Officine Panerai hosts final competition of North American Circuit with Museum of Yachting 34th annual Classic Yacht Regatta

September 2013

September 2nd 2013 – In the end it was a Sparkman & Stephens “tribute weekend” as the Museum of Yachting (MoY) 34th Annual Classic Yacht Regatta, sponsored by Officine Panerai, took place August 31st – September 1st in the legendary maritime city of Newport, RI (USA). Nearly 50 classic sailing vessels participated in the final segment of the fourth annual Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge (PCYC) – North American Circuit. The North American Circuit of the PCYC is comprised of the Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta (held August 10th–11th, Marblehead, MA), the Opera House Cup (held August 18th, Nantucket, MA) and the MoY Classic Yacht Regatta, held at historic Fort Adams State Park this weekend.

While the skies were overcast with patches of sun on both days, the winds were a sailor’s dream. The southwesterly breezes reached 15 – 20 knots on the first day and dropped to 8 – 15 knots of puffy winds on the second, making for exciting tactical sailing on expansive Narragansett Bay. Saturday’s race configuration was the traditional “around Conanicut Island and the town of Jamestown”, 18.5 mile race which was a hallmark course for the classic yacht regatta for many decades. Sunday’s race course had a reaching start downwind under Newport’s grandiose Pell Bridge with varied legs in the upper Bay and finished back in front of the Museum of Yachting tent at Panerai Hospitality Lounge, located at the water’s edge of Fort Adams State Park.

On Sunday night, Captains and Crew joined in a festive dinner and Prize-Giving Ceremony on the lawn in front of the Museum of Yachting and Panerai’s beautiful new Hospitality Lounge. As a tribute to classic sailors worldwide, Panerai unveiled a new wooden-boat like VIP Area for Newport boat registrants and guests which exactly mirrors the VIP areas where they host their sailing participants for the five classic sailing regattas they sponsor in the Mediterranean. International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) Chairman Joe Dockery welcomed everyone and introduced long-time classic sailing veterans Jed Pearsall and Ed Kane to co-present the Awards Ceremony.

The Official Prize-Winners

1935 Sparkman & Stephens sloop Sonny awarded Panerai timepiece for MOY Regatta

Winning an engraved Panerai Silver Platter in the 12-metre vintage class after a close-tie with its sister boat Northern Light was GLEAM, a 1937 68’ foot 12-metre owned by Elizabeth Tiedemann and helmed by Mike and Terry Lanza. Winning in the S-class was AQUILA, a 1919 28’ Herreshoff owned by Geoffrey Davis. RIVAL, a 38’ sloop owned and helmed by David Curtis, took first honors in the Spirit of Tradition Non-Spinnaker Class. In the Classic Non-Spinnaker Class (CRF rating under 34), IYRS-restored RUWEIDA and its owner Joe Huber took home the Panerai silver plate. For the larger Classic Non-Spinnaker Class (CRF rating over 34), local Sparkman & Stephens 53’ sloop SONNY, owned by Joe Dockery, took home the silver.

Walking away with First Place Overall in the MoY Classic Yacht Regatta and winning the coveted Panerai timepiece, a Panerai Luminor Base Logo Watch, was the aforementioned SONNY.

1938 Sparkman & Stephens yawl Black Watch wins PCYC – North American Circuit Trophy for best overall performance in the series

After presenting the MoY Awards, co-presenter Nic Judson announced the final winners of the Circuit. After a few throw-outs in both classes across all three regattas, Jamestown local beauty HEROINA won the Overall Spirit of Tradition Award for the PCYC North American Circuit, and 1938 Sparkman & Stephens yawl BLACK WATCH, helmed by co-owner Trevor Fetter and sporting an all-star crew, took home the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge NA Circuit Trophy for Overall Series Winner, as the classic yacht with the best combined score, between the three New England regattas.

Sail Newport, a respected and active sailing center in the region, served as the official Organizing Authority for the 34th Annual Museum of Yachting Classic Regatta and their lead officials Brad Read and Anderson Reggio were thanked for their earnest efforts.

On Sunday morning, many of the participating yachts took part in the Newport tradition of proudly hoisting their yacht club pennants and Panerai battle flags and circling Newport’s inner harbor for the Annual Classic Yacht Parade. BLACK WATCH, with several owners and Olympians/America’s Cup winners on board, such as JJ Fetter and Tom Whidden, gave a Panerai-cap salute to passers-by as a bag-piper played proudly at the bow. This well-organized spectacle won their sailboat and crew the Best Sailboat in the Parade Award. On-shore spectators and other sailing enthusiasts watched as the beautiful vessels embarked upon their race course start with precision, style, grace and plenty of spirit.

Likewise, Panerai’s tradition for each regatta has become to dedicate at least one day of classic sailing, before or after the race, to hosting patient and caregiver sails for the community residents who so generously host each of the N.A. regattas. Under the pennant of their founding sponsorship of Sailing Heals, a Massachusetts-based non-profit organization whose mission is to take cancer patients and their caregivers out for healing days of respite on the water, Panerai and their Host Captains sponsored 25 local ‘VIP guests’ on four separate sailing outings on breathtaking Narragansett Bay on Friday, for a beautiful healing day on the water just preceding the racing.

  • Officine Panerai hosts final competition of North American Circuit with Museum of Yachting 34th annual Classic Yacht Regatta

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