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Tussles in Tuscany

Tussles in Tuscany

Alice C I’ A Widdows is a Regatta Manager on the classic yacht circuit. A keen yachtswomen and self – confessed island hopping addict, preferably by boat. Meet our Classic Yachting Columnist Alice!

alicewiddows.com @alicewiddows #AWRM

 

TUSSLES IN TUSCANY –

ARGENTARIO SAILING WEEK TROPHEE PANERAI 14 -18 June 2017

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 11.02.15Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 11.02.30

THE OVERALL STANDINGS HAVE BEGUN TO TAKE SHAPE AT THE END OF THE SECOND ROUND OF THE PANERAI CLASSIC YACHTS CHALLENGE MEDITERRANEAN CIRCUIT.

 

In the second half of June when the breeze is the best, the classic yacht community descend on the tranquil setting of Porto Santo Stefano for Argentario Sailing Week. The Port is a quiet fishing village on the west coast of Italy in the municipality of Monte Argentario, in the Province of Grosseto, Tuscany. The area and surrounds is re known for its wonderful food, gelato, gorgeous girls, panoramic views, and historical architecture. More importantly for the sailors aside from the quality of the eye candy on “La Pilarella” (the dock) is the strong wind and protected flat waters.

 

Famous too for all things maritime: fishing and seafood, this unassuming working fishing port is not without the odd hole here and a cracked façade there which adds to the charm of Porto Santo Stefano and why the classic yacht community who appreciate a little dust with their diamonds enjoy coming here so much.

 

Olin Stephens (1908-2008) the famous American yacht designer was extremely keen on this event during his lifetime. I would often meet him on the dock and we would discuss his love of this pretty port before he went off racing for the day on Stormy Weather. Fast forward and she is still racing competitively today and was one of the trios of S&S yawls that totally dominated their class this year.

 

The event was founded in 1992 by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano and grew in size and numbers to become Argentario Sailing Week in 1999. 43 Yachts participated in Argentario Sailing Week this year from all over the globe such as the American owned and campaigned Spartan NY50 in her second year of a highly successful Mediterranean Regatta Program, British owned and campaigned NY40 Rowdy and British owned Kelpie. Combined with the obligatory turnout of French owners, dashing international crew and Italian Military, the classic yacht community always provides a colourful platform of diverse characters. Showing he was one of the boys Chris Barkham, the Australian Captain of Cambria was spotted at the helm in a glittering disco hat on one race, things were obviously very slow on board that day!

 

The races proved both compelling and crucial to the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge standings and it has now become a gauge for competitors to monitor closely how their season is shaping up. A lot rides on this event, it is not just points but prizes too and everyone is fully aware that every race position counts.

 

Over the three days of racing there was constant swapping in the top spots, particularly in the Classic class in which Ganbare – the 1973 One Tonner that secured my old friend American yacht designer Doug Peterson a place amongst the yacht design greats – eventually held sway over Ardi, Il Moro di Venezia and Naïf, after an exciting jostle for leadership that went until the final mark.

 

In the Vintage class, Luna Rossa boss Patrizio Bertelli’s gaff sloop NY30 Linnet completely dominated the entire week’s sailing, winning all four of her races. That said there was also plenty of lively sparring going on behind her as NY40 Rowdy, NY40 Chinook, NY50 Spartan and Enterprise clashed thrillingly in every race in pursuit of points pivotal to the overall classification.   Nathanael G Herreshoff would have been smiling on from above and the banter in the bar was brutal.

 

As always, the yachts that caught most photographers’ eyes at sea and attracted the greatest admiration berthed stern to on along the dock the Big Boats, most notably Cambria, Hallowe’en and Moonbeam of Fife, three fantastic historic yachts built by Fife of Scotland, just like the ketch Eilean, Panerai’s own brand ambassador. In the end, Moonbeam of Fife proved nimblest and most adept at catching the Porto Santo Stefano breeze across the famous sheltered waters.

 

THE RESULTS ARE IN…..

 

POSITION BIG BOATS
1 Moonbeam of Fife
2 Hallowe’en
3 Cambria
VINTAGE GAFF
1 Linnet
2 Spartan
3 Chinook
VINTAGE MARCONI A
1 Rowdy
2 Enterprise
3 Circe
VINTAGE MARCONI B
1 Skylark of 1937
2 Argyll
3 Stormy Weather
CLASSIC
1 Naif
2 Il Moro di Venezia I
3 Corsaro II
SPIRIT OF TRADITION
1 Raindrop
2 Wind & Wine
3 Tabasco 5

 

The fact that so many different boats figured in the placings in both the Antibes and Porto Santo Stefano rounds leaves the battle for end-of-season honours wide open in all the various categories of the 2017 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. The Next official Panerai event is Mahon at the end of August. As is now traditional, the Cannes round at the end of September will be the real make-or-break moment on the Circuit as crews can discard their worst result for the calculation of the final standings.

 

Meanwhile the all important dates darlings dates have had some changes with the addition of some new events. The following classic yacht regattas will take place in August and September in The Mediterranean so get these days marked up in your diary so there are no excuses as to where you will be come September.

 

For the full year to view and to download the essential international classic yacht calendar PDF visit my website www.alicewiddows.com.

 

DATE EVENT CATEGORY LOCATION
16 – 19 August Regatta Illes Baleares Classics Club de Mar, Palma de Mallorca
27 August – 3 September Corsica Classic Corsica, France
29 August – 2 September Copa del Rey de Barcos de Epoca PANERAI CLASSIC YACHT CHALLENGE Club Maritimo, Mahon, Menorca
3 – 9 September Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup YCCS Porto Cervo, Sardinia
13-17 September Monaco Classic Week (By Invitation Only) YCM , Monaco. MC
19-24 September Trophée Pasqui Nice, France
24 – 30 September Régates Royales Trophée Panerai PANERAI CLASSIC YACHT CHALLENGE Cannes, France
1 October Coupe d’ Automne YCF Cannes – St Tropez
30 September – 8 October Les Voiles de St Tropez SNST St Tropez, France
5th October The Centenary Trophy (By Invitation Only) GYC St Tropez, France