LES VOILES D’ANTIBES TROPHEE PANERAI
The Voiles d’Antibes – Trophée Panerai June 2017 in Port Vauban, France officially opened The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2017 Mediterranean season. With over 80 yachts registered it was the largest Spring gathering of classic yachts in the Med and showed a healthy turnout of these vintage yachts, yachties and classic yacht enthusiasts after a long winter in the yards. Brightwork gleaming, the classic yacht community meets for the first time in the season this side of The Atlantic and the buzz on the dock is electric.
Participating from all over the globe. Points mean prizes and this event is important to the overall ratings for the season as it is the first on the calendar to count towards the Mediterranean Championship: The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge.
At the conclusion of the 22nd edition of Les Voiles d’Antibes, the yachts Mariska (Big Boats), Chinook (Vintage Yachts), Encounter (Classic Yachts) and Tabasco 5 (Spirit of Tradition) took home the coveted Panerai watches awarded as prizes for the four main categories for the 13thconsecutive year by the Florentine luxury sports watch-maker.
The 80 classic and vintage vessels that took part in the French Riviera event competed in four races, with a different course each day.
Having won three races and finished second in another, Christian Niels’ gaff cutter, Mariska, an International 15-Metre Class built in 1908 by Fife of Scotland, topped the Big Boats standings ahead of Moonbeam of Fife (1903) and Cambria skippered by Chris Barkham (1928), both of which were also launched at the same legendary yard. Staying with the Big Boats category, the 1902 three-masted schooner, Shenandoah of Sark, made a very impressive and welcome return after a long absence from the classic sailing regatta circuit under the watchful command of Skipper Russell Potter.
Chinook, a gaff cutter built in the US in 1916, took the top step of the Vintage Yachts podium at Antibes for the third consecutive year. The New York 40 is celebrating her fifth season competing on the Panerai circuit in 2017 and also had the satisfaction of taking line honours ahead of the entire fleet in two of her four races. In the Vintage Gaff grouping, Chinook skippered by Jonathan Greenwood outstripped both the Italian yacht Linnet and Eva (1906).
Encounter, a 16-metre built by American yard Palmer Johnson in 1976 to a design by Argentinian naval genius German Frères, also took her third consecutive victory in the Classic Yachts category at Antibes. In the Classic Marconi Racer class, she finished ahead of the hugely successful racer Ganbare (1973), winner of the 2016 Panerai Classic Yachts overall season trophy.
The 1916 New York 40 Rowdy, twin sister to Chinook but sporting a Bermudan rig, beat Enterprise and Jour de Fete in the Vintage Marconi A class. The British campaigned three-time winner of the Panerai season trophy finished first in her class in three of the four races. Captain Brendan McCarty and his crew of rock star sailors have the boat fully optimised for this circuit and it clearly pays off.
Former round-the-worlder, Skylark of 1937 did likewise in the Vintage Marconi B class, while Jalina (1946) triumphed in the Vintage Marconi C. The Italian yacht EA held sway in the Classic Marconi B after winning four out of her four races, while Maria Giovanna II took the Classic Marconi C class and, last but not least, Minx dominated the Tofinou one-design category.
The second stage of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is Argentario Sailing Week in Porto Santo Stefano, Tuscany.
WHAT TO FOLLOW
16 – 19th Aug Regatta Illes Balears Classics Palma de Mallorca
29 Aug – 2 Sept Copa del Rey de Barcos d’Epoca Mahon, Menorca
By Alice C I A Widdows
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. alicewiddows.com
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