May 29 to June 2 2013
Every year at the end of May, the sparkling blue Mediterranean in and around Antibes fills up with the glorious site of vintage yachts. Created in 1996, Les Voiles d’Antibes marks the opening of the Mediterranean circuit for Classic Yachts and Metric Classes and the first stage of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge.
The yachts are divided up into different classes. Spirit of Tradition yachts are those built since 1970 using modern techniques and materials but looking like traditional Vintage or Classic yachts. Metric Class yachts were designed to race. Created in 1906 in London, this rating created 10 different classes from 5 to 24 ‘Meters’. However, don’t be fooled by this, the class name in meters refers to a complex mathematical equation. So for instance, a 12 Meter yacht is actually over 20 meters long on deck. The 12 Meters was the official class of the America’s Cup and these yachts from 1958 to 1987 will race each other. You’ll see some of the best Vintage yachts (built before 1950), Classics (built before 1976) and Spirit of Tradition Yachts and Metric Classes (6MJH, 8MJL and the 12MJI).
It’s more than a series of races and has become a great meeting place for yachtsmen and women from the far and recent past. Yachts are renovated and appear for the first time with their proud owners along veterans of the Voiles d’Antibes, diehards like the legendary Moonbeam IV, Moonbeam of Fife, Cambria, Stormy Weather, Adria, Outlaw, and Bona Fide.
You can watch the races easily from the shoreline as these gracious yachts race along the 23 kilometers of coast between the Bay of Antibes and Juan-les-Pins. On shore there’s a convivial atmosphere in the ‘Village’ of Port Vaubun, specially set up for the event and open daily from 9am to 10pm. There are exhibitions and events around the theme of the Sea and the Environment plus concerts and of course much to eat and drink.