High-end luxury sport watchmaker Panerai is setting sail with the Royal Yachting Association to champion excellence in sailing with the launch of a new initiative.
The two organisations have announced they are launching the Panerai Challenger Trophy, a new competition that aims to recognise an outstanding individual who has embraced the power of sailing or windsurfing.
The award was launched by the RYA’s OnBoard programme, which gives anyone aged between eight and 18 the chance to learn to sail or windsurf by providing low cost sessions and is designed to promote equal access to sailing for young people from all social and economic backgrounds.
Jean-Marc Pontroué, Panerai’s CEO, said: “Panerai is a nautical brand at heart and we are passionate about sharing our values and the RYA’s with the applicants. The annual sponsorship of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge reminds us of the empowering force of sailing to inspire and bring joy to all. We are confident that the Panerai Challenger Trophy will help us achieve this for years to come.”
The three-year initiative led by Panerai will see three winners and up to 12 finalists from OnBoard sailing clubs through the UK receiving grants totalling £120,000 in order to pursue their passion and continue with their sailing development, as well as funding the clubs that have supported them through their journey to buy sailing equipment.
Participating clubs can nominate sailors who have overcome physical, economic or social challenges to achieve a significant milestone within sailing or windsurfing.
The winning sailor will be announced during the Panerai British Classic Week in Cowes in July and presented with the Panerai Challenger Trophy. The piece, commissioned by Panerai, is inspired by the engineering excellence of the great classic boat designers.
Alistair Dickson, RYA Director of Sport Development, added: “Like us, Panerai is passionate about encouraging equal access within the sport for all. We believe this trophy will open the doors for more people to be active or be introduced to the sport.”