Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille has announced the first edition of the Richard Mille Cup, a new regatta on the summer racing calendar aimed at classic pre-war sailing yachts.
The regatta is set to take place from 10 June to 25 June and will see a fleet of 15 yachts from the 19th century through to the late 1930s compete in a series of inshore and offshore races between Falmouth and Le Havre with stopovers in Dartmouth and Cowes. According to Richard Mille, the ethos behind the new regatta is to promote the "beauty and pageantry of iconic handcrafted vessels."
“Classic yachts bear a living, breathing testimony to the highest values of workmanship, heritage and tradition passed on to us through centuries. By creating this challenge, we aim to set sail through history and to bring this high-end craft very much back to life,” said Richard Mille. “Restoration alone isn’t enough, though. These yachts need an environment in which they can thrive, and that’s why it’s so important to involve the yacht clubs allowing competitors to mingle in an atmosphere redolent of the true spirit of the pre-War era."
Entries will be divided into two classes – schooner and cutter – with two 60-metre three-masted schooners and the Yacht Club de Monaco’s legendary flagship vessel Tuiga set to compete. Entry requirements stipulate that participating yachts should be built before 1939 or faithful replicas of such yachts, and at least 10 metres in length at the waterline.
The renowned watchmaker is no stranger to the regatta scene having been the title sponsor of the Fife Regatta and Les Voiles de St Barths. Richard Mille was also a founder of "Team Fife", created to bring together a fleet of William Fife yachts on the Atlantic Coast such as Mariquita, Moonbeam IV and Moonbeam. For the Richard Mille Cup, the watchmaker has partnered with William Collier, owner of GLWatson & Co and organiser of the Fife Regatta since 1998.
Garrard, jeweller to the British Royal Family for the last 300 years and creator of the first America’s Cup 170 years ago, has created a new cup that stands a metre high, with 40cm hand-crafted replicas to be presented to the winners.
Racing will take place under the CIM handicap system.