Vele d’Epoca di Imperia celebrate this year its 16th edition. Over the years, the Imperia Regatta has become one of the most important competitions in European vintage sailing calendar.
From 8th to 12th September 2010 Imperia Bay will be the setting for the 16th Edition of the “Imperia Classic Yachts”, one leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge 2010 international circuit, an unmissable event reserved for vintage and classic sailing boats , sponsored for the first time by the Ministry of Tourism.
This is an event which attracts increasing numbers of Queens of the Sea, each with her own fascinating story. But it is the warm hospitality and the series of events organised around the regattas which has drawn all eyes along the coast to this Italian town.
Visitors from all over the world are bewitched by the Riviera climate, the colours, perfumes and flavours of the Province of Imperia, and the breathtaking sight of a thousand sails silhouetted against the setting sun.
“There’s a lot of hard work on a classic boat…. no electric winches, only bent backs and arms hauling the sheets and hoisting the halyard on these masterpieces of the sea which the passion of a few have restored to their original splendour” – says Lucio Carli – President of Assonautica Provinciale di Imperia which has been the organiser of the event from the very outset.
The new face of PORTO MAURIZIO means a more elegant setting for IMPERIA CLASSIC YACHTS: and improved facilities for participating boats which must have been built prior to 1950, the classic yachts built between 1950 and 1975 and their replicas recognised under C.I.M. regulations 2010-2013. Modern sailboats can also take part in the special “Spirit of Tradition” section if the design or construction materials are in the traditional style. Among these are the “classics” and the metric classes which include the 12 metre (International Rule), which have been the protagonists of the America’s Cup classic challenges.
2008 saw a new section with the invitation to craft in the historic “J Class” which will take part alongside the other well-loved sections. The “J Class” made history in the America’s Cup in the 30s thanks to characters like Lipton, Sopwith and Vanderbilt.
Since 2006 the Panerai – Imperia Classic Yachts event has been part of the “PANERAI
CLASSIC YACHTS CHALLENGE” which touches on some of the historic ports on the Mediterranean (Antibes, Cannes and Mahon) as well as overseas ones like Antigua, Nantucket and Newport. Every two years, Imperia is also part of the Circuit and plays an increasingly important role. Craft are divided into categories and challenge one another in exciting regattas.
The circuit, organised by A.I.V.E. (Associazione Italiana Vele d’epoca =Italian Classic Yachts Association) and C.I.M. (Comité International de la Méditerranée =International Mediterranean Committee) is divided into four regattas, plus some high seas races. At the end of the various trials, the Challenge winners will be declared in each class and category.
FRATELLI CARLI, AGNESI, has long been a byword for Mediterranean cooking and Imperia, together with FONDAZIONE BANCA CARIGE, PORTO DI IMPERIA SPA and IMPERIA YACHT SRL, are present at this edition alongside the TITLE SPONSOR OFFICINE PANERAI and, together, have contributed much to a deeper understanding of the seagoing tradition. The Imperia Classic Yachts event will also see the Italian debut of EILEAN, the 22 metre ketch from Bermuda, designed and built in 1936 in the legendary Scottish Fife boatyards, recently restored to her original glory in the wake of conservative philological restoration which took over three years to complete. Officine Panerai, the Florentine luxury watchmakers and sponsor of the Classic Yachts Challenge was behind the purchase and restoration of this historic craft.
In order to celebrate the return to the regattas of this Queen of the Sea, there will be a real feast for all lovers of classic yachts, an exhibition along the quays recounting the story of the painstaking salvage and rebuilding which brought Eilean back to life, using original parts and historical photos of the boat.
Since the first edition, the Classic Yachts has been organised by the Imperia Sailing Association, Assonautica Provinciale di Imperia, with a contribution from the Imperia Chamber of Commerce, under the sponsorship of the Liguria Region, the Province of Imperia, and the municipal authority and Prefecture of Imperia, with the administrative and logistical cooperation of the Harbour Office. The organisation and logistics of this event, one of the major ones in the Mediterranean, is possible thanks to the help of Yacht Club Imperia, Yacht Club San Marino, Yacht Club Marina degli Aregai, Club del Mare Diano Marina, Circolo Nautico Arma and Club Nautico San Bartolomeo al Mare.
The main area where the even will take place is in Calata Anselmi, the dock of Porto Maurizio but the entire city of Imperia is in a festive mood.
COLLATERAL EVENTS to be held in the International Naval Museum on the western Riviera of Imperia at Calata Anserlmi, Porto Maurizio from 8th to 12th September.
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