With just over a month to go until the first race of the 2010 British Classic Yacht Club Panerai Cowes Regatta, the excitement is beginning to build, as classic yacht owners and their crews from across Europe and the UK finalise preparations for their annual pilgrimage to Cowes.â€¨â€¨With a forty strong entry already confirmed, this year’s regatta looks set to be one of the most spectacular celebrations of classic yachting that the Solent has witnessed for many years.
Amongst the confirmed entries for this year’s regatta are a small group of yachts sharing a unique history which stretches back to the war years. The Windfall yachts originated in Germany, and during the Second World War they were used by the Luftwaffe for officer training and in particular, to hone the skills of their navigators. They earned their unusual name when, in 1945, as many as one hundred of these yachts were taken as prizes of war by the British forces and later included in the official reparations agreement. The British forces subsequently used the fleet of Windfall yachts over a period of around twenty years to introduce their own servicemen to the art of offshore sailing. Over time the yachts have been released into private ownership and many have since been the subjects of painstaking restorations. â€¨â€¨The three beautiful members of the Windfall fleet which will be racing at the British Classic Yacht Club Panerai Cowes Regatta this year are ‘Erida’, fresh from a recent restoration at Lallows of Cowes, the hundred square metre class ‘Overlord’ and the fifty square metre class ‘Sea Scamp’.
This year’s regatta also sees the welcome return to Cowes of several of the international classic yacht regatta circuit’s most famous yachts, including the magnificent, 1911 built, one hundred and twenty five foot, gaff-cutter ‘Mariquita’, which last competed here back in 2008.
Also making a welcome appearance once again will be the crew of the beautiful French twelve metre yacht ‘Wings’ who will be looking to reprise their line honours victory since winning the around the Island race in 2008. Amongst the oldest boats racing this year will be the William Fife designed Bermudan Cutter ‘Mikado’ and the seventy-two foot, gaff rigged ‘Aeolus’, which were both built in 1904.
The British Classic Yacht Club Panerai Cowes Regatta 2010 will run from Sunday 18th July to Saturday 24th July. Competing yachts will be berthed at Cowes Yacht Haven.
More details, including the official Notice of Race, can be found at the official regatta website at: www.britishclassicyachtclub.org/regatta
Officine Panerai is an Italian watch making company, founded in Florence in 1860. For many years, Panerai was the official supplier of precision instruments to the Italian Navy. Purchased by the Richemont Group in 1997 and subsequently launched on the international market, Officine Panerai is now Italy’s only fine watch making company. Developing and producing its own movements and watches, Officine Panerai uniquely blends Italian history and design with renowned Swiss craftsmanship. It has sponsored the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Series since 2005. This high-profile series features some of the world’s leading classic yacht regattas, including the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and the Regates Royale, Cannes.