Yesterday, July 19, 2015 saw a spectacular start to the much anticipated Panerai British Classic Week 2015 off Cowes, hosting a strong fleet of 77 yachts. The regatta kicked off with a course race in the Solent, marked by glorious sunshine and a warm southwesterly breeze of 15-25 knots.
First away were the giants of Class 0, who sailed beautifully down the Solent with truly awe-inspiring power. From the outset John Caulcutt, Jamie Matheson and Stephen Hemsley’s 1911 William Fife II Cutter ‘Mariquita’ and Armin Fisher and Robert Towbin’s 1914 William Fife III Ketch ‘Sumurun’ were well matched, and after almost three hours of competing they concluded the race just eighteen seconds apart on corrected time with ‘Mariquita’ taking victory. Zak Zbynek’s Nathanial G Herreshof-designed charter yacht ‘Eleonora’ took third place.
Yesterday evening the crews were enjoying a Welcome Reception at the Royal Yacht Squadron. Today’s forecast is for southwesterly winds of up to 30 knots so the planned Around The Island Race sponsored by EFG International has been postponed until Thursday. Instead the fleet will sail the Long Inshore Race sponsored by Classic Boat supported by Wight Vodka, starting at 10.00 from the Royal Yacht Squadron line. Racing continues until Friday 24 July and the regatta will come to an end on Saturday 25 July with a Parade of Sail past the Royal Yacht Squadron and Cowes Green at 11.00.