Published: Tuesday, 18 August 2015

For the 10th consecutive year, high-end Italian watchmaker Officine Panerai sponsored the top performance awards for Nantucket, Massachusetts Opera House Cup, the culminating event of Nantucket Race Week.

Nantucket Race Week Concludes With Opera House Cup

(All Photos: Cory Silken)

The Opera House Cup is the second regatta of the three-part Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge (PCYC) North American Circuit, with 51 yachts competing for the coveted Panerai prize. Twelve of the racing yachts were first-time competitors and five were over 100 years old, including NY 30s Amorita and Cara Mia.

Nantucket Race Week Concludes With Opera House Cup 1

In order to have a fair competition relative to the length, materials, structure, and age of yachts, the race fleet was comprised of two main divisions – Vintage and Grand Prix – with five classes among them: Vintage Corinthian, Vintage Day Racers, Vintage Grand Classics, Grand Prix Day Racers and Grand Prix Yachts. 

After a day of perfect sailing conditions on the 20.3 nautical mile course, sailors gathered at sunset at Jetties Beach where Panerai North America President Rafael Alvarez presented the Opera House Cup Panerai Award, a Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio 47mm watch, to the best performing yacht overall.

The award went to Bruce Failing’s Bapple, a 26-foot Alerion. Bapple also took first place in the Grand Prix Day Racer class.

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In addition to Bapple, other winners who took home Panerai engraved silver prizes were the Herreshoff-designed 1914 35.5-foot Dolphin, a first time competitor skippered by Brian Simmons, who won first place in the Vintage Day Racer Class.

The 1926 schooner Fortune, owned by John Taft and Tom Glassie, who were acknowledged by the OHC Committee for participating in the race for more than 30 years, won first place in the Vintage Corinthian Class. The impressive 72’ gaff sloop Spartan, built in 1913 and skippered by Charlie Ryan, captured first in the Vintage Grand Classics Class and placed second overall on corrected time.

Nantucket Race Week Concludes With Opera House Cup 4

Winning the Opera House Cup with best corrected time, finishing first in the Grand Prix Class, as well as overall first to finish, was the first time registrant 69ft newly built Spirit of Tradition yacht Foggy, helmed by Richard Cohen.

When And If, a 63.5ft Vintage Classic schooner, won the Robert H. Tiedemann Award for ‘Best Maintained or Restored Yacht.’ Ticonderoga, a 72ft ketch helmed by Scott Frantz, took home the Gwen Gaillard Spirit of the Race Award. Gaillard was one of the original founders of the Opera House Cup Regatta, which was famously named after her restaurant in 1973. 

Nantucket Race Week Concludes With Opera House Cup 2

Nantucket Community Sailing served as the organizing authority of the OHC, with assistance from the Nantucket Yacht Club and Great Harbor Yacht Club. Nantucket Race Week and the Opera House Cup are the annual fundraising events for Nantucket Community Sailing, a non-profit organization that teaches over 1,000 children to sail each year.