News Friday, June 15th 2012
After the French stage at Antibes, the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2012 now moves on to Tuscany for the second round of the Mediterranean Circuit. The Argentario Sailing Week at Porto Santo Stefano is on its 14th outing this year and, between June 14th and 17th next, plays host to the classic and vintage fleet as its members compete on one of Italy’s best-loved and windiest courses between Giannella beach and the village of Talamone.
The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2012 now moves on to Tuscany for the second round of the Mediterranean Circuit © Officine Panerai
The boats sail into Santo Stefano on Thursday June 14th for registration and measurement checks. They’ll be tied up along the Molo della Pilarella dock right in the very centre of this charming little Tuscan town. In the evening, the crews are invited to welcome cocktails at the elegant waterside clubhouse of the Yacht Club Santo Stefano, which is organising the technical aspects of the event. The three scheduled regattas take place between Friday and Sunday. The public will be able to watch the action both from the sea and from the promenade which directly overlooks the turquoise waters of the bay.
Many spectacular yachts have already entered the Argentario Sailing Week, including the Big Boat Cambria, a 35-metre built in 1928, Cholita, the 1937 California 32 which won the Vintage category of the 2005 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, and the 1959 Voscià which once belonged to Italian Navy hero Luigi Durand de la Penne. The Italian Navy itself is competing the stunning Corsaro II, a Bermudan yawl built in Genoa in 1961. She will be sailed by its young Naval Academy cadets who will be defending the competitive honour of a 21-metre past-protagonist of regattas from Los Angeles to Honolulu, the Bermuda Islands, Buenos Aires and Sydney.
The elegant Leonore makes a stylish return to Porto Santo Stefano this year too. The 1925 Q-Class was one of the winners of at the recent Les Voiles d’Antibes and under her former name of Cotton Blossom II was owned by Dennis Conner who has been dubbed Mister America’s Cup because of his long-time association with the world’s most famous sailing trophy. The 1934 16-metre yawl Stormy Weather has strong links with Porto Santo Stefano too, having been fully restored at the town’s Cantiere Navale dell’Argentario in 2001. Last year, the two-master also won the 12 to 18-metre category of the Prix du Yacht de Tradition de l’Année (PYTA).
The Regatta Village will be situated just in front of the dockside and will play host to a variety of social events. The Panerai Lounge, located at the back of the regatta administrative office, is a meeting point for owners and crews who can also gather there to discuss results and hone their strategies. ■