JUNE 2015 – The triumph of Chinook (1916) in the
Vintage category, Il Moro di Venezia (1976) in the Classic,
Mariska (1908) in the Big Boats and Freya (2003) in the
Spirit of Tradition brought Les Voiles d’Antibes, the first
Mediterranean round of the 2015 Panerai Classic Yachts
Challenge, to a close on June 7. The owners of the four
winning yachts also received an Officine Panerai watch
apiece, courtesy of the Florentine luxury sports watchmaker
which is sponsoring the leading international classic sailing

circuit for the 11th consecutive year.

Moonbeam IV (1914). The Bermudan sloop Freya finished
first in all three of her races in the Spirit of Tradition, leaving
assiduous Panerai regulars of the likes of Savannah,
Ilhabela II, Kis and Nazgul of Fordell in her wake.
The Challenge of Challenge, which is inspired by the
spirit of the gentleman races of the past, is a new addition
to the 2015 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge season. An
event within the main event, it allows two craft from the
same category compete against each other without any
handicaps (adjusted time) or protests allowed. In short,
the first boat across the line takes the honours. The first
Challenge of Challenges took place at Antibes between
the two centenarians, Lulu and Eva. Both compete in the
Vintage category and are gaff cutters. Lulu was built in
France in 1897 to a design by Rabot. In acknowledgement
of her status as a pleasure craft of national historic interest,
she receives maintenance grants from the French State.
Eva, on the other hand, splashed in 1906 at the legendary
Fife shipyard in Scotland having been designed by William
Fife III. The Challenge was won by Eva – she took home
the gold medal put up by Officine Panerai. Her crew then
jokily presented Lulu’s crew with t-shirts with the name
Eva emblazoned on them which they sportingly donned.
Sportsmanship, loyalty and mutual respect are the bywords
of this new competition, in fact.
The Florentine luxury sports watchmaker Officine Panerai
remains the world’s leading classic sailing event organiser
with nine rounds planned for the 2015 calendar in the
world’s most beautiful, tradition-rich waters. Officine
Panerai also underscored its links to classic sailing by
creating the Luminor 1950 Regatta 3 Days Chrono
Flyback Titanio, a chronograph designed specifically to
bring 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). It concludes
at Cannes with Les Régates Royales (22-26 September).
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.
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.


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