The Grandes Dames of the Sea return to Tuscany and to the Yacht Club Porto Santo Stefano for the 16th edition. The international regatta, which this year constitutes the only Italian leg and the third round of the prestigious Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge, will take place from Thursday 18 to Sunday 22 June. Three days of racing in the pristine Tyrrhenian waters which have again received the Blue Flag Award with the Ancient Roman harbor of Talamone and the Islands of Elba, Montecristo and Giglio as a backdrop.
Over 40 majestic beauties have already entered the regatta and 15 yachts will be making their debut in the crystal blue sea of the Argentario. During Argentario Sailing Week, these majestic beauties will be docked at Porto Santo Stefano’s old harbor, known as “La Pilarella” granting sailing lovers and enthusiasts the wonderful opportunity of admiring up close the classic beauties which have made the history of yachting for over 100 years.
The Classic Yachting event is organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano in partnership with the Florentine haute horologerie brand Officine Panerai, which for the 11th consecutive year is sponsoring the largest international circuit of regattas reserved for classic yachts.
Among the “Argentario Sailing Week Debutantes”, Xarifa, Leonore and Savannah to name a few. Xarifa was designed and built in 1927 for Franklin Morse Singer, one of the many sons of the multimillionaire king of the sewing machine Isaac Singer. His mother, Isabella Eugeny Boye, was the model for sculptor Frederic Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty in New York harbour in 1866. In her 90 years of history, many diplomatic meetings were held on board the 50-meter schooner and Xarifa was recently the set of a James Bond film. Built in 1925, Leonore once belonged to Dennis Conner and was designed by Johan Anker to comply with Universal Rule invented by American designer and builder Nathanael Herreshoff in 1904. In 2007, Leonore underwent extensive renovation at the Cantiere Navale dell’Argentario at Porto Santo Stefano: her mast was shortened, her boom replaced and her deck rigging modified in accordance with her original designs. In contrast, Savannah’s story is quite recent. In 1995, an American yachtsman hired Elizabeth Meyer’s J Class management to help him create a modern classic. He was inspired by the J Class sloops, William Fife and a number of other beautiful old yachts but wanted a boat under 100′ long. She was launched in 1997.
Many “Old Hands” are also returning to Porto Santo Stefano including Eilean owned by Officine Panerai and the set of “Rio” by Duran Duran (1937, William Fife, 27 mt), Hallowe’en who the Fastnet but also set an as yet unbroken record for the race in the year she was launched (1926, William Fife 24,75 mt,) and Chinook (1916, Herreshoff, 19,80 mt) with Italian Rugby star and sailing enthusiast Andrea Lo Cicero once again on board.
The fleet taking part in Argentario Sailing Week – Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge has been divided in five categories: Vintage, Classic, Big Boats, Spirit of Tradition, Metric classes and One Designs. Officine Panerai will award the top three in the Classic, Vintage, Big Boats and Spirit of Tradition categories and the yacht that ranks first overall in the Classic, Vintage, Big Boat and Spirit of Tradition categories.
Thursday 18 June is reserved for final registration and measurement. A Welcome Cocktail is will take place at 7 p.m. at the Yacht Club Santo Stefano. The Mayor of Monte Argentario Arturo Cerulli will officially greet all participants on Friday morning before racing gets underway. Racing is scheduled from Friday June 19 to Sunday June 22. The Prize giving Ceremony will be held on Sunday 22nd at the Spanish Fortress built in the 18th Century.
The Argentario Sailing Week 2015 is organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano with the patronage of the Region of Tuscany, the Province of Grosseto, the Municipality of Monte Argentario and of AIVE (Italian Association of Vintage Yachts). The local tourism board supports the event. Officine Panerai is the Title Sponsor.
Other sponsors: Argentario Approdi Spa. Technical Sponsors: SLAM and Argentarola srl. Official Suppliers Roman’s and Garden Vivai Mediterranei. Weather forecast for the Race Area by MeteoMed.
The Argentario Sailing Week is part of the Mediterranean Circuit of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. The opening leg was Les Voiles d’Antibes (3-7 June), followed by the Argentario Sailing Week in Porto Santo Stefano, XII Copa del Rey de Barcos de Epoca in Mahon (25-29 August), the Vele D’Epoca d’Imperia (10-14 September). The final event will take place in Cannes with the Régates Royales (22-26 September 2013).