Cannes, the capital of classic yachting

The world-famous Croisette will, once again, be centre stage for classic yachting; from September 19th to 25th the Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai will gather an incredible fleet of more than sixty Dragons and a real armada of over eighty yachts, some over a century old. A colourful show that will welcome for the first time Manitou, the Olin Stephens’ design once owned by US President John F. Kennedy. Just a few days after the Boat Show, Cannes will go back a few decades in yachting history when it greets the gaff rigs, schooners, cutters, sloops, yawls, J Class boats, last century’s one-designs, 12M and much more for the regatta. Five days of racing off the spectacular Lérins Islands for a diverse fleet divided according to size, age and rig. An exceptional gathering of big and small boats with some bright stars like the majestic Elena (55m, by Nathanaël Herreshoff), Cambria (40m, by William Fife), Mariquita (38,20m, by William Fife), Sunshine (38m, by William Fife Jr), the J Class Shamrock V (36,50m, by Charles Nicholson) or the two Moonbeam III and Moonbeam IV (31m, by William Fife)…
Say “33”!

For the 2011 edition, Cannes will also celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the Régates Royales new format, still one of the oldest sailing events in the world as the debut dates back to 1929 when the event was created to honour King Christian X of Denmark… The organising yacht club de Cannes is also one of the most venerable clubs in France, founded in 1859 when local yachting enthusiasts Messieur Béchard, Tripet-Skrypitzone, de Colquhoum and Bucquet created the Société des Régates and launched the first ever event, a race in in the bay of La Napoule for the big Léro, Olga, Jeannette, Touriste as well as other local and fishermen’ small boats.

The Régates Royales will also be the final rendez-vous of the Panerai Trophy 2011, a true classic yachts world championship. Will Graham Walker’s Rowdy keep its winning momentum? The Fighting Forty designed by Nathanaël Herreshoff in 1916 is nearly invincible in stiff breeze … What will happen with the ongoing battle between Kelpie (the 1903 Albert Mylne’s design), Bona Fide (the 1899 dated gaff cutter created by Sibbick) and Oriole (1905 by Nath Herreshoff)? Will the 15M Mariska, (a 1908 William Fife III design) stand up to last year’s victory?

 

From seventeen countries…
It has become a tradition: several dozens Dragons will convene in the bay of Cannes for one of the class most crowded races of the season with more than sixty-five crews from seventeen different countries. Some come from very far away like Tam Ngyuen (Zephyr) representing the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, whilst others such as France with sixteen boats are on home territory. Northern Europe is well represented too with Prince Henrik of Denmark (on White Lady), one of the best Dragon sailors Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen (Danish Blue), or Finland’s Christian Borenius (Thouban). Not to mention Russian Anatoly Loginov (Annapurna) who won in Cannes last year and who will have to face adversaries of the calibre of Olympic medallist Laurie Smith (Alfie) or class veteran Ivan Bradbury (Blue Haze), silver at the Régates Royales 2010. This year an emblematic character of offshore racing, Hasso Plattner (Drachen II), will also aim for gold among the Dragons.

Once more the Régates Royales de Cannes will provide action and suspense aplenty…

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