Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2007


Classic Yachts Challenge 2007

The grand return of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2007
La Cote des Montres - July 1st, 2007

The great 2007 yachting season, with the excitement of the America’s Cup in Valencia, also sees the return of the unique glamour of the exclusive Mediterranean circuit for vintage yachts, the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, now in its third edition. The world of traditional sailing – the magnificent wooden boats, the timeless names and designs, the passion of the great characters of yachting: the owners, designers, constructors and champions – has a close connection with the values, the history and the technology of haute horlogerie, represented by Officine Panerai, the leading brand and symbol of the love for the traditions of the sea.

The world of historic vessels and vintage yachts is about to enjoy another season of remarkable success with the participation and involvement of many owners and enthusiasts. It is proving to be one of the most thriving sectors in the nautical world, each year attracting an increasingly numerous band of sailors, enthusiasts and onlookers through its character which superbly embodies the values which the sea alone can represent. Also for this reason the events devoted to vintage yachts become a great celebration in which the key moment is the parade of the most beautiful “ladies of the sea” past the quaysides thronged with the public.

The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2007 Circuit is organised by AIVE (Associazione Italiana Vele d’Epoca / Italian Association of Vintage Yachts) and CIM (Comité International de la Méditerranée / International Mediterranean Committee), together with Officine Panerai which is the title sponsor. Five races are planned, as well as three off-shore transfers from one leg to another, making a total of eight events in which the participants are allotted points counting towards the final classification. In 2006, 239 yachts took part and for this edition the organisers are expecting 300 yachts.

This is the calendar of the meetings. The first event is at Antibes (France), the “Voiles de Antibes”, from 30 May to 3 June; then comes the classic event at Porto Santo Stefano (Italy), the Argentario Sailing Week from 13 to 17 June; next to Port Mahon in the Balearics (Spain), for the V “Copa del Rey de Barcos de Epoca”, from 28 to 31 August; then back to Porto Rotondo, Italy in Sardinia from 6 to 9 September; and finally the conclusion at Cannes (France), with the Régates Royales, from 24 to 30 September.

The transfers will start with the La Spezia-Porto Santo Stefano off-shore race (8-10 June), followed by Mahon-Porto Rotondo (1 September) and ending with Porto Rotondo-Cannes (17 September).

As is customary, many new appearances are expected this season, including above all appropriate acknowledgements to the America’s Cup. It has been confirmed that the great Denis Connor, one of the legends of the America’s Cup, will be racing, and the International 12 Metre World Championship at Cannes will see the appearance of many yachts from the history of the Cup.

The events will also see the meeting, on the quayside and in the races, of the great admirals of the fleet, the Big Boats, which the Panerai Circuit will also honour this year with a special trophy: Lulworth, the auric cutter of 46.30 metres designed by Herbert White, Southampton, in 1920, belonging to the Dutch owner Johan van den Bruele; Altair (32 metres, 1931), Cambria (34 metres, 1928), Mariette (32 metres, 1915), Mariquita (31 metres, 1923), which will add a new chapter to the continuous replay of the historic duel between William Fife and Nay Herreshoff, the legendary naval architects of the most beautiful yachts of the 20th century.

The distinguished presence of Dennis Conner is confirmed: the great protagonist of the America’s Cup in the 1980s will appear with his 16-metre yacht Cotton Blossom II, to continue the never-ending challenge with Giuseppe Giordano’s Bona Fide (winner of the Panerai Challenge 2006 in the Vintage category). Expected for the first time are Armorita owned by Claudio Mealli, the sister ship of Cholita, the 14-metre sloop of 1937 in the California 32 class, which has proved to be particularly competitive in the Mediterranean circuit (1st in 2005, 3rd in 2006).

Among the yachts which took part in 2006 and returning this year are Oriole owned by Francis Van de Velde, Tirrenia II of the president of AIVE Gianni Loffredo (in the Vintage category), and the winner of the Panerai Challenge 2006 in the Classic category Emeraude of Vittorio Cavazzana, Strale of Antonio Bandini, Madifra of Matteo Rossi, Windigo of Andrea Boroli, the English Outlaw (winner of the circuit in 2005), and the ketch Alba of the Spaniard Damien Ribas, president of the CIM. Among the small boats also returning is Lona, the English cutter of 1905 launched at Chiavari in the first week of 2006 by its owner Maurizio Manzoli, brother of the solo sailor Franco Manzoli who won the Ostar in 2005.

For the 2007 Circuit, Officine Panerai, whose association with traditional yachting is based on its fundamental sharing of identical values and on its cooperation with organisers and owners, will once again launch a new watch model: the Luminor 1950 Flyback Regatta Rattrapante 2007, with new features reflecting the remarkable tradition of the house.

Officine Panerai is also established across the Atlantic as sponsor of the Antigua Classic Week 2007 (19-24 April), organised by the Antigua Yacht Club, recognised as one of the great events of vintage yachting and now in its 20th edition. The other prestigious events in which it is involved across the Atlantic are in the USA at Newport, Rhode Island (6-8 July) and Nantucket, Massachussets (11-19 August). In the USA too, alongside traditional yachting, Panerai presents its established values of research, innovation and tradition, establishing a deep association with places and events through time.


Classic yachting

Boats, regulations, associations 


Classic yachting


The second half of the 1970s saw the development among yachting enthusiasts and the public of an interest in older yachts boats built with classic materials and according to traditional criteria. “Vintage yachting” grew in parallel with the growth of sailing for pleasure, the spread of the sport of yachting, its practice and its events. Today the category of vintage yachts is a significant area of sailing and its importance is increasing annually, as is the number of people involved in various areas (craftsmen, shipbuilders, entrepreneurs, owners, organisers, sponsors, yachtsmen and yachtswomen, media and publicity).
In recent years events dedicated to vintage yachting have been founded, shipyards specialising in accurate restoration of ancient vessels have become established, and the number of owners interested in finding and restoring vintage and classic yachts has been growing constantly. The popularity of the great meetings and regattas has been accompanied by the birth of class associations, starting with the A.I.V.E., Associazione Italiana Vele d’Epoca (Italian Association of Vintage Yachts).
Every yachtsman and enthusiast of the sea has a soft spot for classic or vintage yachts. The sight of a yacht of classic lines evokes in everyone the history, the tradition and the deeds of the ancient seafarers: values which take on an even deeper significance in modern times. Today every vintage yacht is a kind of sailing museum, itself a symbol handed down over time of the art of going to sea.


C.I.M. – Comité International de la Méditerranée


Founded in 1926 in Cannes by a group of French, Italian and Spanish yachtsmen under the name “Comité international des courses croisières de la Méditerranée”, C.I.M. (International Mediterranean Committee) was very active until 1939, when it naturally ceased its activities as a result of the Second World War. Off-shore races between Italian, French and Spanish yachts were resumed in 1948. The increase in the number of owners led to a relaunch of the Committee in 1950. Since 1948, the representatives of the Yacht Club of France, the Yacht Club Italiano and the Reale Club Nautico of Barcelona, meeting in Paris at the invitation of Monsieur Fernand Rouff, president of the Société des Régates de Cannes, one of the founders of C.I.M., had already been considering the reorganisation of off-shore races and their development.

On 20 December 1997, in Monaco, it was decided to organise vintage yachts in a separate division; this had its headquarters at the Yacht Club de Monaco, which also provided its secretariat. A year later, the first unified Measurement Rule for rating vintage and period yachts was created and it was successfully to all the races of the Mediterranean. In 2001 took definitive form the “Regolamento per la stazza e per le regate degli yacht d’epoca e classici 2001-2004” (“Rules for the rating and the racing of vintage and classic yachts 2001-2004”). This is valid throughout the Mediterranean and allows the national associations to issue rating certificates valid for every event recognised by C.I.M. Extending beyond the Straits of Gibraltar, the Rule has also been applied in Argentina, as well as in Cowes in 2001 on the occasion of the America’s Cup Jubilee. The organisers of events for vintage yachts are now federated, and under the aegis of C.I.M. the calendar is harmonised and acquire official authority.
The current president of C.I.M is the Spanish architect Damian Ribas, who will remain in office until the end of 2007. C.I.M. has introduced a new constitution and a new organisation with the permanent secretariat which has been transferred to Barcelona. Also associated with C.I.M. is Switzerland (Société Nautique de Genève).


A.I.V.E – Associazione Italiana Vele d’Epoca


The first meetings for vintage and classic yachts were held in the Mediterranean in the 1980s, and Italy played a leading role with the formation of a beautiful fleet of vintage yachts. The beginning took place in 1982 when at Porto Cervo the first meeting of vintage yachts was won by Gianni Agnelli’s Agneta, and in the same year A.I.V.E (Associazione Italiana Vele d’Epoca / Italian Association of Vintage Yachts) was founded. The first president was Beppe Croce and he was followed by the current president, Gianni Loffredo. Many owners caught the fever, seeking out, acquiring and restoring ancient yachts of all sizes and sailing them in races again: seen once more on the water were old International 12 Metre class yachts from the America’s Cup, yachts of the other glorious metre classes (International 5, 6 and 8-metre Classes), cruising yachts and racing yachts.
The Association quickly grew and gathered together the majority of the Mediterranean fleet. It organised meetings and perfected its own measurement rules. Soon the Italian example was followed in France, Spain and the Principality of Monaco; the Mediterranean became the centre of the vintage yachting, the favourite place for sailors and owners to sail, meet and compete against each other. It was the start of a real cultural movement towards vintage yachting. At Imperia a regular meeting started which today is the largest of those for vintage yachts.
Today A.I.V.E. has 220 members and 200 yachts. The President is Gianni Loffredo and the headquarters are at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa.
The aims of the association include the encouragement in the widest sense of yachts and equipment designed and constructed according to the criteria in force until the 1970s; research into the history and the conservation of nautical traditions associated with the construction of cruising and racing yachts; the creation of a library containing the construction and sail plans of all the vessels recorded, together with historic news sources and specialist publications with particular reference to designers and shipbuilders.
As a result of these undertakings and its organisation of meetings and regattas, A.I.V.E is today an operational reference point for all enthusiasts who in Italy and elsewhere maintain yachts ready for racing, pleasure cruising or training sailing and seamanship, constructed in the years before 1980.




Boats are divided into two main categories: Vintage Yachts and Classic Yachts.

Vintage Yachts are yachts built of wood or metal, launched before 31 December 1949 and remaining consistent with their original designs.
Yachts designed after 1 January 1946 and before 31 December 1949, and launched before 31 December 1952, are recognised as vintage yachts if the National Association has judged them as such and issued a classification certificate accordingly.
There is also the Vintage Yachts Replica category: this for yachts which, regardless of their launch date, were built to designs made before 31 December 1949 and using procedures which are consistent with the techniques and materials of the time.

Classic Yacht are yachts built of wood or metal and launched before 31 December 1975. Yachts built in series are not admissible.
Regardless of the quantity, yachts are considered to be built in series when they are constructed by a single shipyard or under an exclusive licence using parts made from unique moulds or patterns, which are therefore interchangeable between one example and another.
Defined as Classic Yacht Replicas are yachts which, regardless of their launch date, were built to designs made before 31 December 1975.

In both categories, the coefficient of authenticity is also issued, according to the criteria established for replicas, and the parameter of age is based on the year of launch.

There is also defined the category of yacht denominated Spirit of Tradition, which includes vintage or classic yachts which as a result of later alterations are not eligible for rating according to the CIM Rules, and also boats constructed since 1970 using modern materials and techniques but which have an appearance and style faithful to a traditional vintage or classic design. Nonetheless these are allowed to have modern hulls and to use modern technologies in their equipment. Their admission must however be submitted to the Technical Committee of C.I.M. (either directly or through a National Association) and, once approval has been obtained, they will be allowed to take part in vintage and classic yacht meetings, but in a separate category and with a different classification.

The Rules (available on request to journalists who may be interested and downloadable on the Internet), also include a series of general rules concerning ratings, maintenance of yachts in prescribed conditions, the size of the crew (including the indication of the minimum number of crew members for each class of yacht), the courses and duration of the races, the relationship with ISAF racing regulations and possible protests, and so on.


The events of the Circuit


Antibes, les voiles d’Antibes, 30 May-3 June


Again this year Antibes and France will initiate the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2007. This year Les Voiles d’Antibes is in its 12th edition, and once again it will see many of the most beautiful vintage yachts and traditional sailing ships gathering together.
In the south of France, at the heart of the country’s traditional yachting traditions, Les Voiles d’Antibes has for years attracted enthusiasts of classic yachting in a celebration of great appeal. It is appreciated for the quality of its races (match races for the metre classes and in-shore races of 20 miles along the coast between Antibes and Juan Les Pins for the others), and also for the highly convivial atmosphere which is prevalent on the quay when the crews return to land. In the purest yachting tradition, Les Voiles d’Antibes celebrates five days of entertainment and parties around the harbour, with plenty of music (the Antibes jazz festival is renowned throughout the world), exhibitions and events relating to the sea and the environment, as well as concerts, together with the “Village des Voiles” of 1,500 square metres with about 20 exhibitors located at Port Vauban, the first pleasure craft marina in Europa.

Porto Santo Stefano, Argentario Sailing Week,13-17 June


Since the “Vele d’Argento” of 1992, the meeting at Porto Santo Stefano makes the Argentario one of the great classics in the vintage yacht calendar, and since 1999 it has definitively adopted the name “Argentario Sailing Week”. In the same location as one of the leading specialist shipbuilders in the world, every year the most beautiful ships of the vintage class appear at this event, offering a unique spectacle to thousands of visitors amidst the beautiful scenery of the bay of Porto San Stefano in the heart of the Mediterranean. There are also many social occasions on land, centred on the Village set up on the quayside, with the crews’ dinner on the harbour quay and the final prizegiving for the winners in the main piazza. The most famous names and characters of yachting are frequent visitors to the Argentario Sailing Week.

Port Mahon, IV Copa del Rey de Barcos de Epoca, 28-31 August


Vela Clásica Menorca, a compendium of races, events, spectacles and the passion for yachting, finds its fulfilment with the Copa del Rey race for vintage yachts, which this year celebrates its fifth edition. The interest in traditional yachting and its traditions in Spain, the passion for sailing of King Juan Carlos, who has given his name to the event, the determination of the island of Minorca to provide an outstanding location for sailing as well as the best hospitality and organisation, together with ideal weather conditions, make this event one of the most popular stages in the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Circuit.

Porto Rotondo, Vele d’Epoca a Porto Rotondo, 6-9 September


The Porto Rotondo meeting has a prestigious place in the calendar of traditional regattas. The aesthetic and technical setting which form the backdrop of the races, the beautiful marina and the particular atmosphere to be found in the club house make this event one not to be missed and attended by many owners. For enthusiasts of every kind, Porto Rotondo always has a programme of many social activities on land, ranging from dinner on the quay to the “nautical games”, exhibitions of skill on the part of the teams which have always had a large public following.

Cannes, Régates Royales, 24-30 September


The Regates Royales di Cannes (this year in the 20th edition) have now become a timeless classic and one not to be missed. The event was founded in 1929 to pay a compliment to King Christian X of Denmark, who was helmsman of his 6-metre International Class Dana. As a result of the presence of so many crowned heads, the Regates Royales have won the hearts of many princes of sailing. The city, the old port, the views of the coast and the favourable climate which at the same time offers challenging conditions to sailors, summarise all that is best about yachting at Cannes. And this year Cannes itself will be the scene of the final prizegiving of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2007 Circuit.

This year Cannes will also host the 2007 International 12 Metre World Championship, the former America’s Cup class, with many celebrated names taking part.

From the foreword to “Mare, Uomini, Passioni”

Electa 2007 

(…) The sea, sailing yachts and watches have fascinated me from a very early age and for me they have been the opportunity for voyages of the imagination and at the same time to improve, as a sailor, the technical skills with which to confront the vastness and unpredictability of the sea. The combination of imagination, the urge to dream and the strict commitment to craftsmanship is a situation which in my eyes makes this passion contagious and inexhaustible. In the same way as has been the case with watches over the years, sailing yachts, in the presence of elements as powerful and boundless as the sea and the wind, demand the finest resources of the human intellect for their realisation. And when I speak of sailing yachts, I am speaking specifically about those which are known as vintage yachts, created by the minds and hands of craftsmen, in which the skills of the carpenters and of the masters of the adze have become the natural extension of science and the creative imagination. The results are wonderful creatures rather than creations, visible traces of human history which fascinate and stand out against the horizon of human achievement.
Watching these remarkable vessels as they defy the sea and the winds after long and painstaking restoration work is one of the most exciting experiences both for the enthusiast and for the professional. To have contributed to the survival of the tradition of vintage yachts through increasing sponsorship has been and remains for me a great pleasure which has combined the activities of management with a love of sailing which spreads its boundaries well beyond considerations of profit. Thanks to this twin marriage between sea and time, between watches and yachts, I have rediscovered the pleasures of dreaming and contemplation which are too often missing in adult life.

(…) While carrying out my duties as manager, I sometimes have flashes of memories which revive in me the emotions of a small boy perched on a rock with eyes turned towards the wonderful vastness of the sea and to those ancient wooden structures which punctuate it like slender sailing palaces. So it is with much pleasure, as the latest stage of a similar adventure, that I welcome the publication of this book, this document, the photographs in which are a sequence of dreams miraculously realised and thanks to which, even when desk-bound, it is possible to give free rein to our imagination through the voyages of these magnificent yachts.

Angelo Bonati, CEO of Officine Panerai


Luminor 1950 regatta Rattrapante

Unique edition of 500 units 

Overall, the history of Panerai involves more than simply that of Time and the wrist instruments in which it is venerated in its portable form; it has ties with another ancient object of human fascination with which it has a strange affinity. The relationship of the sea and the ships created by man to sail across it: the sea is another infinite element with which humans have managed to live as a result of a remarkable invention, the most sophisticated and authentic form of which is the sailing yacht. Panerai watches come into being through the sea and it is to the sea that they owe a great part of their fascination. For this reason the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge was founded, a circuit of races for vintage yachts, organised in collaboration with A.I.V.E. and C.I.M. which celebrates its third edition this year. And to record the exciting event of the 2007 races, the Luminor 1950 Regatta will be produced with a special split-seconds function, in a special edition of 500 units.

The ergonomics of the watch are evident in the successful integration of the chronometer push-pieces in the device protecting the winding crown, while the spilt-seconds push-piece, positioned at 8 o’clock, is almost masked by the curved structure of the case. Inside the case, which is 44 mm in diameter, is the Panerai Calibre OP XVIII, an automatic movement created exclusively by Panerai, with the distinctive column wheel system for switching the chronograph functions.

To mark the link between the Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante and the world of the sea and yacht racing, the dial has been personalised through the use of a chronograph seconds hand which is light blue in colour and the marking, also in light blue, of the first five minutes (the most important in a yacht race) on the minute counter positioned at 3 o’clock. As well as the usual millesimation, the inscription “Classic Yachts Challenge 2007” is engraved on the back.

Automatic mechanical, exclusive Panerai calibre OP XVIII, 13 1/4 lignes, 31 jewels, monometallic Glucydur® balance, 28,800 vibrations/hour. Incabloc® anti-shock device. Double column wheel, power reserve 42 hours. Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges and oscillating weight. Chronometer Certificate (C.O.S.C).

Panerai Luminor 1950 regatta Rattrapante

Unique edition of 500 units

Movement:Automatic mechanical, exclusive Panerai OP XVIII calibre, 13 ¼ lignes, 31 jewels, Glucydur® balance, 28,800 alternations/hour. Incabloc® anti-shock device.Double column wheel, power reserve 42 hours. Côtes de Genève decoration for bridges and oscillating weight. Chronometer Certificate (C.O.S.C).
Functions:Hours, minutes, small seconds, split-seconds chronograph with 2 counters, tachymeter scale.
Case:Diameter 44 mm, AISI 316L brushed steel. Brushed steel push buttons for the chronograph functions at 2 and 4 o’clock and for the split-second function at 8 o’clock.
Bezel:Polished steel.
Back:See-through sapphire crystal. Classic Yachts Challenge 2007 engraved on the outer part.
Device protecting the crown: (protected as a Trade Mark) Brushed steel.
Dial:Black with Paris Hobnails decoration, luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers. Minute counter at 3 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock, central chronograph and split-seconds hands, tachymeter scale on the flange.
Crystal:Sapphire, made from corundum, 2 mm thick. Anti-reflective coating.
Water- resistance:100 metres.
Strap:PANERAI personalised rubber strap and brushed steel adjustable buckle. Supplied with a steel screwdriver and a second interchangeable strap.