April 2017

Almost 80 years after her launch at the legendary William Fife & Son yard in Scotland in 1938, the Bermudan yawl Mariella has won the Panerai watch for overall victory in the 30th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. She also took home the Panerai prize for her class (Vintage B), in which she fended off the illustrious likes of The Blue Peter (1930), also from the pen of Scottish architect Alfred Mylne, and Latifa (1936), another Fife and overall winner of the Concours d’Elegance.

Mariella is a 24-metre yacht built entirely from wood to a design by Scottish architect Alfred Mylne. Having sailed around the world in 1980, she has spent the last quarter century in the care of the Livorno-born Italian Consul to Antigua and Bermuda, Carlo Falcone, who has sailed her to victory at Antigua on other occasions. Mariella has traversed the Atlantic many times and in 2015 underwent major restorations at the Del Carlo in Viareggio, Tuscany. Mariella returned to the Caribbean in late 2016 in pristine condition and has once again proved herself one of the most competitive vintage craft on the scene.

The top spot in the Vintage A class went to the historic steel schooner, Mariette of 1915, winner of many other classic sailing regattas in the Mediterranean. Mariette outran Mary Rose (1925) to take her victory. Both yachts are the fruit of the design genius of Nathanael G. Herreshoff of Bristol, one of the most influential pens of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Having won all four of her races, the 64-metre Adix, built in Spain in 1984 to a design by Dijkstra & Partners of Holland, topped the standings in the Classic A class ahead of sailing giantesses Spirit of Bermuda and Columbia. Saphaedra (1965) triumphed in the Classic B class.

The 13-metre Genesis (2005) took the top step on the Traditional class podium. She is one of the Carriacou Sloops, a group of robust wood-planked vessels built in Antigua inspired by workboats once used for trading between the islands.

Last but very far from least, victory in the Spirit of Tradition class went to the 19-metre Chloe Giselle (2015), a Spirit Yachts designed by English architect Sean McMillan.

The winners of the remaining classes were Vagabundo II (Vintage C), Juno (Classic C), Musketeer of Stutton (Classic D), Frolic (Classic GRP A), Iris J (Classic GRP B) and Chronos (Tall Ship).

The fleet racing was preceded by the Single-Handed Race. A total of 15 craft took part in this special solo competition with the abovementioned Saphaedra emerging as winner of the 45’ and Over class, and Stiletto (1961) taking the honours in the Under 45’ class.

The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge continues with Les Voiles d’Antibes, the first round on the Mediterranean Circuit, being hosted by the charming Cote d’Azur town between May 31 and June 4.


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