MOONBEAM IV, CHINOOK, ENCOUNTER AND FREYA TAKE HOME THE PANERAI PRIZES AT LES VOILES D’ANTIBES

June 2016

The XXI edition of Les Voiles d’Antibes concluded on June 5 after four days of exhilarating racing. The first round of the 2016 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Mediterranean Circuit attracted no less than 75 sailing yachts to its start-line, four of which took home the prestige Panerai watches for the winners of the individual classes: Moonbeam IV (1914) in the Big Boats, Chinook (1916) in the Vintage Yachts, Encounter (1976) in the Classic Yachts and Freya (2003) in the Spirit of Tradition.

The 35-metre Moonbeam IV once again proved herself the Big Boat to beat and will be a very serious candidate this season for the category title which she has already won three times over the last five years. Moonbeam IV beat the prestigious likes of Moonbeam of Fife III, Cambria and Hallowe’en to take the weekend’s Panerai watch.

The 20-metre gaff cutter Chinook could not have had a better 100th birthday present either. Built in the US in 1916 and already crowned winner of the Panerai circuit in 2014, she is one of just four surviving New York 40s but still finished first in every single one of the Vintage Yacht category races at Les Voiles d’Antibes.

The 1976 16-metre Encounter, a German Frers design built by Palmer Johnson in America, repeated her victory of last year in the Classic category. Moved to the Cote d’Azur in 2008, the sloop won three out of the four Classic races at Antibes, beating the illustrious racing likes of Ganbare (1973) and the hugely successful Moro di Venezia I to do so.

Thanks to three firsts and one second, the 14-metre sloop Freya made it three in a row in her category in France this year, having won in 2014 and 2015. Wood-built in 2003 by the Collingwood yard of Liverpool to a Bill Dixon design, Freya has wonderful Edwardian-style interiors and a sliding keel that gives her a very good downwind speed. At Antibes Freya fended of nine other craft competing in the Spirit of Tradition to take her win.  

The next round on the 2016 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Mediterranean Circuit is the Argentario Sailing Week (Porto Santo Stefano, 14-19 June) in Tuscany, Italy.  

  • MOONBEAM IV, CHINOOK, ENCOUNTER AND FREYA TAKE HOME THE PANERAI PRIZES AT LES VOILES D’ANTIBES

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