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The 2006 Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge


Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge
Newport, Rhode Island
July, 2006

I was invited to attend the 1st ever Panerai Classic Yacht Challenge in Newport, Rhode Island this weekend – what a fabulous event!   Here are a few photos I grabbed from the event.

I got in late Friday night and missed the press dinner that night, so the limo that picked me up from the airport and took me directly to the hotel. The next morning I was up early working, and got this shot of Newport at sunrise from my hotel room:

After breakfast, I met up with the Panerai press group and we were transported to harbor where the boats competing in the event were docked.

Here’s the Panerai hospitality tent:

We then headed over to the boats themselves. The competition was for sailing boats in the Americas Cup 12-metre class – gorgeous classic wood sailboats. Here’s a shot of the boats in the full dress flags:

I had the honor and privilege to be one of two journalists to sail aboard Gleam – a sailboat rich with history and many racing victories. You can read more about Gleam by clicking here. Here’s some shots I got of Gleam:

Quite honestly, I’d never stepped foot anywhere near a sailboat prior to this weekend. But the captain and crew of Gleam welcomed me with open arms. Upon arrival, I was given a crew shirt and hat, and they put me to work prepping Gleam for launch. Here’s a shot of me on this grand yacht once we were underway:

Now, I’m not particularly prone to motion sickness – I’ve been on five cruises before, and many other smaller ocean going vessels. But while the weather was beautiful on Saturday, the water was CHOPPY! I knew I was in trouble when, before the race started, I looked over and the journalist from SAIL magazine was taking Dramamine….  Here’s some shots as we left the harbor and went out into open seas.  The Newport, Rhode Island area has some beautiful bayside homes we sailed past along the way:

The race was quite exhilerating, but very challenging at the same time.  Myself, and the other journalist from GQ magazine did our best to A)stay out of the way, and B)not toss our cookies.  I’m proud to say my cookies stayed in the jar (barely) but the young lady from GQ did not fare so well.  Again, these were extremely rough waters!:

It was all worth it though, because it was a very exciting race, which Gleam won!!!! Woohoo!!!

Later that evening Panerai held a reception for the various competitors and guests:

We had the opportunity to tour the Museum of Yachting which was directly behind the Panerai hospitality tent:

Later that evening we moved to another tent for the banquet held in honor of the occasion:

The weather was absolutely beautiful all day Saturday – here’s a shot of the harbor at sunset:

The next day I was quite busy taking notes and getting with folks from Panerai. But before I knew it, it was time for the car to take me back to the airport.

It was a pretty nice car:

I don’t own a Panerai watch (yet..) but my Rolex Yacht-Master was a suitable substitute for the weekend:

Many thanks to Panerai for a fabulous event!   I hope you enjoyed the photos – thanks for looking!

* The photos and text of this article are copyright protected by the author – no part can be reproduced without permission.

After breakfast, I met up with the Panerai press group and we were transported to harbor where the boats competing in the event were docked.

About John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of, as well as and *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.

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