1935 Sparkman & Stephens Sloop SONNY Awarded Panerai Timepiece for the second year in a row – MoY’s Best Performance Overall
PCYC NA Circuit Trophy Winners for Best Overall “Vintage Division” is the Herreshoff 1905 NY 30 CARA MIA and W-76 WILD HORSES takes away first-time-ever-awarded Grand Prix Division Trophy
Newport, RI, September 3, 2014 – Sparkman & Stephens-designed 53’ Sloop SONNY, owned by Newport’s own Joe Dockery, once again took away the regatta’s top classic racing prize this past weekend at the Museum of Yachting (MoY) 35th Annual Classic Yacht Regatta, sponsored by Officine Panerai. The racing took place August 30-31 in the historically-nautical, charming city of Newport, RI. More than 50 classic sailing vessels participated in the final segment of the fifth 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 9-10, Marblehead, MA), the Opera House Cup (held August 17, Nantucket, MA), and culminated with the MoY Classic Yacht Regatta, held at historic Fort Adams State Park this past Labor Day weekend. While the North American Circuit is celebrating five years of camaraderie and competition, internationally Panerai is celebrating “10 Years of Passion” since the high-end Italian watch brand first launched their global classic yachting regatta series in 2005. All of the MoY competing vessels hoisted white “10 Years of Passion” flags to salute the milestone.
This year’s MoY race will be most remembered by being the first Classic Yacht Regatta to have all four classic New York Yacht Club One Designs racing together, inclusive of competitors from the legendary S&S NY-32 class (designed in 1936) alongside Herreshoff NY-30 (1905), NY-40 (1916) and NY-50 (1914) class yachts.
The first racing day on Saturday brought blue skies and bountiful sunshine with 8-12 knot winds that were fresh from the south/southeast; perfect conditions for a convivial
race atmosphere while simultaneously delighting all of the spectators surrounding beautiful Narragansett Bay.
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. Sunday’s weather began with cloudy skies and a stiff 16-18 knot wind from the southwest, which dropped to a moderate 10-12 knots mid-course, surprising lots of captains and crew who tactically changed sails, until the higher winds kicked in again near the end of the approximately 15 mile course. The thrill of a “photo finish” happened when two of Herreshoff’s famous “Fighting Forties”, NY-40 class yachts RUGOSA and her sister- ship MARILEE charged across the finish line side-by-side after a grueling day of competition.
The MoY Prize Giving Ceremony and Special Mentions
Before breaking for dinner and the evening’s finale presentation of the Panerai Awards, Regatta Organizers representing IYRS School of Technology & Trades / Museum of Yachting and Sail Newport, the race’s Organizing Authority, presented a flurry of awards recognizing Spirit, Designer and various class designations who, in some cases, were not eligible for the Panerai Awards. Of special note, the Herreshoff 1907 53’ sloop NEITH was celebrated as the winner of the Tom Benson Award for Restoration. The late Mr. Benson was the original Museum of Yachting’s Director, and it was the plight of beautiful sailboats 35 years ago that initiated the movement to start this event and museum to preserve and value these very special and rare classic yachts.
The famous Clingstone Cannon – the award for “Best Corinthian Spirit” – was fired off for the team from FORTUNE, a 50’ Crowninshield 1926 custom schooner, who in mid-race broke a main halyard shackle, dropping the sail to the deck. Without missing a beat, co-owner John Taft went aloft and initiated a repair that had them back in the competition in minutes.
PCYC Regatta Committee Member Bill Doyle took the podium to call out many additional boats and crew members deserving special mentions including Mike Emmert and his father who have owned the 41’ yawl GOLDEN EYE for 42 years, and are now sailing with a third generation aboard with Mike's two young children, the younger of which named Rhodes, in honor of their boat’s designer.
The Official Panerai Prize-Winners
At the start of the season and again at the podium, PCYC Regatta Committee Members outlined a new classification and scoring system in the spirit of allowing more boats to have a chance at winning the “best overall” prizes. Winning beautifully-engraved Silver Platters, presented by Panerai North American President Rafael Alvarez, were the following Division Class Winners:
Grand Prix Class
And for Best Overall Performance Yacht of the Museum of Yachting Regatta, Mr. Alvarez presented a Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 3 Days Automatic (PAM388) to SONNY, owned by Joe Dockery who accepted the prize.
Finally, the 2014 PCYC Prize Giving Ceremony concluded with the much-anticipated Panerai Trophies — beautifully sculpted titanium sails perched on a wooden pedestal — to honor best performance of the NA Circuit among the Vintage and Grand Prix Class competitors who competed in at least two regattas of the 3-part Series, including the Classic Yacht Regatta; a record-breaking 17 racing vessels were eligible for the ultimate seasonal trophy awards.
Among the Vintage Classics, the series came down to tight final race scores among the NY-50 SPARTAN, NORTHERN LIGHT, CARA MIA, and FORTUNE, with CARA
MIA, a beautiful 43’ Herreshoff 1905 NY-30 owned and skippered by Alfred Slanetz, taking home the coveted seasonal trophy by a mere .35 point difference. SPARTAN, owned by Charlie Ryan and Victor Paul, and NORTHERN LIGHT, owned by Elizabeth Tiedemann and skippered by Kip Curren, finished less than a third of a point behind the overall winner.
Among the Grand Prix Class, it too was a close call among three leading competitors in their division until the final race with Donald Tofias’ WILD HORSES taking First Place with less than a half of a point between his closest competitors, VALIANT, owned and skippered by Gary Gregory, and QUEST, the only Canadian competitor, owned and skippered by Diane and Ronald Palm.
Community Healing Sail
Panerai’s tradition for each New England regatta has become to dedicate at least one day of classic sailing, before or after the race, to host patient and caregiver sails for the community residents who live in the vicinity or the racing. 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 executives and the Sailing Heals’ dedicated Host Captains sponsored about 25 local ‘VIP guests’ for a beautiful Italian- inspired lunch and sailing on five separate classic boating vessels on picture-perfect Narragansett Bay on Friday, before the official start of the regatta weekend.
For more information on the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, visit www.paneraiclassicyachtschallenge.com
Allison Sottile Gina Sevilla
Panerai N.A. NIKE Communications, Inc.
(212) 891-2325 (646) 654-3448