Sailing schooner Atlantic’s Mediterranean debut at Regates Royales Trophee Panerai

The 32nd edition of the Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai will mark the ...

Sailing schooner Atlantic’s Mediterranean debut at Regates Royales Trophee Panerai

September 21, 2010

Written by Chelsea Smith

The 32nd edition of the Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai will mark the Mediterranean debut of one of the most famous existing schooners.

In 1905, the three masts Atlantic established a record for the ocean crossing and from Tuesday, it will race against Créole and more than seventy Classic Yachts…

Sailing Yacht Atlantic - Photo credit to Kees Stuip

Sailing Yacht Atlantic - Photo credit to Kees Stuip

Only four years were needed to rebuild one of the most mythical yacht of all times: four years of research and restoration directed by Ed Kastelein, former supervisor of Thendara’s Aile Blanche’s, Borkumriff’s, Zaca a te Moana’s Eleonora’s refits. For the record, Atlantic is the exact replica of Charlie Barr’s schooner ordered in May 1905 to compete in the Kaiser’s Cup. The original three masts ended her “first” life as a floating restaurant then as a gas platform, finally to be sadly abandoned in Newport News Boat Harbour’s (Virginia) on January 30th, 1982.  Designed by William Gardner, built by Townsend and Downey (New York) and launched on July, 28th, 1903, Atlantic was ordered by Wilson Marshall who wished a “fast cruising yacht” for his travels to England and family holidays throughout Europe…

The reference time for the Atlantic crossing between Sandy Hook and Cape Lizard was established during a race created by the German emperor Wilhelm II. Thistle, Endymion, Atlantic, Ailsa, Apache, Utowana, Fleur de Lys, Sunbeam, Valhalla, Hamburg, Hildegarde were all on the starting line of the Kaiser’s Cup on May 17th, 1905. Even though Wilson Marshall, Atlantic’s owner, was scared by the impressive rhythm the boat’s Scottish skipper push her in high winds, he proudly won the Cup that will later proved to be a fake golden trophy… It is only seventy five years later that the record for the 2.925 miles crossing will be beaten by Eric Tabarly, on August 1st, 1980!

And 107 years later…

No doubt Atlantic’s Scottish captain was going full speed. On May 24th, 1905, the yacht set another record: the longest distance sailed over 24 hours, an impressive 341 miles! Charles Barr died in 1911, but his schooner continued her surprising career. During the first-world-war, Wilson Marshall, wanting to contribute to the Red Cross funding, offered the Kaiser’s cup. Oddily enough the trophy turned out to be gold-plated, and worth only $35!

Sold to James Cox Bradley, Atlantic became a submarines support boat, before passing to Cornelius Vanderbilt’s hands after the war. Gerard B. Lambert then bought her and participated in the King’s Cup in 1928, a transatlantic race organised by the King of Spain, Alphonso XIII but the winner, this time, was Elena.

In 1935, the three masts sailed together with the J Class Yankee, across the Atlantic, to go racing in the UK. During the Second World War, the schooner is once again used by the Coast Guard as a support boat and after as tall ship from 1941 to 1947. Despite being rescued no less than three times -Atlantic once broke her mooring and drifted into the open waters of the ocean- the boat ended up in a really bad state and was finally abandoned in 1982! Atlantic went back to life thanks to Ed Kastelein’s loving care to participate to her first regatta the Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai 2010…

Cannes in a few words…

Ready, steady, go…

The Bay of Cannes is going to be the centre stage for classic yachting tomorrow. From 11 hours with the starting signal for the Dragon fleet, and later at noon it will be the magnificent big boats. The schedule says of one or two windward/leeward races for the seventy one design Dragons, the hull designed by Johan Anker in 1929,  and a costal for the Classics.

Two families, seven classes

The Classic Yachts are divided according to their origin: the Classics are truly historical boats, often more than one hundred years old, whilst replicas or re-constructions that respect the spirit of the originals are called “spirit of tradition”.

The fore and aft schooner Atlantic will no doubt have to face the fierce competition from Créole but some of the spectators’ heads will turn to watch the magnificent J-Class- Cambria and Shamrock V.

Panerai goes sailing

2010 Régates Royales will be the stage to a very yearned for comeback: the magnificently restored and truly unconventional Classic sailing yacht Eilean. Built in 1936, Eilean crossed the Atlantic more than 36 times. From fame to neglect –since her owner could not pay for a refit- the yacht experienced many ups and downs in the Caribbean. Officine Panerai discovered the beautiful Fife designed and decided to bring it back to Italy for a complete restoration at Francesco Del Carlo’s shipyard in Viareggio. After thirty months and 40.000 work hours, Eilean was back to her top form for her launch on October 22nd, 2009. The ketch will take part to the Règates Royales – Throphée Panerai, a unique chance for the media and the fans to see this jewel sailing again.

Soazig Guého

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