Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta this Weekend

Seville Simonds' Rogue, a 37-foot 1953 design based on a Herreshoff Newport 29, was winner of the Panerai Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante DLC watch at the 30thAnnual Classic Yacht Regatta sponsored by Panerai and presented by Land Rover North America. After Sunday's start, Rogue sails alongside Ted Hood's Robin, his 1958-launched custom sloop that won Panerai-watch honors at last year's event. Photo by John Terrill

The 31st Annual Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta sponsored by Panerai and presented by Land Rover will take place in Newport, Rhode Island, over the Labor Day weekend. The regatta kicks off Friday night, September 3, with Panerai’s opening-night celebration at the Museum of Yachting, at Fort Adams State Park, followed by 2 days of racing run by organizing authority Sail Newport and the event’s traditional Classic Yacht Parade on Sunday morning. The regatta will again draw a fleet that serves as a time capsule of graceful classic design—from small, traditional one-designs to large, majestic yachts built over a century ago.

This year the fleet will be vying for more than regatta honors. For the first time, this Newport regatta is part of a new 3-event regional series sponsored by Panerai. Launched this summer, the North American Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge also includes the Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta in Marblehead, Massachusetts, (August 7-8) and the Opera House Cup in Nantucket, (August 15). The Classic Yacht Regatta will be the final and concluding event in the series. Boats from throughout the region are sailing to Newport to compete for this coveted circuit trophy.

Race headquarters is the waterfront home of the Museum of Yachting at Fort Adams State Park.

Event Schedule:

Opening night celebration at the Museum of Yachting on Friday, September 3 kicks off the weekend’s events. Organizing authority Sail Newport will run two days of racing on Saturday and Sunday, September 4-5, beginning each day at 12 noon. The Classic Yacht Parade begins at 10:30 am on Sunday, September 5. The fleet will rendezvous on the Goat Island side of the harbor and trace a route around the harbor front to the parade’s endpoint off the Museum. Members of the public at the harbor waterfront will have an opportunity to see the fleet from shore.

The Fleet:

NY 30 Alera, owned by Terry McClinch and launched in 1905, and Jed Pearsall's Chips, a 1913 Burgess design skippered at the Classic Yacht Regatta by Mike Fletcher. Photo by John Mecray

The fleet will represent a time capsule of classic design, ranging from boats of traditional styling built as recently as 2007 to those that have been sailing for over a century. Racing for regatta honors will be smaller, traditional one-designs, such as a fleet of 6-Meters and Herreshoff-designed S-Boats; past class winners, including the 50-foot P-class Burgess design Chips (1913), the 1964 Luders-designed 12-Meter American Eagle, the 53-foot Sparkman & Stephens-designed Sonny (1937), the Phil Rhodes-designed Windigo, and 2009 overall winner Rogue, a 37-foot 1953 design based on a Herreshoff Newport 29; recently built boats of traditional styling including the W-46 Equus built at Brooklin (Maine) Boat Yard in 2000 and the 65-foot Juno built at Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway on Martha’s Vineyard in 2002; and large, majestic classics including the 70-foot 12-Meter Columbia (1958), the first 12-Meter to win the America’s Cup, the 72-foot yawl Galatea launched in 1899, and the 72-foot L. Francis Herreshoff ketch Ticonderoga (1934). An entry list can be found at the website of organizing authority Sail Newport (www.sailnewport.org).

Regatta and Series Awards:

An awards ceremony—to present prizes to both the winners of the Classic Yacht Regatta and the winners of the North American Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge—will take place on Sunday evening, September 5, at the Museum of Yachting.

Title sponsor Panerai will present the overall winner of the Classic Yacht Regatta with a limited edition 2010 edition of the Panerai Radiomir Regatta 1/8th Second Titanio–47 mm watch, a split-second foudroyante chronograph that also features a scale for calculating boat speed in knots. This is a highly specialized model and a sailor’s instrument—not just by name, but also due to its technical content.

The North American Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Trophy will be awarded to the classic yacht with the best combined score in this series of New England events. The perpetual trophy for this series will live in the library of the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, with an authentic reproduction awarded to the series winner. Panerai will also present the Overall Panerai Spirit of Tradition Division Award to the “spirit of tradition” yacht with the best combined score of the series.

Regatta Host and Organizing Authority:

The Classic Yacht Regatta is hosted by the Museum of Yachting. This Newport museum preserves the culture, history and heritage of yachting through its exhibits, events, and educational programming. In 2007, the Museum converged with the International Yacht Restoration School, located across Newport Harbor. Together, these two organizations create a rich educational living heritage experience by coordinating exhibits, events, and restoration projects. Organizing authority Sail Newport was founded in 1983 after the loss of the America’s Cupcatalyzed the sailing community to attract more sailing events to Newport. Sail Newport is today a thriving sailing center located in Fort Adams State Park that offers a wide variety of sailing programs and hosts many local, regional, national, and world-class sailing events.

Regatta Sponsors:

The 31st Annual Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta is sponsored by Panerai and presented by Land Rover. Officine Panerai—a manufacturer of fine Italian-designed, Swiss-made watches—represents a unique combination of the brand’s Florentine tradition as precision instrument and watch-makers for the Italian Royal Navy, elegant design, and the finest craftsmanship in the world. Each model expresses authenticity, creativity, passion and a specific DNA that always harkens back to the brand’s Florentine roots and to the sea.

The Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge is a global series of regattas that includes the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta (April 15th – 20th), British Classic Yacht Club Cowes Regatta (July 17th – 24th) in Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK and the Mediterranean Circuit, encompassing: Les Voiles d’Antibes (June 2nd – 6th), in Antibes, France; Copa Del Ray in Minorca, Spain (August 25th – 29th), Vele d’epoca di Imperia in Italy (September 8th – 12th) and the Regates Royales in Cannes, France (September 22nd – 25th). In 2010, Panerai celebrates its sixth year as sponsor of this prestigious circuit.

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