The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge comes to a thrilling conclusion for 2017. The brand once again reaffirms its link with the sea.
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.
The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge has long been acknowledged as the leading international circuit for classic and vintage sailing yachts. Celebrating its 13th outing in 2017, the circuit spans 10 of the world’s most fascinating and maritime tradition-rich regattas on a calendar that has become a reference point for lovers of the stunning beauty, glorious history and absolute uniqueness of all classic craft.
As per tradition, the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge rounds in France (Antibes, Cannes), Italy (Argentario) and Spain (Mahon on the island of Minorca) comprise the Mediterranean Circuit. The yachts participating in each of the events on the Circuit build up points which go towards winning the overall Trophy.
Applaud the winners!
Hallowe’en (Big Boats) Linnet (Vintage Yachts) and Ganbare (Classic Yachts) emerged as the winners on September 30 of the three season trophies for the 13th Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge at the end of the 39th Régates Royales de Cannes. In doing so, the trio added their names to the roll of honour of the leading international classic sailing circuit which has been sponsored by the prestige Florentine luxury sports watch maker since 2005.
The French regatta was the fourth and final stage on the Mediterranean Circuit after stages at Antibes (FR), Porto Santo Stefano (ITA) and Mahon (ESP). Around 90 craft sailed into Cannes for the event. All five scheduled races went ahead on courses that varied in layout and length.
After nine years of competing, the Bermudan cutter Hallowe’en, launched in 1926 by the legendary Fife shipyard of Fairlie in Scotland, finally took the title of season champion in the Big Boats category. The gaff sloop Linnet (1905) also laid claim to her first season victory in the Vintage Yachts category. The 10th of 18 hulls built by the N.G. Herreshoff yard, she is a NYYC 30 (New York Yacht Club 30), the first cabined bluewater one-design in history. The 10.49-metre Bermudan sloop, Ganbare, built from red cedar at the Carl Eichenlaub in San Diego in 1973, made it two in a row when she repeated her 2016 season victory in the Classic Yachts category. This is the first time since 2007 that a yacht has won the category for two consecutive years.
The winners of the four main categories in the Régates de Cannes were also presented with prestige Panerai watches. In the Big Boats the standings were topped by gaff cutter Mariska (1908), one of just four International 15-Metre Classes still sailing. The aforementioned Linnet and Ganbare did likewise in the Vintage and Classic Yachts categories respectively. Lastly, Tabasco V, a 1981 12.42-metre IOR 2-Tonner built from triple-cross mahogany planking to an innovate design by Joubert- Nivelt, took victory in the Spirit of Tradition.
In the International 5.5-Metre Class grouping, overall victory went to Merk Holowesko’s Bahamian boat, New Moon, after eight races. Pitch (2006) took 4 wins out of 8 races, earning her the top step of the Tofinou 9.5 podium.
The winners of the individual classes into which the Régates de Cannes fleet was divided were: Mariska (Big Boats), Maria Giovanna II (Classic Yachts), Rowdy (Vintage Marconi > 15 m), Carron II (Vintage Marconi < 15 m), Linnet (Vintage Gaff), Ganbare (Classic Racer), Tabasco V (Spirit of Tradition), Carron II (Challenge Gaston Schmalz for the first of the International 8-Metre Classes built before 1965). A 44-strong Dragon fleet also converged on Cannes and, after 9 races, final victory went to British boat, Blue Haze, owned by Ivan Bradbury.
The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge honours the brand’s historic links to the sea….and so do the beautiful watches that the brand releases to mark this occasion!