Perhaps not as well known on the yachting circuit as Rolex, Panerai, the Italian watchmaker, is hot on the sponsorship heels of its Swiss counterpart. The finale of the 2007 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge recently closed with the first annual New York series. held in New York Harbor October 2–6. The 300-plus yachts taking part in the close racing made for a spectacular sight whether viewed from the shore or afloat. Prior to arriving in New York, many of the yachts had participated in the other three regattas in the North American series, held in Antigua, Nantucket, and Newport. Each had a unique flavor, but all displayed a Corinthian spirit.
The Lady Liberty Race was hotly contested by the 12-Meter America II and the W-Class yachts White Wings and Wild Horses, which passed her after a scramble off the line. Both Wild Horses and America II took prizes in the concours d'elegance (a beauty contest) that followed. Many 12-Meter yachts took line honors including America 11, which was narrowly beaten by Wild Horses in the Lady Liberty race. Pride of Baltimore won the Tall Ships trophy, and the master of the vessel, Captain Jan Miles, was awarded the grand prize for "best regatta spirit overall"—a Panerai special-edition 1950 Regatta Rattrapante timepiece.
Posted: October 24, 2007