With a record entry of more than 80 yachts the 2012 edition of Panerai British Classic Week, taking place on the Solent from 7th to 14th July, will be one of this year’s UK yachting highlights.
Registration opens on Saturday 7th July and the event features six days of racing on a mix of Solent based courses, starting with a race around the Isle of Wight on Sunday 8th July.
The Cowes regatta is unique within the worldwide Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge series for the extraordinary diversity of yachts it attracts. From Hugh Morrison’s majestic 27m award-winning modern classic sloop Savannah to Michael Frith’s delightful 7.4m Bermudan sloop Blue Eagle, and from David Aisher’s 1888 cutter Thalia to the brand new, but classically designed 8 Metre Luna, launched only a few weeks ago, the entry list features a dazzling panoply of classic and modern classic yachts.
The entry list is bursting at the seams with well-known yachts including Panerai’s own 1936 William Fife designed Eilean; David Sheriff’s 1897 Jap, also designed by Fife; Opposition (formerly Morning Cloud) the 1971 Stephens designed Admiral’s Cupper built for Ted Heath and now owned by Jamie Mattheson; and David Murrin’s legendary Laurent Giles sloop Cetewayo. Joining the fleet will be 11 of the classic 8 Metres who are in Cowes preparing for the 8 Metre World Championship which starts on 15 July. Whilst the newest 8 Metre will be Luna, mentioned above, the oldest will be Rafferty Tanneguy’s Hispania IV designed by Joseph Guendon and built in 1927 by Sagredos Santander Spain, meaning that 85 years of 8 Metre history will be represented at the regatta.
British Classic Yacht Club Regatta Chairman David Orton is delighted with the large entry for this year’s event commenting, “ It is very encouraging to see the numbers of entrants to the Panerai British Classic Week rising annually, even in the face of difficult economic times. I am looking forward to an exiting week of racing for these wonderful boats in this Olympic year.”
Owning and maintaining a classic yacht is a labour of love and those involved feel a great sense of responsibility to ensure that these unique and beautiful vessels will be enjoyed by many generations to come. Events like Panerai British Classic Week offer an opportunity not only to show off the boats’ racing skills, but also allow the owners and crews to exchange ideas and tips with fellow enthusiasts and share their stunningly beautiful pieces of history with the general public.
Based at Cowes Yacht Haven, The Panerai Regatta Village is open to the public throughout the event and visitors are encouraged to walk the pontoons and inspect the yachts after racing. Classic yacht sailors love to talk about their boats so members of the public are encouraged to ask questions and find out more.
Après sailing there is a spectacular social programme incorporating events hosted by The Royal Yacht Squadron and Lugley’s restaurant, an ‘Open Yachts’ Pontoon Party, an Italian evening and a Prize Giving Gala Dinner. In addition a Pusser’s Rum Caribbean Party and BBQ will be jointly hosted with the Oyster Yachts Regatta, which is running concurrently from Cowes Yacht Haven. After racing each day competitors will be invited to relax and compare tales in the Panerai Lounge.
Registration opens on Saturday 7th July and the event features six days of racing on a mix of Solent based courses, starting with a race around the Isle of Wight on Sunday 8th July. Race Officer Tony Lovell will be officiating afloat and his hugely experienced team will once again be helping to ensure great racing for the crews. Ashore Mary Scott-Jackson’s team will be managing the Race Office and making sure that competitors have everything they need for a great regatta.
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