A very open race

2018-05-06

Day after day, organizers at the Panerai Transat Classique 2019 receive registrations, providing a good occasion to give a quick overview of the first competitors that have already signed up for the race. The fleet contains a diversity of rigging, size and age, just as in the previous editions. The race start will take place seven months from now, on January 8th, 2019 in Lanzarote. The expanding list of competitors for the Panerai transat Classique allows an assesment of the main protagonists in the race.

Sumurun  is the first entrant and, despite being a hundred years old, she is one of the favorites for the final victory. Currently under restoration at the Guip shipyard (Chantier du Guip) in Brest, this great marconi ketch - originally rigged as a yawl and designed by William Fife III in 1914 - is expected to live up to its reputation thanks to previous good form particularly during the Antigua Classic Yachts Regatta.

 

Many entrants, however, are looking forward to competing against Sumurum, particularly Stiren, the winner of the 2008 edition. The return of this Bermudian yawl designed in1959 by the American architect Olin Stephens also marks the return of its owner Oren Nataf, who will try to improve on his incredible 2015 performance where he took the third step of the podium with Gweneven, a 38 foot sloop also designed by Stephens.

This race for victory will be contested by other competitors including Corto, an Admiraler designed by Dick Carter in 1970, that has already participated in 3 editions of the Transat Classique, despite being forced to give up shortly after the start in 2008 due to a lack of preparation. For now, the boat has undergone an extensive restoration and should be participating with high ambitions despite its size - 13.00 m - making it one of the smallest participants. But as tenacity can be rewarded... Corto also finished in third place in 2012 in Barbados.

Involved in the race since 2008, Khayyam (1939) returns for a fourth participation after some major upgrades. This Bermudian cutter, (another design of the American architect Olin Stephens) should perform well in the trade winds.

 

Coch y Bondhu ("red and black" in Gaelic) will be a newcomer to the start line, but the names of her architects, Rodney Paul and Laurent Giles places her in the category of the very performance sailboats. A complete description of this Bermudian ketch of 15.12 m built in 1936, as well as Dreva and Aramis, will be given in the next Letter of Panerai Transat Classique 2019.

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