The Transat Classique is bending over backwards !
On its fourth edition, this legendary race confirms its status of “classic” offshore racing, preserving one specificity like no other: to be fully dedicated to classic
yachts. Thanks to the Panerai Transat Classique 2019, boats that have a place in the history of yachting have finally found a playground to match the size of their
ambition, the Atlantic Ocean.
This unique event is not only a simple journey, but a true race, with stakes, rivalries, joys, pains and numerous twists and turns. During the 3 previous races, competitors, and those who have followed these “naval battles” over the website’s live tracking, have enjoyed the competitive spirit between the various
sailboats, never giving up, without forgetting the values that are so dear to “seafarers”: solidarity, high esteem for adversaries and respect for the environment.
PANERAI TRANSAT CLASSIQUE 2015
The stuff of legends!
It takes time to create a legend but that is what the Panerai Transat Classique is set to become in 2015 when some of the world’s finest yachts slug it out once again across the Atlantic Ocean as they compete in the third instalment of this prestigious series. With entry restricted to classic vessels, the Panerai Transat Classique is one of a kind in its quest to keep the spirit of the golden age of yachting alive. What’s more, this unique event has all the excitement you’d expect from a veritable ocean race as rival crews pit their wits against the weather and each other. Once again the fans will be able to follow the race in real time on the Panerai Transat Classique website. As for the crews, they’ll discover a healthy competitive spirit and the values that every sailor worth his salt holds dear: solidarity, esteem for one’s opponents and respect for the environment.
A challenging course
Experienced organizers and prestigious partners
A challenging course
For the Panerai Transat Classique 2015, the Atlantic Yacht Club and its partner Comet Organisation have put together a brand new course to bring out the best in the yachts and their crews, especially the navigators who’ll get ample chance to demonstrate their strategic skills. When they set out on 7 January from the island of Lanzarote, these graceful ladies of the sea will have to face 3,000 nautical miles of ocean until they tie up in Fort-de-France Harbour, Martinique. Their immediate priority will be to pick up the trade winds as quickly as they can, but first they will have to navigate their way out of the labyrinthine archipelago of the Canary Islands. After a long stretch under spinnaker and trying to dodge the dead zones, the crews will then have to negotiate the long arc of islands that make up the Lesser Antilles. With such an exacting course, only the most accomplished crews can expect a place on the podium.
Experienced organizers and prestigious partners
An exceptional event such as the Panerai Transat Classique 2015 is founded on the enthusiasm and the commitment of those taking part, the exemplary determination of the organizers, and the precious support of quality sponsors. Drawing on the experience and professionalism of Comet Organisation, the Atlantic Yacht Club has been the driving force behind some of the finest offshore events for classic sailing vessels and the Panerai Transat Classique 2015 is no exception. When it comes to promoting an image of excellence that is recognizable throughout the world, what better sponsor than Panerai? For more than a decade the prestigious Italian watchmaking company has been heavily involved in classic yacht racing in the Mediterranean and, on the other side of the Atlantic, in the Caribbean and on the east coast of the USA.
With Marina Lanzarote in the Canary Islands and Martinique Tourist Board in Fort-de-France, the Panerai Transat Classique 2015 draws upon the experience and support of local partners who are familiar with hosting nautical events. The teams can look forward to a tremendous welcome!
2012: THE GRAND SLAM
The Atlantic Yacht Club, with Comet Organisation directing operations at sea and ashore, had great ambitions for the second Panerai Transat Classique which took place in 2012. They decided upon a new course with two warm-up events, one leaving Douarnenez, the other Saint-Tropez.
Converging on Cascais, Portugal, the fleets then combined for the main event of sailing across the Atlantic to the island of Barbados. Despite a reduction in the number of entries, undoubtedly a consequence of the financial crisis, the crews were no less ambitious and competition was fierce right up to the finishing line. But there was no doubt about the result: White Dolphin dominated the field in real and corrected times and took the top spot on the podium both on the Mediterranean leg and for the main event across the Atlantic.
Some magnificent duels were fought on the high seas, with plenty of twists and turns to keep fans on the edge of their seats as they followed the proceedings in real time on the race website and through social media. And once again one of the major highlights of the Panerai Transat Classique, this event like no other, was the messages sent from the boats. Compared to the first Transat Classique, the crews were much better prepared and included among their number some world-renowned sailors, such as Pierre Follenfant, Jacques Caraës and Bruno Jourdren. Despite the climate of intense rivalry the crews held each other in great esteem throughout the race, knowing full well that the ocean can be a cruel place for the vain.
It is this spirit, this generous philosophy of the sailor, that the organizers wish to perpetuate through the Panerai Transat Classique 2015.
2008: BIRTH OF A LEGEND
It was a crazy gamble for the organizers but, thanks to the enthusiasm of the competitors, it worked! Who would have thought that those classic yachts – for the most part restricted to comfortable outings that had more to do with elegance than passage making – would take up the challenge of an Atlantic crossing, and under racing conditions too!
It was Loïc Blanken who had the idea for the race, inspired by the sight of an old gaffer in the middle of the Atlantic, and with the support of François Séruzier, the Transat Classique was born. That first race brought together no fewer than 25 sailboats which, after a warm-up leg from Douarnenez, raced across the Atlantic under sail. And boy did they race! The crews pushed their charges to the limit and showed just what those elegant thoroughbreds could do, proving there’s much more to a classic yacht than varnish and brightwork!
Despite their intense competitiveness the crews always made sure they treated the yachts with respect and during the warm-up leg the only damage reported was a broken boom. Sea conditions were tricky on the first leg, especially in the Bay of Biscay, but the main event from Agadir to Saint Bart’s in the Lesser Antilles turned out to be less punishing and more tactical. Some opted for a northern route to catch a stronger breeze but most went south to fall in with the steady trade winds.
First across the line in real time was Pen Duick VI, formerly owned by famous French sailor Eric Tabarly who won the Single-Handed Trans-Atlantic Race in 1976. However once the times were corrected, the magnificent Stephens design Stiren was declared the winner of the first ever instalment of the Transat Classique.