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Argentario Sailing Week 2015: Final Day with a Splash!! - The Winners of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge in Tuscany
Sunday 21 June 2015 – Perfect weather conditions for the final day of sailing of the 16th Argentario Sailing Week, third round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge held in Porto Santo Stefano, Tuscany. After Saturday night’s storm, the Grandes Dames of the Sea sailed under crystal-clear skies with great visibility and the breathtaking scenario of the Tuscan archipelago as they headed out to the race course.

Neck to neck with Leonore and just before the final mark rounding, the well-known Swede Goran Rutgerson fell overboard from Manitou. The 72-year old crew member holding a sheet in his hands, with incredible determination managed to pull himself towards the 1936 Olin Stephens designed beauty where the crew helped him back onboard, losing only 15 seconds in the process. Back on the docks, Goran Rutgerson stated “Shit happens…”. Rutgerson took part in two America’s Cups in 1977 and 1980 on Sverige (SWE) and founded Rutgerson Marin AB at the beginning of the '70s. Bravo Manitou, who also won in her division and won the Olin Stephens Centennial Cup awarded by the Sparkman & Stephens Association.

To watch the video of the races click HERE or visit the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ArgentarioSailingWeek.

The Race Committee positioned the line just off the pristine beach of La Giannella with a westerly breeze at 7 knots. The fleet sailed first across the bay tacking very close to Porto Santo Stefano in order to reach windward mark, their bows on the Island of Montecristo, known worldwide for being the setting of the adventure novel The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. After rounding mark 1, the Classic Beauties headed towards the hamlet of Talamone, spinnakers high as the wing strengthened veering to a 10-12 knot north westerly. As the thermal breeze increased, so did the chop with the first whitecaps making their appearance on the crystal blue waters of the Argentario. A picture perfect beat up the course with Giglio Island on port and the Island of Elba on starboard. The final run to the finish line saw gusts to 13 knots. A perfect ending to three memorable days of racing in Maremma.

The Final Results of the Argentario Sailing Week 2015

Spirit of Tradition: 1°. Mida (ITA) - Alessandro Porcelloni; 2°. Wind &Wine (ITA) - Francesco Kovarich; 3°. Pyxis (ITA) - Pierpaolo Perrotto

Classic >145: 1° Sagittarius (FRA) - Thierry Laffitte; 2°. Naif (ITA) - Ivan Gardini; 3°. Chin Blu III (ITA) - Giuseppe Caruso

Classic < 145: 1° Il Moro di Venezia (ITA) - Massimiliano Ferruzzi ; 2° Corsaro II (ITA) SVMM, 3° l. Stella Polare (ITA) SVMM

Vintage > 150: 1° Cholita (ITA) - Maria Linda Nettis; 2 Jalina (ITA) - Luciano Frattini; 3° Aleph (ITA)

Vintage < 150: 1° Manitou (USA) - Phil Jordan; 2° Chinook (ITA) - Paolo Zanoni; 3° Rowdy (GBR) Howard Dyer

The Overall winners of the Regatta received a Officine Panerai timepiece: Manitou (Vintage), Sagittarius (Classic) and Mida (Spirit of Tradition).

The Panerai Lounge set out a sumptuous breakfast every morning and after-racing offered refreshments to all participants. Sailing enthusiasts and lovers of timeless beauty admired the Grand Dames of the Sea from the docks, studying up close the stories and legends of yachts racing in Argentario Sailing Week and sharing the information and pictures available on https://www.facebook.com/ArgentarioSailingWeek.

The prize giving took place at the Race village and was followed by the Farewell cocktail. While the Yacht Club Santo Stefano celebrated the daily winners, Officine Panerai awarded a silver plate to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ranking in each division in the Vintage, Classic, Spirit of Tradition, Big Boats and classes.

Behind each of the Grandes Dames, there are stories and legends of sailors and of their passions, All yachts and their designers are described in great detail on https://www.facebook.com/ArgentarioSailingWeek where sailing enthusiasts can comment and share information. Sailing proverbs, little known facts about Southern Tuscany’s culture, food and wine are also posted daily.

The Classic Yachting event is organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano in partnership with the Florentine haute horologerie brand Officine Panerai, which for the 11th consecutive year is sponsoring the largest international circuit of regattas reserved for classic yachts.

The fleet taking part in Argentario Sailing Week - Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge has been divided in five categories: Vintage, Classic, Big Boats, Spirit of Tradition, Metric classes and One Designs. Officine Panerai will award the top three in the Classic, Vintage, Big Boats and Spirit of Tradition categories and the yacht that ranks first overall in the Classic, Vintage, Big Boat and Spirit of Tradition categories.

The Argentario Sailing Week 2015 is organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano with the patronage of the Region of Tuscany, the Province of Grosseto, the Municipality of Monte Argentario and of AIVE (Italian Association of Vintage Yachts). The local tourism board supports the event. Officine Panerai is the Title Sponsor.

Other sponsors: Argentario Approdi Spa. Technical Sponsors: SLAM and Argentarola srl. Official Suppliers Roman's and Garden Vivai Mediterranei. Weather forecast for the Race Area by MeteoMed.

The Argentario Sailing Week is part of the Mediterranean Circuit of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge. The opening leg was Les Voiles d’Antibes (3-7 June), followed by the Argentario Sailing Week in Porto Santo Stefano, XII Copa del Rey de Barcos de Epoca in Mahon (25-29 August), the Vele D’Epoca d’Imperia (10-14 September). The final event will take place in Cannes with the Régates Royales (22-26 September 2013).

Photo : James Robinson Taylor
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