The PINGlife is all about passion for the good life, and our passion for watchmaking extends beyond the watches themselves to the world surrounding. Panerai, one of the ‘lovemarks’ we follow and are passionate about, a brand which is directly associated to maritime experiences, took us on a special journey and trip to the Côte d’Azur, to enjoy the 37th edition of Les Régates Royales, which concluded this season’s highly successful Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, the leading international circuit for the vintage craft of sailing. Honouring its historic links to the sea, Panerai has sponsored and promoted the Challenge for years.
We were there to witness the régates firsthand, and get to know more about sailing and racing in the seas, but our trip didn’t stop there as we went on an exclusive visit on Eilean, the legendary sailing boat restored by Officine Panerai, and took a road trip to the Côte de Provence to indulge in another passion which is food and wine, with a very special tasting and unmatched gastronomical experience.
After a long and exciting racing season featuring stages at the Antibes, Porto Santo Stefano in Italy and Spain’s Mahon, the seas in Cannes saw the three prestige wood-built sailing yachts: Moonbeam IV -a 35m gaff cutter launched in 1914 at the William Fife & Son yard in Scotland- in the Big Boats category, Manitou -an 18.8m Bermudan yawl designed by legendary Sparkman & Stephens of New York and launched in the US in 1937- in the Vintage category, and the historic 20.41m German Frers-penned Italian yacht Il Moro di Venezia I in the Classic category, take the 2015 season trophies, thus joining the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Mediterranean Circuit roll of honour.
In the Challenge of Challenge, instigated by Officine Panerai this year and featuring a one-on-one race between two yachts, the 1903 Moonbeam III sped ahead of the 1926 Hallowe’en, while the overall victory in the 40-strong Dragon fleet went to M3 skippered by German Michaël Schmidt. The 12- metre Tilly XV grabbed the honours in the Vintage category, and the 1952 Baglietto Marconi cutter EA in the Classic category. The 1968 11m Helisara overtook the Spirt of Tradition class.
Four Panerai luxury sports watches were offered to the winners of the main categories in Les Régates Royales. As always, Cannes proved to be the most coveted and popular classic yacht regatta in the Mediterranean. Sailors and owners confessed looking forward to returning in 2016 for a new thrilling season of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge.