The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge heads to Newport

Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge | North American Circuit

The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge heads to Newport for the finale of the 2015 North American Circuit and the 36th Annual Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta.

Panerai will announce the overall winners of the 2015 North American Circuit next Sunday evening at the Museum Of Yachting & PCYC Awards Ceremony at Fort Adams State Park. The 2015 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge (PCYC) North American Circuit will be in full sail over Labor Day weekend for the 36th annual Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta (MoY CYR) in Newport, Rhode Island. The MoY CYR will take place on Saturday, September 5th and Sunday, September 6th when nearly 50 classic sailing beauties built between the end of the 19th century and the present time—ranging in length, materials and type—are expected to sail into Newport Harbor for the regatta’s spirited racing feats on the water, and jubilant celebrations of yachting history on land.

The union between Panerai and the sea dates back to the beginning of the last century, when the Italian Navy turned to the Florentine company to supply watches and precision instruments for its specialized underwater corps. In honor of the Brand’s historic nautical links and shared values of the beauty, design, craftsmanship and excellence associated with classic yachting, Panerai continues this reverent relationship with the sea through the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge.

This is the 11th consecutive year that Florentine high-end sports watchmaker Officine Panerai has sponsored the international circuit for classic and vintage sailing yachts worldwide, with nine regattas planned in 2015 across New England, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the United Kingdom. The MoY Regatta is the final race of the three-part North American Circuit which comprises the Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta in Marblehead and Nantucket’s Opera House Cup; both of which were held earlier this month off the shores of Massachusetts.

Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge | North American Circuit

The PCYC NA Circuit/MoY CYR entrants are divided into five racing classes within two major divisions: Vintage Division including Grand Classics, Corinthian Classics, and Day Racers and the Grand Prix Division which includes Performance Yachts and Day Racers, comprised of both Spirit of Tradition yachts, as well as older designs updated for high performance.

The MoY Regatta is particularly hard-fought as competitors who have raced in at least two of the PCYC North America Circuit regattas will battle for the coveted Overall PCYC Circuit Trophies and Class Awards. The annual MoY Classic Yacht Regatta is affiliated with the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) and the racing Organizing Authority is Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s premier public sailing center.

Spectators and competitors alike can enjoy the match racing between such impressive classic sailing grande dames as SPARTAN and BLACK WATCH in the Vintage Grand Classic Division and witness recent Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta Best Overall Winner NEITH attempt to defend her quest for the Vintage Corinthian Classic trophy against other local Newport-based classic beauties such as FORTUNE, AMORITA and CARA MIA. GALAVANT, which at 42’ is at the smaller end of her Grand Prix Division class of competitors, will have to defeat the much larger 76’ WILD HORSES, last year’s Grand Prix trophy winner, in order to bring home a Panerai trophy from Newport.

New or returning to the MoY Regatta this season is the magnificent black NOR’EASTER, a 1926 Alden Q Class Sloop; ROGUE, a 1953 iteration of the venerable Herreshoff Newport 29 class; and MINK, one of four original Herreshoff-designed and built 1914 Buzzard Bay 25’s; all hailing from nearby Connecticut to compete in their respective classes.

Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge | North American Circuit

The Panerai Prize and PCYC North American Circuit Trophies

On Sunday evening following two days of racing, Panerai North American President Rafael Alvarez will award the coveted Panerai timepiece, a Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio – 47mm (PAM00514) to the overall winner of the Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta at the MoY Awards Party held nearby the Panerai Hospitality Lounge under the prize-giving tent. During the ceremony, Mr. Alvarez will also present the two overall winners of the 2015 Panerai North American Circuit from the Vintage and Grand Prix Divisions each with a Panerai Trophy as well as present engraved silver plates for the Class overall winners.

Last year, the Panerai Trophy award for Best Overall Performance in the Vintage Division was awarded to the Herreshoff 1905 NY-30 CARA MIA and in the Grand Prix Division to the W-76 WILD HORSES.

A Community Affair

Before Sunday’s starting lineup, spectators can enjoy the beautiful sailing vessels circling the harbor for the annual Classic Yacht Parade as they sail out toward Narragansett Bay and queue up for the racing start. The Panerai Hospitality Lounge, based at the northern tip of Fort Adams State Park, will be open to competitors throughout Labor Day weekend and will provide guests and crews with refreshments and showcase the Italian watch brand’s famed nautical timepieces and instruments. Additionally, Panerai will host ‘Cappuccino with the Captains’ in the Panerai Hospitality Lounge for local sailing and watch enthusiasts on Sunday morning beginning at 8:30 a.m. before the Classic Yacht Parade.

Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge | North American Circuit

Sailing Heals

In 2011, Panerai started the tradition of hosting healing sails tied to each of the New England regattas they sponsor by founding the Massachusetts-based non-profit organization Sailing Heals. With the support of the PCYC Host Captains, Panerai and Sailing Heals host cancer patients and their caregivers for a day of healing and respite on the sea. This year’s Newport sail will be hosted on Friday, September 4th and will commence with a harborside lunch for nearly 20 Sailing Heals’ and Panerai’s VIP Guests followed by healing sails on THE BLUE PETER, FIREFLY, GALAVANT, and WILD HORSES. To date, with the help of our volunteer Host Captains, Sailing Heals has taken more than 1,700 patients and their caregivers out for healings sails from 20 ports of call and seven states nationwide. Sailing Heals’ mission is to provide unique sailing and boating experiences to individuals, families, and caregivers who may be experiencing a health setback or loss and can benefit from a peaceful day on the water.

[Photo credits: Cory Silken]