Almost 80 years after her launch at the legendary William Fife & Son yard in Scotland in 1938, the Bermudan yawl Mariella has won the Panerai watch for overall victory in the 30th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. She also took home the Panerai prize for her class (Vintage B), in which she fended off the illustrious likes of The Blue Peter (1930), also from the pen of Scottish architect Alfred Mylne, and Latifa (1936), another Fife and overall winner of the Concours d’Elegance. The event, which ran from April 19 to 25, was the first of the 11 rounds of this year’s Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the international classic and vintage sail racing circuit sponsored by the Florentine luxury sports watch maker, which celebrates its 13th outing in 2017. Some 50 of the most beautiful classic yachts in the world flocked to the Caribbean island from Canada, the US, Bermuda, Europe and the Pacific Ocean for the event. 1
They were divided into six main classes (Vintage, Classics, Traditional, Classic GRP, Spirit of Tradition, Tall Ship) and several further sub-groupings. Four races were held in all in absolutely perfect weather conditions. Mariella is a 24-metre yacht built entirely from wood to a design by Scottish architect Alfred Mylne. Having sailed around the world in 1980, she has spent the last quarter century in the care of the Livorno-born Italian Consul to Antigua and Bermuda, Carlo Falcone, who has sailed her to victory at Antigua on other occasions. Mariella has traversed the Atlantic many times and in 2015 underwent major restorations at the Del Carlo in Viareggio, Tuscany. Mariella returned to the Caribbean in late 2016 in pristine condition and has once again proved herself one of the most competitive vintage craft on the scene. The top spot in the Vintage A class went to the historic steel schooner, Mariette of 1915, winner of many other classic sailing regattas in the Mediterranean. Mariette outran Mary Rose (1925) to take her victory. Both yachts are the fruit of the design genius of Nathanael G. Herreshoff of Bristol, one of the most influential pens of the 19th and 20th centuries. Having won all four of her races, the 64-metre Adix, built in Spain in 1984 to a design by Dijkstra & Partners of Holland, topped the standings in the Classic A class ahead of sailing giantesses Spirit of Bermuda and Columbia. Saphaedra (1965) triumphed in the Classic B class. The 13-metre Genesis (2005) took the top step on the Traditional class podium. She is one of the Carriacou Sloops, a group of robust wood-planked vessels built in Antigua inspired by workboats once used for trading between the islands. Last but very far from least, victory in the Spirit of Tradition 2
class went to the 19-metre Chloe Giselle (2015), a Spirit Yachts designed by English architect Sean McMillan. The winners of the remaining classes were Vagabundo II (Vintage C), Juno (Classic C), Musketeer of Stutton (Classic D), Frolic (Classic GRP A), Iris J (Classic GRP B) and Chronos (Tall Ship). The fleet racing was preceded by the Single-Handed Race. A total of 15 craft took part in this special solo competition with the abovementioned Saphaedra emerging as winner of the 45’ and Over class, and Stiletto (1961) taking the honours in the Under 45’ class. The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge continues with Les Voiles d’Antibes, the first round on the Mediterranean Circuit, being hosted by the charming Cote d’Azur town between May 31 and June 4. 3
OFFICINE PANERAI 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. The Panerai Guide to Classic Yachts is available for download at: to-classic-yachts/