13 July 2014 - Panerai British Classic Week 2014 got off to a spectacular start off Cowes today with an opening race in dappled sunlight under scudding clouds and a variable west to northwesterly wind ranging from sub ten to almost twenty knots. For the fifty-one participating teams there was plenty of action as they enjoyed a round the cans romp that started and finished on the Royal Yacht Squadron line and took them down into the Western Solent. It was a challenging day for the navigators with an exceptionally strong ebb tide running making judging laylines extremely difficult.
First away from the line were the Modern Classics of Class 1, which includes the Spirit class yachts and yachts that the Committee of the British Classic Yacht Club consider to be built with the appearance of “a classic”. From the off it was a three way battle between the Spirit 52s Flight of Ufford, owned by Sean McMillan, and Chloe, owned by Michael Hough, and Spirit 54 Soufriere, which is owned by Ireland’s Stephen O’Flaherty, but is perhaps better known to the general public as the yacht James Bond sailed up Venice’s Grand Canal in Casino Royale. Having traded tacks and gybes all the way round the course it was Soufriere who claimed first blood, beating Flight of Ufford by 12 seconds with Chloe only half a minute behind in third.
In Class 2 David Murrin’s 1955 Laurent Giles designed Cetewayo got the upper hand early on and extended her lead on each leg to win the race by over eight minutes on corrected time. Behind her there was a splendid battle for second between Jamie Mattheson’s Opposition, the former Morning Cloud II, and Ebsen Poulsson and Ed Dubois’ Firebrand, a 1953 Sparkman and Stephens design. Firebrand finished well ahead on the water but her crew had an anxious wait for the lower rated Opposition to come in. Quick action with the calculator confirmed that Firebrand had taken second place by eight seconds with Opposition third.
“A fabulous day’s sailing. Just perfect.” enthused David Orton of St David’s Light, the 40’ Illingworth and Primrose designed one off masthead sloop built in 1963 by Souters of Cowes who finished fourth in Class 3. First place in Class 3 went to Christine & Giovanni Belgrano’s 1939 one off sloop Whooper, with Andy King’s 1929 International 30 Square Metre Gluckauf, fondly known in the fleet as the flying toothpick thanks to her exceptionally long and low profile, second and Rob Gray’s Clarionet, the legendary Lallows’ built, Sparkman and Stephen’s designed 1966 fin and skeg One Tonner, third.
In Class 4, just 30 seconds separated first placed Cereste, a 1938 Shoreham Ten Tonner designed by Robert Clark and owned by Jonathan and Scilla Dyke, and second placed Mikado, Sir Michael Briggs’ 1904 Fife designed 30 Rater, one of the oldest boats in the regatta. The sloop Danegeld, owned by Robert Veale, designed by David Cheverton in 1958 took third place. One owner very happy with his boat’s performance today was Jason Fry of the 1946 Philip Rhodes designed sloop Shantih. Jason only took ownership of the boat last week and has been rushing around desperately to get ready for the regatta. He wasn’t able to get a spinnaker sorted in time for the week, but despite this they finished a very creditable fifth in Class 4 today.
In the 8 Metres Christopher Courage’s 1936 built Helen was the victor from the 1949 Erica, owned by David Myatt, with Murdoch McKillop’s 1931 Fife Saskia third. After racing David Myatt confirmed they had enjoyed their day, but were mildly frustrated having misjudged their final mark rounding in the strong tide and allowed Helen to slip through and get away from them.
Tomorrow the boats will be taking part in the Around The Island Race sponsored by EFG International, which starts to the East from the Royal Yacht Squadron line at 08.00. The 8 Metres will not race around the Island, but instead will have a Solent race starting from the Royal Yacht Squadron at 10.00. The forecast is for lots of sunshine and a north northwesterly wind of circa 10 knots in the morning, backing southwesterly and increasing into the high teens through the day.
This evening the competitors will enjoy a Welcome Reception at the Royal Yacht Squadron and tomorrow morning the Panerai Lounge will open from 06.30 to serve coffee and croissant to the competitors before they leave the dock.
Racing continues until Friday 18 July and the event will conclude with a Parade of Sail past the Royal Yacht Squadron and Cowes Green at 11.00 on Saturday 19 July.
Full results and further information about Panerai British Classic Week can be found at the regatta website www.britishclassicyachtclub.org/regatta. Those wishing to receive further information about the regatta should contact Mary Scott-Jackson on email@example.com.
Regatta enquiries should be directed to:
Regatta House, 18 Bath Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31 7QN firstname.lastname@example.org
T: +44 (0) 1983 245 100
Mob: +44 (0) 7790 770 526
Press enquiries should be directed to:
Regatta Press Officer
Mob: +44 (0)7711 718470
Panerai UK Press Office:
Sidhu & Simon Communications
T: +44 (0) 207 629 3599
NOTES TO EDITORS
THE BRITISH CLASSIC YACHT CLUB
The British Classic Yacht Club was formed in 2001 to provide a congenial environment for owners and other classic yacht enthusiasts to share experiences and enjoy each other's company. Affiliated to the RYA, the BCYC strives to represent the interests of classic yacht owners and has developed good relationships with many leading yacht clubs in the UK and abroad. The officers of the BCYC are actively involved in both national and international discussions about the future development of classic yachting.
The membership of the BCYC now consists of more than eighty boats. In addition to the Club’s flagship annual regatta held in Cowes each July, the Club also organises a full programme of other racing, cruising and social activities in the Solent and on the East Coast, and supports the popular East Coast Classic Regatta in early June. BCYC yachts also participate in many important sailing events, including classic regattas in the Channel, Mediterranean and West Indies.
Founded in Florence in 1860 as a workshop, shop and school of watch-making, for many decades Officine Panerai supplied the Italian Navy in general, and its specialist diving corps in particular, with precision instruments. The designs developed by Panerai in that time, including the Luminor and Radiomir, were covered by the Military Secrets Act for many years and were launched on the international market only after the brand was acquired by the Richemont Group in 1997. Today Officine Panerai develops and crafts its movements and watches at its Neuchâtel manufacture. The latter are a seamless melding of Italian design flair and history with Swiss horological expertise. Panerai watches are sold across the world through an exclusive network of distributors and Panerai boutiques.
PANERAI CLASSIC YACHTS CHALLENGE
In honour of its historic links to the sea, Officine Panerai has promoted classic sailing culture for many years through its sponsorship of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the leading international circuit for these vintage craft. In 2007, the company also acquired and restored the Bermudan ketch Eilean. Built in 1936 by the legendary Fife yard at Fairlie in Scotland, she is now the brand’s ambassador at vintage and classic boat rallies and regattas.