On Saturday 26th September 2009 the thirty-first edition of the Régates Royales in Cannes came to a close. This event is the final stage in the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2009, the international regatta circuit for vintage boats (built before 1950) and classic boats (built between 1950 and 1975) sponsored by Officine Panerai. Chaplin and Peter won the Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge 2009 Trophy, respectively in the Classic and Vintage categories, while the overall winners of the Régates Royales, Galvana (Classic yachts) and France (Vintage) received a Panerai watch issued in a one-off, limited edition created in honour of the circuit: the Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante 44 mm, DLC.

Taking part at Cannes this year were sixty-nine yachts split up into seven classes, later joined by sixty-one boats of Dragon class, the 9-metre monotype from 1929 celebrating its 80th anniversary. The enormous numbers of participants gave life to a great party and show for boat-owners, crews and vintage yachts enthusiasts alike. Here is a brief profile of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2009 winners: Chaplin is a 16.75-metre wooden Bermudian cutter built in 1974. Based in Naples she is at the disposal of Italian Navy’s Gruppo Vela Altura. The winner of the Vintage category is Peter, a Bermudian of almost 15 metres in length built in 1939, which has recently undergone partial restoration. The victory its category could not have been a better way to celebrate its 70th birthday. In the Dragon class, victory went to Blue Haze.
Also making a comeback at Cannes were the Big Boats, large vessels with a length of between 23 and 36 metres, among which we can name Cambria (1928), the auric ketch Thendara from 1935, Mariella, Moonbeam of Fife, Moonbeam IV and the schooner Sunshine. Also present was the majestic J-Class Shamrock V, a composite-construction boat from 1930 with a wooden hull built on a metal structure. Among the new entries was Mariska, a 15-metre International Tonnage vessel with a length of 23 metres designed and built by the Fife shipyard in 1908 that has only just completed a restoration that took over two and a half years. Mariska belongs to the same class as Tuiga, the auric cutter from 1909 owned by the Yacht Club of Monaco which in Cannes celebrated one hundred years from her launch. In addition, there were eight boats built between 1892 (Marigold, the oldest participating yacht) and 1899.
A more than positive outcome then for the fifth edition of Panerai Classic Yachts  Challenge, which saw the overall participation of more than three hundred yachts in the Mediterranean regattas (Antibes, Porto Rotondo and Cannes) and in the ones further overseas (Antigua, Newport and Nantucket). The regatta circuit for the 2010 edition will be defined in the coming months. Also taking part in next year’s edition will be Eilean, the 22-
metre ketch built in 1936 by the Fife shipyard and restored by Officine Panerai which, through her, aims to pursue its commitment to the safeguarding and promotion of classic yachting.

See the Skippers december issue for the full report and watch the video soon on the Classic section of Skippers.tv