The classic yacht season kicks off again with a schedule that promises to be bigger and more exciting than ever before: Officine Panerai presents the 2011 season of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the leading international regatta circuit reserved for classic and vintage yachts, in which over 500 classic sailboats, including many of the most beautiful watercrafts in the world, will challenge each other in water courses that have made yachting history.
The seventh Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge sees an even bigger circuit thanks to the return of the Argentario Sailing Week to the schedule, bringing the season's regattas to a total of ten. The races are set to take place from mid April through to the end of September and range from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean, the waters of Solent (UK) and those of New England, on the East Coast of the United States of America.
Like in 2010, the regattas are divided up to form two separate circuits: the North American circuit, which includes the regattas of Marblehead, Nantucket and Newport, and that of the Mediterranean, which this year includes Les Voiles d'Antibes (FR), Argentario Sailing Week (IT) the Copa del Rey di Mahon (ES), the Vele d' Epoca di Porto Rotondo (IT) and the Régates Royales di Cannes (FR). The schedule is completed by the Antigua Classic Week and the Panerai British Classic Week (UK), which do not form part of any of the above-mentioned circuits.
For the second year the Panerai British Classic Week is part of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Series and will run from Sunday seventeenth of July to Saturday twenty-third of July; as in previous years, competing yachts will be berthed at Cowes Yacht Haven.
The organizers once again promise a full program of racing and social functions for competing skippers and their crews, including a number of long and short course day races around the environs of the Solent. In a break from the traditional format, the regatta will begin on Sunday seventeenth July with a stand alone race clockwise around the Isle of Wight. This race, to be known as the 'Panerai Classic Round the Island Race', will also be thrown open to entries from classic yachts not competing in the main regatta. The calendar:
Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta
14 - 19 April
Les Voiles D'Antibes
8 - 12 June 2011
Argentario Sailing Week
16 - 19 June
Cowes, Panerai British Classic Week
16 - 23 July 2011
Marblehead Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta
12 - 14 August 2011
Nantucket Opera House Cup
18 - 21 August 2011
Mahon, VIII Copa Del Rey De Barcos De Epoca
24 - 27 August 2011
Newport, Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta
2 - 4 September 2011
Vele D'Epcoa A Porto Rotondo
8 - 11 September 2011
Cannes, Regates Royals
17 - 24 September 2011 British Regatta