Motoring / Yachts

Officine Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge North American Circuit Begins

The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is a global series that has grown to 11 classic yachting regattas with the North American circuit beginning at Marblehead

Aug 24, 2017 | By Jonathan Ho


Since 2005, Officine Panerai has been a patron of the namesake Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, a global yachting regatta which calls to mind Panerai’s passion for the sea, dating back to its heritage as a supplier of naval instruments in the Mediterranean during the mid 1930s, the most famous of which, the very military diving watches we wear today, used by Italian Naval commandos of the era.

The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge (PCYC) is a global series that has grown to 11 classic yachting regattas. This 2017, PCYC kicks off its North American circuit, the leg of an international competition which spans a 4-part Mediterranean Circuit, a 5-part North American Circuit (this year with the inclusion of Bristol, RI) and single classic yacht racing events in Antigua and the Isle of Wight, UK, the latter two of which having taken place earlier this season.


Officine Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge North American Circuit Begins

Each year, the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge draws over 200 different yachts from around the world to compete for the coveted regatta trophies. But why classic yachts you might wonder? According to colleagues at sister publication Yacht Style, Luxuo discovered that modern yachts, made from fibreglass, are typically designed with interiors and creature comforts in mind and as such, they do not sail as well as the classic wooden yachts which are conceptualised for the sole purpose of swift travails over the water.

While it is true that modern boats are slightly easier to maintain, there are similarities in the maintenance requirements of both genres of vessels and the costs in upkeep for both classic yachts and their more contemporary brethren aren’t all that different.

Ph: Guido Cantini /

The fibreglass hull of a modern yacht might not require regular re-painting as the wooden hull of a classic yacht but they still need to be washed and waxed to remove oxidation. That said, the varnish of a wooden deck like those on classic yachts require more protection against damaging UV rays and this is greatly dependent on the sort of cover provided at the facilities where you moor, thus, the expense of classic yachts tends to be the result of storage rather than base cost.

Steeped in tradition, the allure of a wooden vessel and the history of a solid heritage timepiece blends together in a seductive cocktail of classic regatta events which draws sailors and spectators alike on the New England coastline every summer to kick off the North American leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge in Marblehead, MA. This 2017 is Panerai’s 12th year of hosting classic yacht regattas in North America with fourteen participating yachts choosing to fly their bright colored sails to the excitement of spectators.

Ph: Guido Cantini/Panerai/Sea&

Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge North America, Marblehead

The North American circuit opened with a pursuit format regatta at Marblehead with a tight finish between Tilly XV (1912 Wilhelm von Hacht Sonder Class) and Adamant (1937 Fred Goeller Adams Interclub) after 18 miles

The remaining classic yacht regatta races for 2017 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge North American Circuit consists of:

  • The Nantucket Regatta (August 18th 20th, Nantucket, MA)
  • The Opera House Cup (August 20th, Nantucket, MA)
  • Herreshoff Classic Yacht Regatta (August 25th, Bristol, RI)
  • The Newport Classic Yacht Regatta (August 26th 27th Newport, RI).

Ph: Guido Cantini /

Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Vintage Division Prizes awarded

  • Grand Classics Class: Marilee (1926 Herreshoff NY40)
  • Corinthian Class: Neith (1907 Herreshoff Bermudan Cutter)
  • Day Racer Class: Tilly XV (1912 Wilhelm von Hacht Sonder Class)

Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Grand Prix Division Prizes awarded

  • Grand Prix Yachts: Valiant (1970 Olin J. Stephens 12-Meter)
  • Overall Best Performance (Panerai Watch Recipient):
  • Valiant (1970 Olin J. Stephens 12-Meter)

Last year’s defender of the Grand Prix class, the 1970 Sparkman & Stephens 12-Metre Valiant who hails from Marblehead, MA took home both the Grand Prix and Best Overall Awards.


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