One of the largest gatherings of classic and replica schooners took place this fall in Cannes, France, with the 40th Régates Royales international yachting show. On the evening of September 28, ten owners of those schooners gathered on board the Puritan, a schooner owned by Tomas de Vargas Machuca, and signed a charter to form the International Schooner Association.
Proposed by de Vargas Machuca and his captain Simon Pandolfi, the association was created with the intention of running regattas and events exclusively for classic schooners. Schooners often participate in classic yacht regattas, but they have very different sailing characteristics, which leave them at a disadvantage under the current rating system.
The association was created to give schooner owners the chance to participate in schooner races and name a “Schooner of the Year.”
Plans are already being made to hold the first event in Capri, Italy, next year. While based in Europe, the association intends on being fully international and Americans are already represented in the membership.
So, if you’re a schooner owner or enthusiast, spread the word about the association and see about membership. The formation of the association has been encouraged by the International Maxi Association, the officially-sanctioned international body whose function is to structure and encourage all types of maxi-class yacht racing worldwide.
Andrew McIrvine, Secretary General of the IMA, who was invited as a guest to the launch party commented: “This organization is a wonderful addition to the maxi world.
“Modern classes may come and go. The interest in preserving these magnificent craft suggests that they will outlive them all.” Head to internationalmaxiassociation.com to learn more.