Whooper triumphs at Panerai British Classic Week | Boat International
Whooper triumphs at Panerai British Classic Week
2019-07-29By Miranda Blazeby

The 17th edition of the Panerai British Classic Week regatta got underway this month with more than 50 classic yachts going head to head in challenging conditions.

Crews combatted the tricky Solent tides, lashing rain and up to 30 knots of wind during the event, which was organised by the British Classic Yacht Club from July 13 – July 20.

The international contingent was the largest in the regatta’s history and included crews from France, Monaco, Holland and Germany. The Fife Gaff Cutter Viola of Monaco became one of the week’s biggest winners, taking home a total of six trophies at the end of week prize giving.

A total of 50 classic yachts went head to head in the Solent All photography by Chris Brown Photography

But it was Giovanni Belgrano’s Laurent Giles one-off sloop Whooper, which took the overall regatta trophy after the six-race series.

The Stiff Drink trophy meanwhile was awarded to the Spirit 46 Whisper of Lymington, which saw a crew member airlifted to hospital after suffering two broken ribs and a broken arm. Elsewhere, Viola suffered a crew member falling overboard. However the crew refused outside help and managed to haul him back on board before finishing the race without being disqualified.

Whooper took the overall regatta trophy

Speaking about the regatta, Whooper owner Belgrano said: “We sailed our best and we are very proud not only to have won the overall racing prize, but also the authenticity award for our class.”

Elsewhere Lord Irvine Laidlaw’s Spirit 52 Oui Fling took the Class 1 crown, while the Sparkman & Stephens yacht Opposition took victory in the second class.

Whooper took the Class 3 trophy, Cereste triumphed in Class 4 and Falcon of The Netherlands took victory in the 8mR class. Meanwhile regatta stalwart Sioma took the 6mR class and Bravade won the 6mR modern class.

A bustling social programme accompanied the week's racing

BCYC Commodore Jonathan Dyke said, “It was a fantastic week with testing conditions at each end of the weather spectrum. Thanks must go to the Royal Yacht Squadron Chief Race Officer Dai Prichard and his team for some clever course setting that challenged both the smaller and larger yachts.”

The 17th edition of the regatta is the final year to be sponsored by Panerai but Dyke said the future of the competition is assured.

“We are committed to the future of the regatta and look forward to seeing such an eclectic, beautiful fleet of classic boats back in Cowes for next year’s event.”

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