June 2017

After the resounding success of Les Voiles d’Antibes, the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge fleet next moves to Italy and the stunning Monte Argentario bay in Tuscany for the second round of the Mediterranean Circuit (Porto Santo Stefano, 15-18 June).

The entire town is preparing to welcome the hundreds of sailors expected for the Argentario Sailing Week. The 40-plus yachts taking part will be divided into Classic, Vintage, Big Boat and Spirit of Tradition classes. As per tradition at this fantastic maritime event, the festivities will spill out onto the docksides and into the narrow streets of Santo Stefano, delivering one of the most charming sights in all of Italy.

This edition of the Italian sailing classic introduces a slew of new features, not least of which is an extra day’s racing to give crews even more time to vie for final victory.

The shore events begin on Wednesday, June 14, with the now-traditional cocktail party at the Yacht Club Santo Stefano, while the competing itself gets underway after the briefing at the town hall on the following day. 

The racing will take place in the bay off Porto Santo Stefano, a stretch of sea with very stable weather conditions and daily thermals that deliver consistently spectacular clashes. The fleet will be competing between Talamone and the Giannella beaches with the finish-line located near the waterfront to guarantee the spectators gathered there a uniquely spectacular sight.

Returnees to the Argentario Sailing Week this year include Cambria, a 35-metre Bermudan cutter built in 1928, and Moonbeam of Fife, a gaff cutter from 1903 that took the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge season trophy in her class last year.

In the Vintage category, all eyes will be on Chinook and Rowdy, two New York Classes with identical lines but different rigs – the former is gaff-rigged and the latter a Marconi cutter. Both splashed in 1916 and were designed by one of the greatest pens in sailing history, Nathanael Greene Herreshoff.

Also returning to competition in the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is Patrizio Bertelli’s Linnet (1905) and the American yacht, Spartan, which last year proved one of the fastest craft on the entire circuit and this year is one of the favourites for overall victory. The Vintage is generally the most tightly-fought and spectacular of the classes with the craft competing very much in the gentleman yachting spirit yet also proving that, despite their centenarian status, they can still deliver a hugely exhilarating spectacle. 


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