THE PANERAI CLASSIC YACHTS CHALLENGE IS GETTING UNDERWAY ONCE AGAIN. THE LEADING INTERNATIONAL CLASSIC AND VINTAGE SAILING CIRCUIT IS NOW ON ITS 12TH OUTING. THE BRAND’S SEAFARING AMBASSADOR, THE BERMUDAN KETCH, EILEAN, WILL ALSO BE TAKING PART IN THE TIMELESSLY CHARMING MEDITERRANEAN REGATTAS ONCE AGAIN THIS YEAR

After the success of the 11th edition, the eagerly-awaited Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge returns in 2016. The leading international classic and veteran boat circuit will once again be promoted and sponsored by the Florentine luxury sports watch-maker Officine Panerai in celebration of its inextricable links to the seafaring world.

Now a must for all enthusiasts, the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge brings together many of the world’s most spectacular regatta venues on two separate international circuits, spanning everything from the crystal-clear waters of the Antilles to the stunning sea and landscapes of the Mediterranean. The magnificent classic and veteran yachts it attracts, vie for, amongst other prizes, the exclusive Panerai watches presented to the winners of each stage, which last year numbered Moonbeam IV, Il Moro di Venezia I, Manitou and Siren.

The 2016 season will also have amongst its stars, Eilean, Officine Panerai’s own 1936 Bermudan ketch. The prestige William Fife III-penned craft is taking part in the Mediterranean circuit regattas and will also be hosting events for seriously-ill young people in association with various not-for-profit organisations. The Captain for a Day programme, in fact, treats youngsters to an unforgettable day of skippering aboard Eilean, that also allows them experience the healing powers of the sea.

The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge calendar begins in April with the traditional Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta (13 – 19 April), which has been closing the Caribbean sailing season each year since the 1960s with a dazzling gathering of boats at English Harbour.

In June, the racing moves to the back to Europe and the Mediterranean Circuit gets underway on the Cote d’Azur with Les Voiles d’Antibes (1 – 5 June) before continuing in Italy with the Argentario Sailing Week in Tuscany (16 – 19 June). The 2016 calendar also includes Le Vele d’Epoca di Imperia (7 – 11 September), which is held every second year and draws dozens of historic craft to compete off the Ligurian coast. The season wraps up with Les Régates Royales at Cannes between September 20 and 24.

Four regattas are scheduled for the North American Circuit, the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge’s twin circuit across the Pond: the Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta at Marblehead (12 – 14 August), the Sail Nantucket Regatta, for the first time on the American calendar (19 – 20 August), the Opera House Cup at Nantucket (21 August) and the final round at Newport in the form of the Newport Classic Yacht Regatta (2 – 4 September).

The legendary Isle of Wight in Great Britain provides the backdrop to the only non-Mediterranean European regatta: the Panerai British Classic Week at Cowes (16 – 23 July).

2016 CALENDAR

ANTIGUA CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA April 13th – 19th, 2016

LES VOILES D’ANTIBES June 1st – 5th, 2016

ARGENTARIO SAILING WEEK June 16th – 19th, 2016

PANERAI BRITISH CLASSIC WEEK July 16th – 23rd, 2016

MARBLEHEAD CORINTHIAN CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA August 12th – 14th, 2016

SAIL NANTUCKET REGATTA August 19th – 20th, 2016

NANTUCKET OPERA HOUSE CUP August 21st, 2016

NEWPORT CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA September 2nd – 4th, 2016

VELE D’EPOCA DI IMPERIA September 7th – 11th, 2016

CANNES, LES RÉGATES ROYALES September 20th – 24th, 2016