In 1980, a group of New England yachtsmen looked around Newport Harbor and saw classic yachts that were once glorious decaying before their eyes. Inspired to raise awareness for these endangered vessels, the sailors founded the Classic Yacht Regatta in Newport, Rhode Island. The newly formed Museum of Yachting organized the first event, and 40 wooden classics came to the starting line.
As the event grew in size and stature, this annual showcase of vintage yachts became the impetus for a number of boat owners to restore and maintain the historic watercraft under their care. Event sponsor Panerai joined the event in 2006—bringing significant upgrades to the regatta and its prizes and social festivities—and the regatta is now firmly established as a weekend of camaraderie and competition that draws meticulously restored classics and spirit-of-tradition yachts that are modern in build and materials yet traditional in design.
Some of the original founders of the regatta are now gone, but their legacy lives on in these graceful vintage vessels that faithfully return each year to this annual event.
For more information visit iyrs.org