Le Vele d’Epoca di Napoli prepares for Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge debut

June 2013

JUNE 2013 - The leading international classic and vintage yacht circuit calls to Naples for the first time in its nine-year history this summer. Following on from Les Voiles d’Antibes on the Côte d’Azur and the Argentario Sailing Week at Porto Santo Stefano (Italy), the third round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge coincides with the 10th edition of Le Vele d’Epoca a Napoli between June 27th and 30th.

Le Vele d’Epoca a Napoli is organised in Naples by the prestigious Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia, which was founded 120 years ago and is renowned for the many heads of state, prime ministers, ambassadors, stars of stage and screen, and leading cultural figures it has attracted to its ranks in its long history. A fleet of around 40 Vintage (launched before 1950), Classic (launched between 1950 and 1975) and Spirit of Tradition (recently built but inspired by the lines and designs of the past) craft is expected to converge on the city’s Santa Lucia quay.

All of the scheduled races will be held in the Bay of Naples and may be watched from the city waterfront with Mount Vesuvius providing a magnificent backdrop to the east. The glorious fleet will do battle for a plethora of trophies and prizes, the most coveted of which are the watches put up by Officine Panerai for the overall winners of the different classes.

A large fleet of historic yachts, including many Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge regulars, is expected at Southern Italy’s leading classic sailing regatta. Eilean, the 1936 Bermudan ketch purchased and restored by Officine Panerai as its brand ambassador for classic regattas, is making her first visit to Naples too. Also taking part are the 1911 31-metre Mariquita, the 24-metre Hallowe’en, a Bermudan cutter built in 1926 by Fife of Scotland which formerly played frequent host to Prince Olaf, future King of Norway, and Vanity V, splashed in 1936 as an International 12-Metre Class. The forbearer of the Italian Maxi Yacht class, Il Moro di Venezia I, promises to deliver the signature fast-and-furious performance that ensures she is always one of the first across the finish line in her races. Other participants include the 1935 cutter Manta, the 1937 Cholita, winner of the Vintage category of the first edition of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge in 2005, and Valentina, a 1975 International 6-Metre Class raised 240 metres from the bottom of Lake Geneva after she sank during a regatta.

Also during Le Vele d’Epoca a Napoli, the Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia will be staging the third edition of the Coppa d’Oro Eduardo Pepe (named in honour of the lawyer who was president of the Circolo Savoia for two terms). The latter competition is reserved for Dragons which make up the world’s largest one design keelboat class (penned in 1929 by Norwegian designer Johan Anker). The races are open solely to craft built up to 1972, the last year in which Dragons competed in the Olympics.

Le Vele d’Epoca a Napoli is being organised in collaboration with the Italian Navy Staff Sailing Office under the patronage of Naples City Council. The prizes on offer include one sponsored by AYDE (the Vintage Yacht and Dinghy Association) for the most elegant yacht at the event. The Association is also staging a romantic clash between the historic International 12-Metre Classes, La Spina, Emilia and Vanity V.

The Neapolitan regatta is the third stage of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2013’s Mediterranean Circuit, which continues at Mahon on the Spanish island of Minorca (Copa del Rey, August 27th-31st) and winds up at Cannes in France (Régates Royales, September 24th-28th). Between those two events, of course, enthusiasts’ attention will shift to first the Isle of Wight for the Panerai British Classic Week (July 6th-13th) and then to New England for the three rounds of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge’s North American Circuit.

  • Le Vele d’Epoca di Napoli prepares for  Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge debut

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