Panerai Classic Yacht Challenges Invites the Grande Dames of the Sea to Participate in the 38th Annual Opera House Cup
Captain of the Winning Yacht “Totem” Awarded the Panerai Radiomir Regatta 1/8th second Titanio- 47 MM
Nantucket Island, MA, August 15, 2010 – The second event of the North American Panerai Classic Challenge circuit arrived with light winds and intermittent sun, with many of the competitors in high spirits after the completion of a successful two-day 12 Meter Regatta earlier in the week. This year marks the 38th Annual Opera House Cup (OCH) on August 15th, 2010 in Nantucket, Mass. which started in 1973 after a band of local sailors decided they needed to host a regatta for classic single-hulled wooden sailboats. This event not only affords these Classic and newly designed classics a chance to showcase their beauty and grace on the water but also allows the owners and crews an opportunity to enjoy the Island’s hospitality and its beautiful surroundings. The regatta consisted of a four different classes from Classic Division, Spirit of Tradition Division, 12 Meters Class and the smallest class of the fleet the 26 ft. Sloops in the Alerion Class. The smaller boats seemed to dominate the OHC this year with the top finishers all being under 50 ft. including the 37 ft. Bill Luders’ classic 1930 Totem helmed by Jesse Smith hailing from Jamestown, RI who secured her victory in the regatta as the overall winner (as well as winner of the Classic Division) and was awarded the coveted 2010 Panerai Radiomir Regatta 1/8th Second Titanio – 47 mm (PAM343).
Sponsored by Officine Panerai, the event is hosted by the Nantucket Yacht Club, Great Harbor Yacht Club and the Nantucket Race Week Committee to benefit Nantucket Community Sailing. The Opera House Cup regatta started the day with light winds between 7-10 knots out of the south to southeast, with a sea-breeze filling in to 11 knots in the afternoon, resulting in an exciting and challenging day of sailing as the beautiful yachts fought for their position in the race. The fleet consisted of 57 boats with a range of classics dating back to the 1899 yawl Galatea (a previous winner of the Panerai watch where the owner single-handedly sailed from Antigua to Newport to participate in this event) to the newly built Spirit of Tradition W-Class 37’ Race Horse launched in May, 2010. This annual event is very popular with racers and spectators attracting an impressive range of yachts - from the beautifully restored 1950 yawl Bolero to schooners such as General Patton’s famous When and If.
The competition amongst the 12 Meter class was very close with an excellent start by the all female crewed Columbia helmed by Linda Green, a local Nantucket summer resident and her crew of 16. Columbia squeezed Onawa out during the start, making her hit the mark and forcing her to do a 360. The 12 Meters continued to have an intense match race especially between Heritage and Valiant, which unfortunately ended up in a collision of the two boats and forcing a protest in which Valiant was, regrettably, disqualified. Columbia made a wise decision to take an alternate course to the others in the fleet, in which they had a nice lift to the finish line securing first place on corrected time. The first start consisted of the larger yacht in the competition with the staysail schooner Ashanti IV, being the largest in the fleet at 102 ft. and was over taken by the newly built 100 ft. Sloop Gaia who increased her lead and took line honors.
The successful week of racing was wrapped up Sunday night by the highly-anticipated OHC Party and Awards Ceremony sponsored by Officine Panerai. It was a beautiful summer night where the sailing community came together to celebrate the previous days’ events. The ceremony was held at Jetties Beach under the tents with a lively crowd after an exciting and close week of racing. The 46 ft W-Class Mustang, skippered Harvey Jones, Won the Spirit of Tradition Division, while First Tracks was the winner of the Alerion Class and the all female crew on Columbia took the honor of winning the 12 Meter Class. Each winner of their respective classes was awarded a classically-designed Panerai Barometer. The 62 ft. sloop12 Meter Heritage had the best elapsed time in the 16.55 nautical mile race but on corrected time dropped down to 10th place overall. The Robert H. Tiedemann award, presented to the vessel with truly authentic preservation and/or restoration went to the stunning 1913 New York Yacht Club 50 Spartan. Silent Maid, the 33 ft. Cat boat along with the 32 ft. Gaff Sloop Naiad and 68 ft. 12 Meter Gleam were given Performance Awards for exceeding expected performance for the conditions. The much sought after Gwen Gaillard “Spirit of The Race Award” was presented to the crew that exemplifies the Spirit of the OHC and this year awarded to 58 ft. Gaff rigged sloop Merilee. The moment everyone was waiting for came at the end of the ceremony when the proud owner and skipper Jesse Smith of Totem was awarded the much-prized perpetual trophy- the original silver wine bucket donated by Gwen Gaillard and the stunning special edition Panerai Radiomir Regatta 1/8th Second Titanio – 47 mm (PAM343).
The final leg of the Panerai Classic Challenge North American Circuit is the Museum of Yachting Classic Yacht Regatta on September 4th and 5th in Newport, RI. The North American Circuit is comprised of some of the most elite regattas in the U.S. and Caribbean, with the start of the challenge being held in Antigua, W.I. with Panerai being the title sponsor of the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta followed by the newest addition to the North American Challenge the Corinthian Classic Yacht Regatta in Marblehead, MA. In 2010, Officine Panerai, the fine watch-making company founded in Florence in 1860, marks the sixth year as sponsor for this prestigious yachting circuit and continues to establish a partnership with some of the most renowned classic yachts in the world. Due to the profound values they share, the linkage to the sea, the beauty, history and age-old skill and tradition this event continues to grow and attract these beautiful Grande Dames of the sea.
About Officine Panerai
Officine Panerai, a manufacturer of fine Italian-designed, Swiss-made watches, represents a unique combination of the brand’s Florentine tradition as precision instrument and watch-makers for the Italian Royal Navy, elegant design, and the finest craftsmanship in the world. Each model expresses authenticity, creativity, passion and a specific DNA that always harkens back to the brand’s Florentine roots and to the sea.
Panerai watches are sold exclusively through an international network of authorized retailers and in Panerai boutiques around the world. In North America, Panerai boutiques can be found in Manhattan and Beverly Hills. Officine Panerai is part of Richemont Group.
For more information, visit www.panerai.com or call 1-877-PANERAI.