Cowes Harbour Handbook 2019-2020 2019-2020 - Page 9

EVENTS GUIDO CANTINI Panerai British Classic Week is the leading classic yacht regatta in the UK CLASSICS IN COWES Cowes is host to some of the best classic yacht regattas in the country P anerai British Classic Week is the premier classic yacht regatta in the UK. Organised by the British Classic Yacht Club (BCYC), the event takes place from 13th – 20th July 2019, attracting entries from all over the world and providing a breath-taking spectacle for onlookers. e regatta, now in its 18th year, has grown in popularity since the inaugural event that saw 10 yachts participating over a weekend of informal racing to what is now a week-long event attracting a wide range of classic yachts of all shapes and sizes. e oldest yachts that have previously competed include the 1897 Fife Gaff Cutter Jap, winner of Panerai British Classic Week in 2012, and the 1903 Alfred Milne Gaff Cutter Kelpie. One of the smallest yachts to have entered is the 1964 7.4m Kroes en Zonen designed Bermudan Sloop Blue Eagle, whilst the largest are the spectacular 29m long Mariquita, the 1911 William Fife Gaff Cutter, and the awe inspiring 2000 Van de Graaf built Nathaniel G Herreshoff Schooner replica Eleonora, which is just shy of 50m LOA. Spectators can enjoy watching this year’s fleet of classics parading past the Royal Yacht Squadron on the morning of Sunday 14th July for COWES 2019 – 2020 the Concours d’Elegance, which is followed by the first race of the week starting off the Squadron line. e fleet of up to 70 timelessly gorgeous yachts will do battle in a series of extremely technical and demanding races with both wind conditions and changeable tides testing the crews’ skills to the limits. e Solent races are absolutely unique, thanks to the historic backdrop provided by this corner of sailing heaven and the exceptional technical standard of the participants. Not forgetting, of course, that it was in this very stretch of sea between the Island off Cowes and the mainland that the America’s Cup was born. e yachts are all based at Cowes Yacht Haven in the heart of the town, giving classic yacht enthusiasts the opportunity to view the boats up close and to chat to the owners and, with racing organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron, spectators will be able to have a grandstand view of the starts and finishes from the Squadron line. PANERAI BRITISH CLASSIC WEEK 13 – 20 July 2019 9