Moonbeam of Fife (1903) in the Big Boats class, Linnet (1905) in the Vintage Class, Il Moro di Venezia (1976) in the Classic yachts and Tabasco V (1981) in the Spirit of Tradition were the lucky recipients of Panerai watches at the 19th outing of the Argentario Sailing Week at Porto Santo Stefano in late June.
The regatta was organised by The Santo Stefano Yacht Club. It was a truly international gathering, forty yachts from eleven nations keen to sample the charming delights of this little fishing port in Tuscany.
Argentario was the successful setting for all four races held in the Bay of Talamone. Winds blew at between ten and twenty knots adding to the excitement and giving spectators a spectacular sight as they rounded the marker buoys. Days on the water were wet, wild and windy. Late nights were spent at on the dock at Bar Jolly where the mood is not elitist, and bowman and billionaire unite with a shared passion for classic yachts and yacht racing.
First place in the Big Boat Class was 25 metre Moonbeam of Fife (Moonbeam III). A regular competitor on the classic yacht racing circuit for thirty years, at Argentario she came head to head with Hallowe’en (1926), reigning Big Boats champion at the close of the 2017 season.
With three victories in four races in the Vintage Gaff class, Patrizio Bertelli’s 13-metre Linnet, one of eighteen New York Yacht Club 30 (NY30) yachts in existence around the world, took the honours in its class ahead of the NY50 Spartan (1913) and NY40 Chinook (1916). All yachts were designed by Herreshoff.
Il Moro di Venezia I (1976), the Panerai Trophy winner in 2013 and 2015, achieved the same number of victories in Classic A category. The forerunner of the Italian IOR Maxi Yachts, she has raced in the UK and the USA. At Porto Santo Stefano, Massimiliano Ferruzzi’s yacht claimed victory in her category, ahead of St. Christopher (1968) and Mike Horsley’s Outlaw (1963), the first Panerai trophy winner in 2005 in the Classic Yachts category.
Four victories for Lion Karl’s Tabasco V, as after the first round at Antibes she dominated in the Spirit of Tradition class in Tuscany. The 12.42 yacht is an IOR 2 Tonner built in 1981 of triple-cross mahogany planking from plans by the Joubert-Nivelt design studio. She is having a fantastic season.
Santana, launched in the USA in 1935 from a design by Sparkman & Stephens, was one the yachts taking part for the first time in the Argentario Sailing Week and indeed on the Mediterranean classic yacht regatta circuit. Between 1945 and 1957 this Bermuda yawl was owned by Hollywood actor Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, his fourth wife.
It was also the first time for the magnificent gaff cutter Pandora, launched in 1907 by the Norwegian yard Anker & Jensen from a design by Johan Anker, a prolific designer who designed the Dragone in the 1920s. This monotype class, one of the world’s most popular, was then used for around a quarter of a century at the Olympics.
Three generations of the Frers family raced on board Fjord III (1947), winner of the Bermuda Race in 1954. The famous Argentinean designers all bear the name Germàn. Nowadays the yacht, built in Buenos Aires by the Frers family themselves in viraro and cedar, is owned by Uruguay’s Scott Perry, vice-president of World Sailing, the international sail yacht federation involving 130 nations.
The next regattas in August are in Palma and Menorca. Save the date!
MED CLASSIC REGATTA DATES IN AUGUST
Regata Illes Balears Classics Palma de Mallorca 15-18 August velaclasicamallorca.com
Copa del Rey Repsol Vela Clasica Menorca 28 August – 1 Sept velaclasicamenorca.com
Alice C I’ A Widdows is a Regatta Manager on the classic yacht regatta circuit. A keen yachtswomen and self – confessed island hopping addict, preferably by boat. Meet our Classic Yachting Columnist. You can find more at www.alicewiddows.com and on social media @alicewiddows