September 2016

After five days of races, the 38th edition of the Regates Royales de Cannes completed the 12th edition of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. The 2016 season has been a particularly spectacular, fascinating one for the many magnificent, perfectly restored boats taking part.

As is traditional, Cannes is the stage where the winner of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is decided, after the events of Antibes, Argentario and Imperia. Among the Big Boats the Vintage Yachts Moonbeam IV and Chinook were victorious, while the winner of the Classic Yachts category was Ganbare: three fantastic yachts with passionate owners and skillful crews who succeeded in reaching the highest step of the podium.

After her victories in 2011, 2012 and 2015, the gaff cutter Moonbeam IV, a 35-metre splashed in 1914 at the William Fife & Son shipyard in Scotland, took the prestigious Big Boats season trophy for the fourth time, a record unmatched by any other boat. Her French owner Xavier Tancogne and skipper Mikaél Créac’h were also celebrating the 10th anniversary of their decision to get the famous yacht on which Prince Rainier of Monaco and his American bride Grace Kelly honeymooned, back sailing.  Now based in Spain and flying the burgee of the Real Club Nautico de Palma, Moonbeam IV competed in three of the four rounds this season. She won all four of her races in her class at Cannes, beating the legendary Big Boats Moonbeam of Fife (1903), Hallowe’en (1926), Elena of London (2009) and Cambria (1928) in doing so.  

The gaff cutter Chinook could not have celebrated her centenary year in more glorious fashion either. Launched in 1916 by the Herreshoff yard in the US, this 19.8-metre is one of only four NY40 (New York 40) still sailing out of a total of 14 built between 1916 and 1926. This is the second occasion on which Chinook has written her name on the Panerai Trophy Vintage Yachts roll of honour. This time, she won under the ownership of  Paolo Zannoni, who acquired her in 2015 from her former English owner Graham Walker, a multiple winner of the Trophy with Rowdy (1916), also present at Cannes.  Chinook competed in every round of the 2016 circuit, clocking up a total of 14 races and out-sailing other aspiring victors of the calibre the Q-Class Leonore (1925) and Rowdy to the title.

On her maiden outing in the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge the One Tonner Ganbare, built from red cedar wood by the Carl Eichenlaub yard in San Diego (USA) in 1973, took the Panerai Trophy in the Classic Yachts category. She was the first yacht designed by Californian Doug Peterson, who soon became one of the world’s most renowned pens. In 2016, Ganbare competed in three rounds of the Panerai circuit, doing battle with such glorious craft as Naïf (1973), Il Moro di Venezia (1976) and Sagittarius (1971).

Four prestige Panerai watches were also presented to the winners of the main categories of the Régates Royales de Cannes. The victor in the Big Boats was Moonbeam IV, while Patrizio Bertelli’s Linnet (1905), the 10th of 18 New York Yacht Club 30s to be built, took the honours in the Vintage Yachts. The 1969 Bermudan sloop Arcadia took the watch in the Classic Yacht category while Freya of Midgard (2001) did likewise in the Spirit of Tradition.

The Challenge of Challenges, in which two yachts go head-to-head with the first over the line declared the winner, was a tie between schooner Elena of London and Cambria, after a truly spectacular race in full sail that provided unique viewing to the spectators ashore.  

In the International 5.5-Metre Class, after three days of racing and a total of eight races, overall victory went to the Dutch yacht, Feng Shui, while Pitch, built in 2006, took the top step of the Tofinou 9.5 podium having won three out of the four races held.

Below are the winners at Cannes in all the individual categories into which the fleet was divided:  Moonbeam IV (Big Boats), Arcadia (Classic Yachts), Enterprise (Vintage Marconi > 15 m), Arrow (Vintage Marconi < 15 m), Linnet (Vintage Gaff), Freya of Midgard (Spirit of Tradition), Sovereign (International 12-Metre Class). Overall victory amongst the 50 Dragons that competed in Cannes went to the Russian boat Annapurna after 10 races and under the captaincy of the class champion Anatoly Loginov. 



Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta
April 19th - 25th, 2017
Les Voiles d'Antibes
May 31st - June 4th, 2017
Argentario Sailing Week
June 15th - 18th, 2017
Panerai British Classic Week
July 8th - 15th, 2017
Marblehead Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta
August 11th - 13th, 2017
Nantucket Regatta
August 18th - 19th, 2017
Nantucket Opera House Cup
August 20th, 2017
Mahon, XIV Copa del Rey de Barcos de Epoca
August 29th - 2nd, 2017
Newport Classic Yacht Regatta
September 1st - 3rd, 2017
Cannes, Régates Royales
September 26th - 30th, 2017

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