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PANERAI CLASSIC YACHTS CHALLENGE 2015: 80 CLASSIC YACHTS EXPECTED ON THE COTE D’AZUR FOR THE 20TH EDITION OF LES VOILES D’ANTIBES
June 11, 2015 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
MAY 2015 – After the traditional season-opener at Antigua,
won by the 1978 ketch Whitehawk, the Panerai Classic
Yachts Challenge 2015 proper is about to get underway
on the Côte d’Azur. This is the 11th consecutive year that
Florentine luxury sports watchmaker Officine Panerai has
sponsored the international circuit for classic and vintage
The first round is the 20th edition of Les Voiles d’Antibes
between June 3 and 7. Around 80 beautiful grandes
dames of the sea, built between the end of the 19th century
and the present, will congregate at Port Vauban in Antibes,
for a series of celebrations of yachting history. Over the
last two decades, more than 270 sailing yachts from 53
different nations have taken part in Les Voiles d’Antibes.
All in all, 5,000 crew have competed in its 70-plus races
watched by around 200,000 visitors who flocked to the
charming French town to see the spectacular sight of
these wonderful sailing craft in action.
The fleet hails from a wide range of nations, including Italy,
France, Britain, Holland, the USA, Spain, Switzerland and
Germany, and this year does battle in four races with five
distinct categories in each: Big Boats (hulls of over 25
metres), Classic and Vintage Bermudan Rig, Vintage Gaff
Rig and Spirit of Tradition.
Making her debut at Les Voiles d’Antibes in 2015 is the
majestic 50-metre three-masted Bermudan schooner
Xarifa, steel-built in England in 1927 for the Singer family.
Also on her first outing in the French event is Orianda, a
26-metre built in Denmark in 1937, fresh from a meticulous
restoration that has made her fully seaworthy again.
Alongside those two ladies will be Panerai Circuit regulars
such as the Moonbeam IV (1914) once owned by Prince
Rainier of Monaco, Agneta which belonged to Giovanni
Agnelli (1949), and Mariska (1908).
The start of the new season brings a host of previous
Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge winners to Antibes
too, all eager to do battle in the Mediterranean for the
coveted overall trophy which will be awarded in Cannes
in September. These include the 1916 Chinook (Vintage
Trophy 2014), the 1967 Namib (Classic Trophy 2014), the
90 year old Leonore (Vintage Trophy 2012 and 2013), the
1976 Il Moro di Venezia (Classic Trophy 2013), the 1973
Naïf (Classic Trophy 2012) and the 1975 Emeraude, the
only vessel in the entire fleet to have won the season
trophy (Classic) three times.
Also at Antibes will be the only yacht to have taken part
in every single edition of this event: Outlaw, a 15-metre
Bermudan cutter built in England in 1963 and winner of the
Classic category of the Trofeo Panerai in 2005.
The Bermudan ketch acquired and restored by Officine
Panerai, Eilean, will be at the start-line too. The lovely
two-master, built by Fife in Scotland in 1936, continues
to act as an ambassador for the Florentine luxury sports
watchmaker and classic sailing.
The dockside events organised to celebrate the 20th
anniversary of Les Voiles d’Antibes include a series of
classical and modern music concerts, a spectacular
firework display on Saturday, June 6, and a classic
motorboat rally. The classic sailing crews will also be
paying tribute to the legendary French yachtswoman
Florence Arthaud who passed away recently.
Florentine luxury sports watchmaker Officine Panerai
remains the world’s leading organiser of classic yachting
events, with nine planned for 2015 in the world’s most
beautiful and tradition-rich waters. Panerai has also
celebrated its links to classic sailing by creating the
Luminor 1950 Regatta 3 Days Chrono Flyback Titanio,
which brings a revolutionary simplicity to race countdowns.
The 2015 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Mediterranean
Circuit continues with the Argentario Sailing Week (Porto
Santo Stefano, 18-21 June), before moving to Mahon
for the XII Copa del Rey (Minorca, 25-29 August) and
concluding in Cannes with Les Régates Royales (22-26
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.
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.