Eilean, the 1936 Bermudian ketch, splendidly restored by Officine Panerai, will be inaugurating the 2012 classic yachting season. More than five years after she left Antigua on her last legs, Eilean has returned for the first time to the Caribbean island where she was a key player for almost thirty years; this time, she will be participating in the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta (April 19th -24th), the first stage of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge2012.
In Antigua, Eilean will be playing an important part in a series of events to celebrate her return to the island after extensive restoration work that gave back all the harmony and beauty of her original design by William Fife III, creator of many of the finest yachts in the world, boats whose uniqueness and authenticity continue to offer an extraordinary sight during the Panerai regattas.
After the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, the 2012 season of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge will move to Europe, in keeping with tradition; the PCYC Mediterranean Circuit will be taking place from to June to late September and it is formed of races in Antibes (France), Porto Santo Stefano (Italy), Mahon (Minorca, Spain), Imperia (Italy) and Cannes (France). Conversely, in August and September the attention will be focused on the East Coast of the United States, whose waters will feature in the PCYC North American Circuit that includes the appointments of Marblehead, Nantucket, Newport.
However, during 2012, all yachting enthusiasts will be keeping a close eye on the English shores of the Channel, where all the sailing events of the 2012 Olympic Games will be held. Vintage yachts – including Eilean, of course – will have the opportunity to show off in the locations of this extraordinary international event, thanks to the Panerai British Classic Week (July 7th -14th), the legendary classic regatta held off the Isle of Wight and that has completed the international calendar of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge for the last two years.
Founded in Florence in 1860 as a workshop, shop and watchmaking school, Officine Panerai was a longstanding supplier of precision instruments to the Italian Navy, particularly for its special underwater corps. The designs developed during that time – including the Luminor and Radiomir watches – were protected by military secret for years, and their launch on the international market followed the brand’s acquisition by the Richemont group in 1997. Today, at its factory in Neuchâtel, Officine Panerai designs and produces its own movements and watches, the perfect combination of Italian history and design with fine Swiss craftsmanship. Panerai watches are sold through an exclusive network of specialist watchmakers and in Panerai boutiques throughout the world.
In honour of its historical associations with the sea, Officine Panerai has promoted the culture of vintage yachts for many years by sponsoring the international regatta circuit of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. It has also restored and returned to the sea Eilean, a 1936 Bermudan ketch built in the legendary Fife shipyards in Fairlie (Scotland).
PANERAI CLASSIC YACHTS CHALLENGE
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta (Antigua) April 19th – 24th, 2012
Les Voiles d’Antibes (Antibes, France) May 30th – June 3rd, 2012
Argentario Sailing Week (Porto Santo Stefano, Italy) June 14th – 17th, 2012
Panerai British Classic Week (Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK) July 7th – 14th, 2012
Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta (Marblehead, USA) August 10th – 12th, 2012
Opera House Cup (Nantucket, USA) August 16th – 19th, 2012
IX Copa del Rey de Barcos de Epoca (Mahon, Minorca, Spain) August 28th – September 1st, 2012
Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta (Newport, USA) August 31st – September 2nd, 2012
Vele d’Epoca di Imperia (Imperia, Italy) September 5th – 9th, 2012
Régates Royales (Cannes, France) September 25th – 29th, 2012