Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2013: the Mediterranean Circuit gets underway with Les Voiles d’Antibes

May 2013

Between May 29th and June 2nd, the French town of Antibes plays host to the 18th edition of Les Voiles d’Antibes, the first round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2013 Mediterranean Circuit. This is the ninth consecutive year the Florentine haute horlogerie brand Officine Panerai begins its annual celebration of the history of 19th and 20th century yachting from the Côte d’Azur.

The approximately 65 yachts entered in the event were built between 1892 and 2012. They are divided into five categories (Big Boats, Classic Marconi, Vintage Cutter, Vintage Marconi and Spirit of Tradition) and will do battle in four scheduled races off the old walls of the port and along a 23-kilometre stretch of coast between the Gulf of Antibes and Juan-les-Pins.

Once again this year, the yachts delivering the most spectacular sailing clashes will be the Big Boats, which are around 30 metres in length. Many (including the 1903 Moonbeam III, the 1911 Mariquita, the 1914 Moonbeam IV and the 1931 schooner Altair) were launched in the early decades of the 20th century by Fife of Scotland. The latter also built Eilean, the 1936 wooden two-master restored by Officine Panerai returning to competition at Antibes after a transatlantic crossing last year.

One of the most eagerly-awaited competitors at Antibes will be the New York 40 Chinook (ex Pauline, later Banshee), a 20-metre Bermudan sloop from the pen of the legendary Nathanael Herreshoff splashed in the USA in 1916. Chinook has just emerged from a full restoration in Tunisia and will be thirsty for victory at Antibes.

The Spirit of Tradition category for yachts inspired by the classic lines of the past but built using modern techniques features both the compact Tofinou 9.5s and larger craft of the likes of the 23-metre Nazgul of Fordell (2008), Ilhabela II (2005) and the 20-metre Faiaoahe (2006). The most recently built yacht at Les Voiles d’Antibes 2013 is RùM. She splashed in Holland in 2012 and is inspired by the designs of William Fife. The 13-metre was specifically designed to be compact enough for easy loading into a container with her entire rig for transportation to regattas around the world.

Also competing will be Sonda, built by the McGruer yard in Scotland in 1951, and winner of the Classics category of the 2012 Prix du Yacht de Tradition de l’Année (PYTA).

Entertainment and conviviality are guaranteed for the duration of Les Voiles d’Antibes, by the presence of the Panerai Lounge and Le Villages des Voiles, the latter featuring yacht club, painting and photography stands and providing an excellent gathering place for skippers and crews alike. There will also be live music in the square at Port Vauban each evening.

2013 edition participants

2013 edition images

  • Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2013: the Mediterranean Circuit gets underway with Les Voiles d’Antibes

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