Sumurun, Stormvogel and Wild Horses emerge victorious from the caribbean leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge

April 2013

The 2013 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the international regatta circuit for classic and vintage yachts sponsored by Officine Panerai, could not have gotten off to a better start with 65 beautiful yachts taking part in its first round, the 26th Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, between April 18th and 23rd.

The four competitions in the traditional Caribbean season-closing regatta (dubbed “the Old Road”, “the Butterfly Course”, “the Cannonball Race” and “the Windward Race” respectively) were absolutely spectacular and hard-fought to the last, while the Caribbean climate lived up to competitors’ expectations, treating them to very variable weather conditions with winds ranging between 15 and 30 knots and waves of up to three metres.

Overall victory in the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, as well as first place in the Vintage Class, went to the 28-metre Sumurun, a Bermudan ketch launched in 1914 at the historic Fife yard in Fairlie, Scotland. However, this is not the first time this splendid yacht has won at Antigua as she already triumphed on other occasions. Sumurun also underwent restoration in Italy and took part in the very first edition of the Fife Regatta in Scotland in 1998. This year, she left Antigua with an Officine Panerai watch, which is the prize awarded to all overall winners of the various rounds on the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge calendar.

Victory in the Classic Class went to another two-master, Stormvogel, a 22-metre ketch built in South Africa in 1961 and a joint design effort by two renowned pens, Van de Stadt Design of Holland and Englishman Laurent Giles. Stormvogel is also a familiar face in the Mediterranean, having won her category in the 2008 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. In Antigua, she successfully fended off the advances of her closest rival, the 1957 Lone Fox, to the end.

The Spirit of Tradition class for yachts recently built to a classic design was won by the W-Class 76 Wild Horses (1998) after withstanding some very tough competition from the likes of Spirit of Rani, Farfarer and Aurelius. Other prizes went to the 13-metre Genesis (2003), which took a resounding victory in the Traditional Class having won all four races, and Petrana, a 15-metre built in Hong Kong in 1968, in the Classic GRP Class for fibreglass boats.

The racing at sea was preceded by the 14th Single Handed Race, during which the classic yachts entered were sailed solo by a single crew member. The 20 yachts in that fleet did battle on a 12-mile course off Falmouth Harbour. Final victory went to the 1965 Saphaedra, Spirit of Rani, a 2011 Spirit Yachts, and the 1919 Aquila. The schooner Adventurous, on the other hand, won the Concours d’Elegance in which 33 yachts competed. The Parade of Classics also took place in English Harbour on Sunday, April 21st, giving the assembled spectators a close-up view of the stunning yachts taking part in the Antiguan event.

Also present once again this year at Antigua were the Carriacou sloops, robust local boats inspired by those once used for inter-island trade. Wood-plank-built on the beach, these lovely craft proved they too are capable of delivering some dazzling clashes on the competition field.

Despite being part of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta remains very much a stand-alone event independent of both the Mediterranean and North American circuits. The Mediterranean Circuit, of course, gets underway with Les Voiles d’Antibes (29th May – 2nd June 2013).

2013 edition participants

2013 edition images

  • Sumurun, Stormvogel and Wild Horses emerge victorious from the caribbean leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge
  • Sumurun, Stormvogel and Wild Horses emerge victorious from the caribbean leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge
  • Sumurun, Stormvogel and Wild Horses emerge victorious from the caribbean leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge
  • Sumurun, Stormvogel and Wild Horses emerge victorious from the caribbean leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge
  • Sumurun, Stormvogel and Wild Horses emerge victorious from the caribbean leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge
  • Sumurun, Stormvogel and Wild Horses emerge victorious from the caribbean leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge
  • Sumurun, Stormvogel and Wild Horses emerge victorious from the caribbean leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge
  • Sumurun, Stormvogel and Wild Horses emerge victorious from the caribbean leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge
  • Sumurun, Stormvogel and Wild Horses emerge victorious from the caribbean leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge
  • Sumurun, Stormvogel and Wild Horses emerge victorious from the caribbean leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge

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