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WHITEHAWK WINS THE PANERAI TROPHY - ACYR PRIZE GIVING
Wednesday 22nd April 2015

Report by Louay Habib
Tuesday, April 21st 2015

The Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, sponsored by Panerai, celebrated the winners at the Prize Giving Ceremony on the lawn of the Copper & Lumber Store, Nelson's Dockyard. The huge crowd was welcomed by Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta Chairman, Julian Gildersleeve, who introduced His Excellency Dr Sir Rodney Williams, Governor-General of Antigua & Barbuda and the Minister of Tourism, Economic Development Investment and Energy, Asot Michael. Sir Rodney Williams gave a rousing speech, highlighting the importance of Antigua Classics to the country and welcomed competitors to the regatta from overseas, as well as congratulating Antiguans who had taken part.

Angelo Bonati, CEO Panerai, explains why the company values the regatta.

“When Panerai was a young company, we analysed our DNA to look at ways to promote our brand. Florence, the city of art, is our spiritual home, the concept of the family is very important and so is the sea; in 1936, Panerai created their first Submersible watch. Panerai is famous for sporting watches and the technology and application required is very similar to values in designing and building classic boats. To be a master of watch making or boat building you need many years of experience. Classic boats are built to last for over one hundred years, and for Panerai, our watches have the same properties. In many ways, the values of Panerai have the same mix of elements as classic yacht racing.

Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is unique, the yachts have their own history and stories and the owners and sailors emotions are echoed in Panerai. For Italians, when you talk about the Caribbean, you imagine adventure and seafaring heroes and these elements are very much part of Italian culture. At Antigua Classics, there is profound depth and passion for the yachts, the boats are sailed by people who really want to race these beautiful boats, pushing them hard, and only polishing them after racing. Many of the yachts have sailed across the Atlantic and from North America to participate and to see these fantastic boats in their element is a wonderful fusion of art and design.”

The Prize Giving Ceremony was a lively affair with huge cheers greeting every team as they took the stage. Whitehawk was declared the winner of the Panerai Trophy for the second year in succession having won every race and taken line honours in four starts in Classics Class A. Whitehawk’s co-skipper, Ralph Isham was full of praise for the regatta and Antigua.

“I think we sailed better this year, last year we had rougher conditions, which made the racing tough but this year’s team has had more time together on this boat and that makes a big difference. This is one of the most beautiful places to sail in the world, Antigua is a welcoming place, many of the Whitehawk crew have homes here. The island is stunning and the easterly Trades have been just perfect.”

Whitehawk boat captain, Eric Nittmann also commented. “It is 1600 miles to Rhode Island from Antigua but it has been well worth the trip. It is great to see Whitehawk being sailed hard but also so well. I don't think I yelled at the crew all week, it went very well and it is a pleasure to have a team on board that fully appreciate the stallion that Whitehawk can become.”

Antigua music sensation, 17 61°, got the entourage in the mood and the dancing continued long into the night. The traditional end to the social festivities for the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta takes place today, Tuesday 21 April, with gig racing and cream teas at the Admiral’s Inn, Nelson’s Dockyard and the ACYR Tug of War, organised by Elena crew boss, Malcolm Banks, also known as Shrek.

The 29th edition of Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, sponsored by Panerai, will be April 13-19, 2016.

For a full list of 2015 podium winners go to: http://yachtscoring.com/media_print_1_top3.cfm

For stories, pictures and information about Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, sponsored by Panerai, go to: www.antiguaclassics.com

For full information about Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, including full of racing, pictures and stories visit www.antiguaclassics.com


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