantic, the 12-metre Valiant took the overall trophy on the American circuit.
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.com