The ninth British Classic Yacht Club (BCYC) Cowes Regatta (Isle of Wight, UK) will join the prestigious Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Circuit (PCYC) from 2010 as part of a three-year sponsorship deal signed this month.
The BCYC Cowes Regatta which will take place from Sunday 18th to Saturday 24th July 2010 will be the first UK event to join the Panerai Circuit. In 2009 the circuit included eight of the worlds leading Classic Yacht Regattas among them the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and Regates Royale in Cannes.
2010 will be the sixth edition of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge and marks the largest and most renowned classic yacht race in the world. The Circuit takes place from April to September and since its inception in 2005, the circuit has been increasingly successful, demonstrated by the growing list of competitors. Each year the Challenge draws yachting enthusiasts from around the globe and the most highly regarded Classic Yachts sailing today, in 2009 over 350 yachts and 1,500 crews competed overall in the Circuit.
CEO of Officine Panerai, Angelo Bonati said in a statement released today: “We are delighted to align Panerai with the British Classic Yacht Club Cowes Regatta. The reputation, professionalism and camaraderie demonstrated by the BCYC not to mention Cowes Regatta’s position as the key classic yacht event in the UK yachting calendar make them an ideal partner for Panerai.”
British Classic Yacht Club Commodore, David Murrin added: “The British Classic Yacht Club are delighted to become associated with Officine Panerai as principal sponsor of our Cowes Regatta. Panerai are an ideal partner for us because of our shared values. In the DNA of our club is respect for excellence in our beautiful boats while Panerai watches aspire to a similar excellence in form and function.
Panerai have shown over a number of years a commitment to supporting premier classic regattas around the world, and we are proud that the British Classic Yacht Club Cowes Regatta is to be numbered among the most prestigious.
BCYC members have fellow feeling with the executives of Panerai because of the common experience of restoring maintaining and enjoying wonderful craft, as Panerai have done with the historic resurrection of the Fife, Eilean. A history of intimate contact with the sea is part of the BCYC ethos, as it is in Panerai with their long standing connections with the Italian Navy.
The British Classic Yacht Club has evolved a style of its own in its Cowes Regatta. A Corinthian attitude to racing, while still making maximum effort is combined with an enthusiastic attitude to the social aspects of the regatta. A group of classic yacht devotees without hierarchical divisions gives the event a particular atmosphere – an approach of which Panerai is very supportive.”
The event will now be known as The British Classic Yacht Club Panerai Cowes Regatta – The BCYC Panerai Cowes Regatta is held in the tidal waters of the Solent, a stretch of sea separating the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England. The highlight of the week’s racing is the Classic Round the Island Race, starting on the Royal Yacht Squadron line before racing the 60 mile course either East or West around the Isle of Wight. The 2010 Round the Island race will be held on Tuesday 20th July.
The BCYC and Officine Panerai envisage that the 2010 event will be the largest Classic Yacht Regatta in the UK since the Americas Cup Jubilee Regatta in 2001, and are predicting that over 65 yachts will compete. This would be an increase on this year’s record entry of fifty-five yachts. There will be for the first time a feeder race to Cowes from the Classic Yacht Regatta in Brest, France, and another feeder race from The Classic Yacht Regatta at TullgarnRoyalPalace in Sweden.
Yachts from the Mediterranean will be traveling to take part in the Westerly Cup in Cowes. Those boats which take part in both regattas may also take part in the BCYC organized passage race to the third major Classic Yacht Regatta to take place in Britain in 2010, the Pendennis Regatta in Falmouth. Tuiga the Fife designed and built yacht owned by the Monaco Yacht Club is expected to defend her title as the holder of the Ryde Coronation Town Cup which she won in 2008.
Prizes are awarded to the overall winners of each Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge regatta in two categories, Vintage (boats built before 1950) and Classic, (boats from between 1950 and 1975). These winning yachts will be awarded a watch specially created by Officine Panerai, one of an exclusive limited edition of 500 pieces created to mark for the 2010 regatta season. In both the Vintage and Classic categories the overall best placed crews from all of the individual Mediterranean stages will win the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Trophy which is awarded at the final race of the circuit, the Regates Royale in Cannes.