May 2016

After delivering its usual spectacular racing between April 13 and 19, the 29th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta ended in triumph for Janley which took home the coveted Panerai watch as overall winner. The 1948 Bermudan sloop prevailed over 40 of the world’s most beautiful vintage yachts to win the prestige prize sponsored by Florentine luxury sports watchmaker Officine Panerai. Her name has now been added to the roll call of honour of the 2016 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the international vintage and classic sailing circuit making its 12th outing this year. 

Janley is a Pacific Cruising Class, a 14-metre Bermudan sloop built from mahogany and oak in 1948 by Kettenburg Marine in San Diego, California. She competed extensively on the US West Coast and also took part in high profile events such as the Transpac and the Lipton Cup. Janley was acquired by new owners in 2014 and underwent extensive renovations at the local Woodstock Boatbuilders yard.

The 2016 Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta fleet was divided into five main classes (Vintage, Classic, Traditional, Classic GRP, Spirit of Tradition) and further subcategories.  In all, four races of between 11 and 20 nautical miles were competed: the Old Road, the Butterfly, the Kenny Coombs Memorial Cannon Race and the Windward Race. Seven of the participating boats took first in their class in all four races they competed in (The Blue Peter, Mary Rose, Janley, Argo, Heron, Dragonera, Wild Horses).

In the Vintage A class, victory went to the 1930 Bermudan cutter The Blue Peter, a regular fixture at the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge having raced in almost all the events of the last few seasons. Ninety years after her launch and on her 10th outing at the Antigua Classics, the American yacht Mary Rose, took the Vintage B class. The top step on the Vintage C class podium, on the other hand, was claimed by the aforementioned Janley. 

The clash between the Grandes Dames of the Sea in the Classic A class ended in victory for the 1984 three-masted gaff schooner Adix with the 1992 36-metre Alexa of London finishing second and the 43-metre Columbia (2014) third. The Classic B, C and D classes were respectively won by the training vessel Argo (2005), Heron (1928) and Paloma VI (1964). 

Zemi did the Carriacou Sloops proud, showcasing the prowess of these robust sailing boats which are particularly popular at Antigua as she took the honours in the Traditional Racing Class.  Frolic and Lazy Leg were the respective winners in the Classic GRP Racing A and B (classic yachts built from fibreglass).

Last but very far from least, in the Spirit of Tradition (recently built boats inspired by classic lines), the rankings were topped by Dragonera (1994) in Class A and the 1997 W-Class Wild Horses in Class B. 

The Single Handed Race, in which yachts are sailed solo by their skipper, also took place once again this year. Playing out off the south coast of the island on April 14, it featured 11 boats. The Spirit of Tradition class was won by Free Spirit, a Spirit 56, while the 1978 17-metre schooner Sorca triumphed in the Over 45 Feet with English Folkboat Lorema (1942) dominating the Under 45 Feet.  

Numerous prizes were presented for the Concours d’Elegance also. Nordwind, a 25-metre Bermudan yawl built in Germany in 1939 and once used for cadet training by the Kriegsmarine, took the overall and Vintage (Professionally Maintained) prizes.

The 2016 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge continues between June 1 and 5 with Les Voiles d’Antibes on the Cote d’Azur, which is also the first round on the Mediterranean Circuit. 


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