SEPTEMBER 2016 – The splendid Golfe de la Napoule at Cannes on the Cote d’Azur will once again provide the backdrop to the final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge at the 38th Régates Royales.
Between September 18 and 25, a fleet of over 90 beautiful craft will do battle for season trophies on the Mediterranean Circuit of the leading international competition for classic and vintage sailing yachts.
After rounds at Antibes (FR), Porto Santo Stefano (ITA) and Imperia (ITA), Cannes will provide the winning yachts with the chance to add their names to the roll of honour of the Mediterranean Circuit which celebrates its 12th outing in 2016. Panerai Trophies will be presented for the Classic, Vintage and Big Boats categories.
Five races are scheduled – one per day – and will take place on the stretch of water between the French coast and the Ìles de Lérins. The prize-giving ceremony takes place in the Vieux Port at 18.00 on the evening of September 24.
Les Régates Royales de Cannes provides a fantastic opportunity to admire many of the most majestic sailing yachts that have been the life and soul of the circuit for so many years, starting with the 40-metre schoonerElena, a replica of a 1911 craft built to plans by American design maestro Nathanael G. Herreshoff, who was also known as “the Wizard of Bristol”. She will be flanked by Puritan (1931), a masterpiece by American John Alden.
The 1913 22-metre gaff sloop Spartan, on the other hand, is the last surviving New York Yacht Club 50 Class. Circe, a 1950 Bermudan yawl penned by Olin Stephens, made the trip from San Diego this year specifically to compete in the Mediterranean.
It will be the last regatta of the season also for Eilean, the 1936 ketch restored by Officine Panerai which this year celebrates the 80th anniversary of her construction by the legendary Fife yard in Scotland. Since she returned to sailing, the wood-built two-master has represented Panerai on many official occasions as well as at the classic sailing rallies.
The Classic category will see the return to Cannes of the historic Il Moro di Venezia I, the first Italian Maxi Yacht IOR class from the 1970s, now owned by Massimiliano Ferruzzi. She previously won the Panerai Classic in her class in both 2013 and 2015. The International 5.5-Metre Class fleet will comprise more than 10 craft, including Carabella (1968), winner of the Classic category at the World Championships no less than 7 consecutive times between 2005 and 2011.
The Spirit of Tradition entrants include Fairlie, a craft inspired by the designs of the famous Fife yard, and theSpirit 46 Ilhabela II.
As is the case every year at Cannes, a fleet of over 40 Dragons will also be competing. With over 8,600 examples built, the Dragon is the world’s most popular keelboat one design. Stretching around nine metres, it was penned by talented Norwegian Metre Class designer and sailor Johan Anker in 1929 and was an Olympic class from 1948 to 1972.
The Régates Royales brings to an end another great season dedicated to Grandes Dames of the Sea during which more than 300 historic craft built between the end of the 1800s and the present day, competed in four Mediterranean stages, while almost 200 craft did likewise on the North American Circuit. A brilliant demonstration of how interest in the beauty and culture of yachting, values espoused by Officine Panerai since the circuit’s debut edition in 2005, has remained consistently over the years