From 14-19 June, Argentario Sailing Week kicks off, with over 45 Grandes Dames of the Sea already entered for the international regatta organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano, constituting the third leg of the Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge.
This year, for the first time, these majestic beauties will also have the possibility of competing in the offshore regatta, Vele d’Argento–Silver Sails, approximately an 80nm course on marks and around the islands of Giglio and Giannutri, with Montecristo and Elba as the stunning backdrop.
Five magical days of racing in the pristine Tyrrhenian waters from which, according to legend, Venus emerged. It is said that as she surfaced, the necklace Paris had given her broke and seven pearls fell into the sea, forming the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago: Gorgona, Capraia, Elba, Pianosa, Montecristo, Giglio and Giannutri. With any luck, dolphins will be back to play off the bowsprits, as in past editions. And hopefully, there will be no impromptu swimming!
Porto Santo Stefano - 2016 Argentario Sailing Week © Pierpaolo Lanfrancotti
All participating yachts, their designers and stories are described in detail on our Facebook page, where sailing enthusiasts can comment and share information on seamanship, sailing proverbs, maritime novels & art, little known facts about Southern Tuscany’s culture, food and wine and their love for the sea.
Chinook (1916, Herreshoff), the first yacht to enroll in the 2016 edition of Argentario Sailing Week on 7 December 2015, is among the “Old Hands” returning to Porto Santo Stefano with Italian Rugby star and sailing enthusiast Andrea Lo Cicero once again on board. Sisters ship Rowdy (NY49) will also be on the starting line. Designed instead by William Fife III, Hallowe'en (1926) and Eilean owned by Officine Panerai and the set of “Rio” by Duran Duran (1937) will be among the Grandes Dames docked at Porto Santo Stefano’s old harbor.
Among the “Argentario Sailing Week Debutantes”, Atrevido (1968, Olin Stephens) a modified version of Niagara, a boat designed for Canada's Cup racing. Fjord III, designed by German Frers Senior in 1946, will also be racing in Maremma this year. The 50-foot classic proved pivotal in establishing Frers’s international reputation. Built on a tight three-month launch deadline to compete in that year’s Buenos Aires-Rio Race, Frers missed the start by three days, but set off anyhow and won the race.
Argentario Sailing Week © JRT
The most recent addition is Enterprise (1939, Sparkman & Stephens). Commissioned by Floyd Noble of New York, she was originally named Clemencia. After WWII she was sold, renamed Adios and taken to the West Coast of the USA, where she also raced in a San Francisco to Hawaii Transpac regatta. Once acquired by her current owner, Enterprise was brought to the Mediterranean
The Classic Yachting event is organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano in partnership with the Florentine haute horologerie brand Officine Panerai, which for the 12th consecutive year is sponsoring the largest international circuit of regattas reserved for classic yachts. Argentario Sailing Week is also sponsored by MediaTouch 2000, which has been offering company training and communication solutions with modern technologies for over 15 years.
Size matters - 2016 Argentario Sailing Week © Pierpaolo Lanfrancotti
Tuesday 14 June is reserved for registration and measurement for the Vele d’Argento regatta and for Argentario Sailing Week.
On Wednesday, after the skippers briefing at 12, participants of Vele d’Argento will set sail for the islands of Giglio and Giannutri.
Thursday 16 June is reserved for final registration and measurement of Argentario Sailing Week and in the evening, the prize giving ceremony for Vele d’Argento and ASW welcome cocktail will take place at the Yacht Club Santo Stefano.
On Friday morning, before racing gets underway, the Mayor of Monte Argentario will officially greet all participants. Racing is scheduled from Friday June 17 to Sunday June 19. On Friday evening, crews will enjoy a dinner organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano in the magical setting of the Spanish Fortress built in the 18th Century, overlooking the Argentario Bay.
The Prize giving Ceremony will be held on Sunday at the Race Village.
The fleet taking part in Argentario Sailing Week - Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge has been divided in five categories: Vintage, Classic, Big Boats, Spirit of Tradition, Metric classes and One Designs. Officine Panerai will award the top three in the Classic, Vintage, Big Boats and Spirit of Tradition categories and the yacht that ranks first overall in the Classic, Vintage, Big Boat and Spirit of Tradition categories.
Argentario Sailing Week © JRT
The Argentario Sailing Week 2016 is organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano with the patronage of the Region of Tuscany, the Province of Grosseto, and the Municipality of Monte Argentario and of AIVE (Italian Association of Vintage Yachts), with support fom the local tourism board. Officine Panerai is the Title Sponsor and MediaTouch 2000 is the main one. Other sponsors include Argentario Approdi Spa, SLAM and Argentarola srl. Official Suppliers are Roman's and Garden Vivai Mediterranei.
Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge
The Argentario Sailing Week is part of the Mediterranean Circuit of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. The opening leg is Les Voiles d’Antibes (1-5 June 2016), followed by the Argentario Sailing Week in Porto Santo Stefano (16-19 June), the Vele D’Epoca d’Imperia (7-11 September) and the Régates Royales in Cannes (20-24 September).
* Image credits: As noted; Thumbnail Gone Swimming © JRT; Tuscan Archipelago - Mapi