Mahon Copa del Rey Regatta
Three days of unforgettable racing left a smile on the faces of the hundreds of sailors that converged on Mahon from around the world for the XIV Vela Clasica Menorca, the third round on the 2017 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Mediterranean Circuit. Changeable wind and weather conditions with some rain and big swells, delivered plenty of fun for owners and crews alike, keeping them battling it out until the last for the top step on the podium as the leader board positions swapped time and time again.
Around 60 yachts, divided into Big Boat, Vintage, Classic and Spirit of Tradition classes, lined out at the start: a record number for Mahon, confirming the burgeoning success of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge regattas.
The Big Boat category was won by Hallowe’en, a 1926 Bermudian Cutter designed by William Fife. Hallowe’en has been one of the most assiduous competitors in the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge over the years. However, despite racking up a slew of podium positions, this was the first time she won a round. Cippino II, a 1949 Frers design representing the Yacht Club Argentino, triumphed in the Vintage class, after a neck-and-neck duel with Patrizio Bertelli’s Linnet to the very last mark. The 1968 One Tonner Ardi, sailed by an Italian crew representing the Club Nautico Versilia, topped the Classic standings.
With Mahon now consigned to history, the next outing for the classic and vintage fleet is the Régates Royales at Cannes between September 26 and 30. This is the most eagerly-awaited round of the season as it will decide the overall winners of the 2017 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. The game is still wide open in all the classes. Il Moro di Venezia, Ardi and Encounter are the favourites in the Classic category, while Hallowe’en and Moonbeam of Fife III are on equal points at the top of the Big Boats standings followed by Moonbeam IV. The battle for overall victory between the Vintage yachts looks set to be even fiercer with Linnet, Rowdy, Chinook, Spartan and Enterprise all in the running to take the coveted trophy.