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Les Voiles d’Antibes

15th edition of Les Voiles d’AntibesPanerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2010

After four days of regattas, the boats Mariska, Rowdy and Chaplin won in the “Big Boats”, “Vintage” and “Classic” categories respectively on the occasion of the 15th edition of Les Voiles d’Antibes. This was the first leg in the Mediterranean sea of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2010, the international circuit dedicated to vintage and classic yachting sponsored by the Florentine fine watch-making company Officine Panerai. The winners received a Radiomir Regatta 1/8th Second Titanio - 47 mm watch, specially created by Officine Panerai for this new season of regattas and produced in a series of just 500 pieces.

Mariska is an auric cutter from 1908, one of the few survivors of the “15-metre International tonnage” class. More accustomed to ascending to the highest step on the podium is Chaplin, the 16-metre Italian Navy vessel built in 1974, previously winner of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge in 2009 in the “Classic” category. Also the Marconi cutter Rowdy from 1916, one of the four NY-40 craft still sailing, had already won the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge in 2008 in the “Vintage” category.

The regattas that took place at the famous French resort on the Côte d’Azur saw the participation of 51 boats, split into seven categories. Starting on Thursday 3rd June and thanks to sunny days, summer temperatures and winds that never exceeded 12 knots, the boats were able to complete one regatta every day. The event was organized by the Yacht Club d’Antibes and the Club Nautique d’Antibes. The glorious 12-Metre I.T. (International Tonnage) boats present, French Kiss, South Australia and Kookaburra III, the stars of past America’s Cup challenges, raced in a separate field. South Australia, having won all nine regattas scheduled, was awarded the final victory.
Also present in Antibes, though not participating in the regattas, was Eilean, the 22-metre Marconi ketch built by Scottish boatyard Fife in 1936. The boat, purchased in 2006 by Officine Panerai, made its official debut during one of the Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge events after undergoing a complete restoration at the Francesco Del Carlo boatyard in Viareggio, Tuscany. The two-mast yacht, as well as being one of the most admired boats on the quayside, sailed every day with representatives from the international press on board.
Here are the three top ranking boats in each class:
Big Boats:     Mariska, Moonbeam IV, Moonbeam of Fife

Marconi Classic > 15 metres:  Chaplin, Emeraude, White Dolphin

Marconi Classic < 15 metres:  Maria Giovanna II, Crazy Life, Astarte II

Vintage Auric:    Bona Fide, Marigold, Tigris

Marconi ‘B’ vintage:   Rowdy, Oiseau de Feu, White Wings

Marconi ‘C’ vintage:  France, Helen K33, Artemis

Spirit of Tradition:   Nazgul of Fordell, Ilhabela II, Blue of Methylene II

A host of special prizes was awarded. The Officine Panerai special award for the oldest boat participating in Les Voiles d’Antibes went to Marigold, an auric cutter built in England in 1892 that is still sailing today in its original condition. Another special prize, for constant presence at Les Voiles d’Antibes, was awarded to Outlaw, a Marconi cutter built in England in 1963. Panerai also honoured the yacht that made the longest voyage to take part in Les Voiles d’Antibes 2010. This prize went to the 25-metre vessel Faïaoahé, a Spirit of Tradition made from aluminium in 2006, which travelled all the way from Brittany.

The Trophée Bouche awarded by the Yacht Club de France was given to Rowdy, while Mariska received the Trophée de l’Esprit Classique. Bona Fide, the auric cutter from 1899, already in the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Roll of Honour, having won the Vintage category in 2006, was awarded the Camper & Nicholson Elegance Trophy. The Trophée Froggy Gourmet, given to the most entertaining crew, went to Irina VII from 1934. Each arrival at and departure from the harbour of this Marconi cutter built in 1934 was in fact ‘celebrated’ by a crew member who, hoisted half-way up the mainmast, would mime the flight of an angel. The Trophée Chanvré, offered by the French yacht photographer Patricia Lascabannes, went to Tigris, an elegant auric cutter, also from 1899.