With one day to go before the 18th edition Argentario Sailing Week – the second leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Mediterranean Circuit – kicks off, 46 stunning classic yachts from 10 nations – Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States and Italy – are lining the docks of the fishermen’s village of Porto Santo Stefano in Tuscany.
This year the Grandes Dames will be racing for 4 days with the Islands of Elba, Montecristo and Giannutri providing a breathtaking backdrop. A regatta that continues to grow and increase in popularity as proven by 13 yachts making their debut in the crystal clear waters of the Argentario. On Wednesday after last minute preparations and measurement procedures had been completed, part of the fleet went out for a training session under sunny skies with up to 12 knots of westerly breeze. In the evening, the Yacht Club Santo Stefano offered all participants a Welcome Cocktail at its stunning clubhouse perched on a cliff overlooking the bay of the Argentario. The international regatta is organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano in partnership with the Florentine haute horologerie brand Officine Panerai with racing starting tomorrow Thursday 14 June and wrapping up on Sunday 18 June 2017.
Karl Lion, owner of Tabasco V, back from training stated, “These are truly lovely conditions and the scenery is breathtaking. Tabasco V is quite well known in the Mediterranean as her previous owner was a Japanese gentleman who raced until the age of 93: he would helm at the start and then go take a snooze. After finding her, I had her completely refitted in 2013 on Lake Constance and have been racing her since. At Les Voiles D’Antibes we won in the Spirit of Tradition class. Let’s see what happens in Tuscany”.
Over ten yachts of will be making their debut or returning after some time to the Argentario waters. In the Vintage class, Spartan designed by N.G. Herreshoff in 1913 and the last remaining specimen of the New York Yacht Club 50 Class; Morwenna by Linton Hope (1914) who took part in the 1932 Fastnet but was forced to retire; Alzavola by Claud Worth (1924), White Wings the beautiful yacht designed by John Alden in 1938, and Circe designed by Sparkman and Stephens and 1951 Fastnet winner.
In the Classics, Forban V by Eugene Cornu (1955) will be racing at Porto Santo Stefano for the first time together with Famalù (Laurent Giles – 1957), St. Christopher designed by Frers when apprenticing at Sparkman & Stephens and well-known Ganbare (Doug Peterson 1973).
Last but not least in the Spirit of Tradition class, Savannah designed by Pedrick (1997) but inspired by 1930s yachts, Fairlie (2011) whose lines are reminiscent of William Fife’s design, Tabasco V (Joubert Nivelt 1981) and Pancho (Solari Chiavari -1981).
“Old Hands” are back
Three majestic beauties designed by William Fife III will be facing off in the Big Boat category this year: Moonbeam of Fife (1903), Hallowe’en (1926) and Cambria (1928).
Among the “Old Hands” returning to Argentario Sailing Week in the vintage class, Rowdy (Nathanael Greene Herreshoff I -1916) will be battling it out on the race course with her sister Chinook. Also on the starting line and by the same designer, Linnet (1905) owned by Patrizio Bertelli , the tenth of 18 yachts of the New York Yacht Club 30 class. In the classic instead, all eyes will be on Naif captained by Ivan Gardini and on Il Moro di Venezia I owned by Massimiliano Ferruzzi. The Italian Naval Academy will also be racing in this class with two yachts Stella Polare (1965) and Corsaro II (1961) both designed by Sparkman & Stephens.
- Wednesday 14 June – Reserved for registration and measurement. In the evening, the Argentario Sailing Week welcome cocktail will take place at the Yacht Club Santo Stefano.
- Thursday 15 June – The Mayor of Monte Argentario will greet all participants at 8.30 at the Town Hall before the Skippers’ briefing. The first warning signal is scheduled for 11 a.m.
- Friday 16 June – After racing, the Spanish Fortress built in the 18th Century overlooking the Argentario Bay will provide a magical setting for the crew dinner organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano (8 p.m.)
- Saturday 17 June – Racing
- Sunday 18 June – the Prize Giving Ceremony will take place at the Race Village followed by a Farewell Cocktail.
The Argentario Sailing Week 2017 is organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano with the patronage of the Region of Tuscany, the Province of Grosseto, and the Municipality of Monte Argentario, the Municipality of the Island of Giglio and of AIVE (Italian Association of Vintage Yachts). The local tourism board supports the event. Officine Panerai is the Title Sponsor. Other sponsors include Argentario Approdi Spa, SLAM and Argentarola srl. Official Suppliers: Roman’s and Verdissimo.
LAMMA will be providing the weather forecast service.
The Argentario Sailing Week is part of the Mediterranean Circuit of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. The opening leg is Les Voiles d’Antibes (31 May-4 June), followed by Argentario Sailing Week in Porto Santo Stefano (14-18 June), the XIV Copa del Rey de Barcos de Época in Mahon (29 August-2 September) and the Régates Royales in Cannes (26-30 September).