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Classic Motor Yachts Invited To Sailing Regatta

29th February 2016
For the first time, classic motor yachts are invited to join the renowned classic sailing regatta For the first time, classic motor yachts are invited to join the renowned classic sailing regatta Photo: Ian Badley

The 2016 edition of Panerai British Classic Week, which takes place in Cowes from 16th to 23rd July is all set to welcome not only a fantastic fleet of sixty plus classic sailing yachts, but for the first time in 2016 classic motor yachts are formally invited to join the event and a special programme of activities is being created for them.
Amongst the familiar classic sailing yachts due to compete are David Murrin’s 1957 Laurent Giles Bermudan sloop Cetewayo, Sean and Jenny McMillan’s Spirit 52 modern classic Flight of Ufford, and Andy and Eri King’s International 30 Square Metre Gluckauf, known fondly amongst the fleet as The Flying Toothpick because of her long, narrow design and very low freeboard. As usual there will be a strong turnout of 8 Metre yachts.
Those expected to enter the regatta for the first time include the newly restored 1946 Henry Rasmussen 52’ S-Bilge Bermudan Sloop Whisper. Whisper has a fascinating history having been built for just £1 for General George Erroll Prior-Palmer by Abeking and Rasmussen to mark the General’s contribution during World War Two. American Prior-Palmer was General of the D-Day Sherman tank divisions who came ashore at SWORD Beach, Normandy in 1944 before fighting his way through France, Belgium and The Netherlands to Bremen, where he remained until 1948 overseeing reconstruction of the area.
Also making her first appearance at the regatta will be Stiletto, an elegant 33 footer with famously low topsides built by Whisstocks in Suffolk to a Kim Holman design, for which commissioning owner Dick Wilkin’s design brief famously stated “standing room for a bottle of Gordons”. Her current owner Scott Yeates purchased her in 2014 and with the help of Jonathan Dyke at Suffolk Yacht Harbour has had the boat extensively refitted. Speaking about what attracted him to Panerai British Classic
Week and how he came to own Stiletto, Scott jokingly explained, “I’ve been badgered by Jonathan Dyke and Richard Matthews who both told me I must come and do the regatta! I bought her in October 2014 from her previous owner, the late Chris Petry. I saw Chris shortly before he died and he was keen that she goes to a good home. When I used to sail West Solents I would often see her out racing in Burnham and she’s just stunning. She just works. It’s like looking at a Jaguar E-type, there’s just something about her. And she’s fast!”
Joining the modern classics class will be Le Rayon Vert from the Netherlands, a one off 51’ ketch built in 2001 and owned by Jan K van Oord. The yacht is built to Laurent Giles’ original design for Lloyds’ Yacht Club’s legendary 1952 Camper & Nicholson constructed racer Lutine of Helford, which is expected to enter again this year, so it will be fascinating to see them side by side.
News has also recently come through from down under that the Classic Yacht Association of Australia and the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand are hoping to compete in a fleet of three chartered Morgan Giles Cruiser Racers from David Foster’s ClassicSail.
This year’s regatta will once again incorporate a mixture of Solent round the cans and inshore racing including the Around The Island Race, which this year will count towards the points series. The direction in which the yachts race round the Island will not be decided until the evening before so that the day’s weather forecast and tide can be taken into consideration.
Another exciting change to this year’s programme is the introduction of a Concours d’Elegance parade as the opening event of the regatta on Sunday 17th July prior to the start of the first race at 12pm. Registration will take place on Saturday 16th July and racing will run from Sunday 17th to Friday 22nd July. Ashore there will once again be a full programme of après sail entertainment which will be centred on the Panerai Lounge at Cowes Yacht Haven.
Entries for the regatta will open in April and further information about Panerai British Classic Week can be found at the regatta website Those wishing to receive additional information should contact Mary Scott-Jackson on [email protected]

Published in Historic Boats Team

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