Published: Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Moonbeam of Fife took the title of the Big Boats category at the 18th Argentario Sailing Week from July 8-15 hosted by Porto Santo Stefano in Tuscany.

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(Photos: Guido Cantini / Panerai - Moonbeam of Fife)

A total of 47 boats from 10 different nations competed in the second Mediterranean stage of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge, which was sponsored for the 13th consecutive year by luxury sports watchmaker Officine Panerai.

For the first time in the event’s history, the fleet competed in four instead of the usual three races. The racing arena in the Golfo di Talamone featured courses of between 15 and 20 miles in length.

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(Owners of Linnet, Moonbeam of Fife, Ganbare and Raindrop receiving Panerai watches)

Moonbeam of Fife, built by the Fife yard of Scotland in 1903, won the Big Boats category in all four races, outdoing her Fife siblings – Hallowe’en (1926) and Cambria (1928). The 25m winner, also known as Moonbeam III also competed in a lot of the classic sailing events of the last 20 years since undergoing major restoration work in England in 1998.

In the Vintage Yachts category at Porto Santo Stefano, 13.2m New York Yacht Club 30 Linnet of Luna Rossa boss and former America’s Cup challenger Patrizio Bertelli secured the title, against races including Spartan (1913) and Chinook (1916) – these three were all launched by the Herreshoff yard of Bristol.

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With three victories and a second position in her class, Ganbare, the 1973 One Tonner that secured Doug Peterson a place amongst great designers, dominated the Classic Yachts standings. The 10.49m will attempt to repeat the season victory she delivered in her class on the 2016 Panerai circuit. Her closest rival at Argentario was Ardi (1968) aboard which Admiral Agostino Straulino used to compete.

Raindrop defeated her title in the Spirit of Tradition class ahead of another Wianno yacht Wind & Wine and Tabasco 5 (1981).

Other notable victors in the sub-categories into which the Argentario Sailing Week fleet was divided included Rowdy (1916) in the Vintage Marconi A, the same category in which Officine Panerai’s 1936 ketch, Eilean, was competing, Skylar of 1937 in the Vintage Marconi B and Naif (1973) in the Classic A.

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That fact that the placings were spread so widely between the various boats in the first round at Antibes in France and Porto Santo Stefano in Tuscany leaves the battle for end-of-season honours wide open in all the various categories of the 2017 Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge.

In the run-up to the next round on the Mediterranean Circuit, at Mahon in Spain (August 29-September 2), the next Panerai-sponsored event will take place at Cowes on the Isle of Wight in England.