We’ve always tipped our visor-less cap at Panerai – whose maritime history goes back to supplying the Italian navy with leading precision pieces – for having an artisan-built yacht as a brand ambassador. Found in a dilapidated state in Antigua in 2007, Eilean was transported to Italy and placed in the care of the Francesco Del Carlo boatyard in Tuscany. The vessel’s recent completion of the TransAt Classic race from Lanzarote to St Kitts is a testimony to how effective their refurbishment efforts were.
Now, following tours of The Caribbean and Mexico, Eilean – a double-masted ketch designed and built in 1936 by Fife Shipyard of Scotland – has returned to Europe: and, more specifically, London. For two weeks, from today. Eilean will be moored in St Katharine’s Docks, next to Tower Bridge, allowing Panerai clients the chance to sail in her on the Thames.
And not just clients. Thanks to an initiative set up by the Royal Yachting Association’s OnBoard programme and Panerai, on June 22nd, children who have faced physical, economic or social challenges, but whose lives have been transformed positively by water sports, will get the opportunity to take part in the Panerai Challenger Trophy. The three-year project will see three winners and up to 12 finalists from OnBoard sailing clubs receive grants totalling £120,000 for their personal sailing development as well as club funding.
Clients boarding Eilean, meanwhile, will also be able to purchase watches including the new 2019 Sailing Chronographs (see below).