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Régates Royales 2014 highlights

Régates Royales 2014 highlights

The Cannes tradition of major regattas can be traced way back to 1863, when the already glamorous city hosted a spectacular event reserved  for the mythical "Tall Ships".


In the post-war "roaring twenties", its international nautical reputation was confirmed once and for all. The aristocracy of Europe, including the crowned heads of nations such as Spain, Denmark, Portugal, Norway, Sweden and the UK, made the city of "sky, sun and sea" their preferred summer playground and fought their battles at the helms of their luxury yachts.

The name 'Royal Regatta' (Régates Royales) was formally adopted in 1929.


With the arrival in 2004 of Panerai, the famous watchmaker whose slogan is "the perfect blend of Italian design, Swiss technology and a passion for the sea", the name Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Championship was incorporated into the title. The Challenge is the hugely successful classic yacht circuit which starts each year in Antigua, moves through the eastern seaboard of the USA, takes in Cowes in the south of England and on into the Mediterranean, 11 regattas in all, with Cannes as the glittering finale.

The 36th edition of modern times was held, as usual, the last week of September, this year from  Tuesday 23 - Sunday 28th and marked the 10th anniversary of the Panerai Trophy.


There was literally something for everyone.


  -The variety of boats was staggering:

  • from Cabrufa, a 7.67m Bermudan sloop with a crew of 3,  to the 50.71m giant Elena of  London boasting a crew of over 30 and 1300 sq m of sail
  • from Marigold, a single-masted cutter built in 1892, to Alcyon, a 2013 replica of a 9.5m  Marseilles gaffer, a class that disappeared  143 years ago!
  • Shamrock V, carrying a 48m-high mast, or Manitou, a magnificent 18.9m yawl that once belonged to President Kennedy and played host to a certain Miss M Monroe!
  • 12-Meter boats from the celebrated family of America's Cup challengers

   -Whilst on-shore:

the Race village, under canvas, on Quai Laubeuf overlooking the Old Port of Cannes,  was the heart of on-shore life, housing team facilities, the regatta organization, the Jury, the press, fashion stands, art exhibitions... A great place for the general public to see the boats at close quarters, to rub shoulders with the professionals and to imbibe the warmth and competitive but fair-play atmosphere that pervaded the event.

boat tours, music concerts, mast-climbing and amateur photography contests, petanque on the Pantiero esplanade, piano bar evening, Dragon class evening at the Majestic...the city's hotels, restaurants and shops took up the 'challenge' with Royal Regatta specials.



And, finally, the sailing:



On any day you could charter a luxury yacht for  first-hand experience. Choose from the  likes of O MEGA, 150 day guests, 30 overnight in 15 cabins; DREAM, 57 m, 12-berth... Prices on demand, of course!

The weather, naturally, had the last word:


  • Day 1 (Tues) - Force 5 gusting, races cancelled, but great ambiance at the race village and quayside.
  • By Day 5 (Sat), the conditions were ideal, typical Riviera, blue skies, light airs.
  • On Sunday, despite threatening skies, 58 of the Royal Regatta contestants left for St Tropez in an unofficial transfer race.




Category results:


  • Big Boats - Maraquita (the floating honey moon hotel for Prince Rainier & Grace Kelly) pipped Moonbeam IV at the post.
  • Spirit of Tradition - Freya 2003 from Ireland beat Shamrock V (built for Sir Thomas Lipton for the 1930 Americas Cup challenge)  by one point.
  • Vintage Gaffers - Chinook hands down.
  • Vintage Marconi under 15m - Dorade with 3 wins in 4 races.

                                                  over 15m - Sirius.

  • 12 Meters - Vanity 5 from the Royal Danish Yacht Club.


So, all over for another year.

Marvelous memories, wonderful boats, spectacular setting, thrilling races... See you end-September 2015, for the first or the nth time - it's never boring!