It’s a general theme being seen across the globe as the world goes hurtling into the scary, unknown and fast-moving territory of the 21st century: a retro revival. Sales in classic cars are up by a staggering 430 percent, there has been a comeback in the whimsical and very dated Polaroid camera, and the sailing industry is seeing a noticeable growth in demand for classical yacht experiences.
Scour any number of sailing websites or magazines and you will be inundated with offers to charter classic sailing yachts, partake in classic sailing events or even buy your dream classic sailing boat. Indeed, one of the overriding factors noted from the Mediterranean charter season last year was the upsurge in demand for sailing yacht charters.
Vaniese Baldacchino, head of YPI Charter, said: “Some sailing yachts are becoming increasingly popular for charter,” explaining that classical boats under sail offered considerable space for guests yet were still equipped with all the latest entertainment and communications technology. “If guests wish to participate in the sailing, they are welcome to do so. If, however, they prefer to sit back and watch, there will always be someone to top up their glass,” she added.
A quick flip through the What’s On Guide in any yachting media will also reveal an increase in classic sailing events all over the world. Take January of this year, for example. In the first month of 2015 alone there were at least three major classic yacht regattas including the Panerai Transat Classic from Lanzarote to Martinique, followed by the Round Barbados Race and the Anniversary Regatta in Auckland.
Over the next nine months there will be a large number of high profile classic yacht events organized all over the world and it would be nigh impossible to list them all here. We have however picked three of our favorite classic fixtures for 2015 which you will find below:
ANTIGUA CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA
From April 16 – 21
What better backdrop for a sailing regatta that the regal English Harbor in Antigua, the geographical and yachting center of the Caribbean and the region’s historic home to the British Royal Navy?
The starting gun has resounded around this picturesque port since the 60s, when captains and crews of classic yachts popular with charter clients used to challenge each other to race down to neighboring Guadeloupe and back to the mark the end of the season.
Some 47 years after it was formally recognized as a classic sailing event, the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta now hosts between 50 and 60 yachts every year including traditional craft from the islands, classic ketches, sloops, schooners and yawls as well as Spirit of Tradition yachts, J Class yachts and Tall Ships. For more information go to www.antinguaclassics.com
MONACO CLASSIC WEEK
From September 9 – 13
As the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta is seen as a concluding event to the Caribbean charter season, so too is the Monaco Classic Week, a biennial competition which will be held at the new Monaco Yacht Club for the first time this September.
The Yacht Club de Monaco was opened last year in a blaze of publicity after it was designed to look like a yacht by world-famous designer Sir Norman Foster. Fittingly eye catching for the Principality of Monaco, the yacht club has fast become one of the most prestigious addresses in town, and there is great excitement about this year’s regatta.
First held in 1994, the Monaco Classic Week has become one of the most popular sailing events in Europe and a chance to see the full spectrum of boats of yesteryear in the picturesque harbor with the backdrop of the Prince’s Palace.
To find out more about this glamorous event go to www.yacht-club-monaco.mc
LES VOILES DE ST TROPEZ
From September 26 to October 4
A trip to Saint Tropez over the summer is a huge must for sailing fans, as many of the world’s most beautiful boats congregate in the South of France during the months of July and August. But for fans of classic sailing yachts, the best time to head to this idyllic corner of the French Riviera is at the end of September, to catch a glimpse of Les Voiles de St Tropez.
The regatta is without doubt one of the most eagerly awaited events on the nautical calendar. Organized by the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, the race attracts top racers and sailing enthusiast from all over the world who come annually to battle it out in the waters off Saint Tropez.
Categories in Les Voiles de St Tropez include events for both modern and classic sailing yachts, with classes such as ‘esprit de tradition,’ Wally and 12 meter America’s Cup yachts being held throughout the week.
However, the pièce de résistance is La Grande Classe Trophy, an invitation-only event launched in 2004, which sees some of the most beautiful classic yachts battling it out to win the Rolex Trophy. To get all the latest news about this event go to lesvoilesdesaint-tropez.fr