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Home > Regattas > Classics Update By Alice C I’ A Widdows

Classics Update By Alice C I’ A Widdows


A new regatta for classic yachts designed before 1970 will take place in Isle of Wight, Cowes this spring. The regatta will be based at Shepards Wharf Marina. It will be a great season-opener giving owners the opportunity to get their boats ready and out on the water to enjoy some friendly racing.


The regatta is open to a wide range of classic yachts and current entries range from a 24 foot Seaview Mermaid and a Herreshoff Half Rater up to the 58 foot Bermudan yawl Lutine.  The racing is being organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in classes using IRC, KLR or OGA handicaps. With shoreline starts the sailing will provide a great springtime spectacle.


Co-organiser Martin Nott said: “By holding the event in May we are hoping to extend the racing season for these fabulous boats. We invited a very wide range of classic yachts, large and small, and although we expect people will take the racing seriously, it will be a relaxed regatta conducted in a gentlemanly manner, in keeping with the age of the yachts.”


British Classic Yacht Club is a sponsor of the event as are other key industry players in the classic yacht world such as Classic Boat Magazine and Sandeman Yacht Company.



The Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge opens the season in Antibes again this summer. It is lining up to be the year of the yawl as we learn that five Olin Stephens designed yawls could be on the start line. There is talk of Dorade returning to join Stormy Weather and Comet, her sister S&S yawls. With the addition of Santana, Skylark of 1937, Argyll and Manitou, the yawls are having their big moment. Other news is that the 19metre Sangermani sloop Samurai is returning. She won Les Voiles d’Antibes between 1998 and 2002 but who has not raced at the event since 2009.


For this 23rd edition of the event the Association Voiles d’Antibes joins forces with EDMISTON to raise the awareness of crews, school children and the public about the problems related to plastic waste and to the pollution of the oceans. The challenge is vast but solutions are emerging requiring the involvement of all. During the event the documentary, “A Plastic Ocean” will be screened on the big screen and EDMISTON will offer all the team members of Les Voiles d’Antibes reusable aluminium bottles to limit the consumption of plastic bottles on board the boats. As Mike Horsley, Sales Broker with Edmiston told me, “During a regatta with 80 boats, with an average of 9 crew on each, drinking around 5 small (plastic) bottles of water a day, over 4 days, it comes to over 14.000 bottles for just that one event!”   Multiply that over a season of regattas and the numbers are staggering.


The organisation in Antibes will also work with a company to recycle all the cigarette ends.






Another exciting edition to the regatta is The Antibes Classic Yacht Show which will take place during Les Voiles d’Antibes. It will be the first Mediterranean yacht show exclusively dedicated to the world of classic yachting. The aim of the event is to connect all the stakeholders involved in the safeguarding, renovation, maintenance and promotion of maritime heritage including owners, craftsmen and professionals. The exhibition will also showcase classic motor and sailing yachts for sale and charter.




The 11th edition of The Classic Boat Awards was held recently at the Royal Thames

Yacht Club in Knightsbridge, London. Guests included Royal Thames Vice Commodore George Ehlers and Gstaad Yacht Club Rear Commodore Manrico Iachia. Around 130 classic boat owners, designers, builders and other key individuals involved in the classic world travelled from around the world to join the ceremony.

The awards are voted for by the readers themselves.

The Classic Boater of the Year 2018 was Max Campbell, a 21-year-old who restored a wooden boat on his own and then sailed it solo across the Atlantic. Max sent a video message from his yacht, anchored in Grenada, thanking Classic Boat’s readers for their votes.


The Gstaad Yacht Club Centenarian of the Year went to Folly, a Charles Nicholson design from 1909 that is sailed in authentic period fashion on the Mediterranean classic racing circuit. The boat is owned by naval architect Germán Frers.

Classic Boat editor Rob Peake said:

“The Classic Boat Awards” celebrates outstanding craftsmanship and design, be that on a clinker rowing boat or a new J-Class yacht. Many thousands of votes are cast by classic boat enthusiasts around the world to decide the winners and this year we had a real mix of boats big and small, new and old. It’s clear that interest in this thriving scene is higher than ever.”




ANTIGUA CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA  18 – 24 April antiguaclassics.com

WHITE ISLAND CLASSICS, IBIZA      27 – 29 April whiteislandclassics.com

COWES SPRING CLASSICS, IOW       11 – 13 May  cowesspringclassics.com

LES VOILES D’ANTIBES, FRANCE     30 May – 3 June voilesdantibes.com



Are you RACE READY? Check out the global yachting season and download my FREE International Regatta Calendar 2018/19 for Vintage, Classic and Modern Classic Yachts. Now you can download your dates straight to I-Cal. www.alicewiddows.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