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Timeless beauty

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The day before yesterday, the penultimate leg of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge ended in Imperia, Italy. The race, sponsored by luxury watch brand Officine Panerai, is now in its eighth year.

A few years ago, it was Panerai that restored the classic 1936 sailing yacht Eilean, pictured here.

Angelo Bonati, Panerai's CEO and also an energetic yachtsman, led the process of restoring the magnificent 72-foot double-masted yacht.

The so-called «Bermuda Ketch» (a small two-masted vessel) was originally designed and built by the legendary Fife Boatyard in Scotland, based on the J-Class racing yachts that competed in the America's Cup in the 1930s. In 2006, when Bonati purchased the yacht, she was a sorry sight: her hull was covered in rust and her masts were missing altogether.

To carry out the costly and painstaking work, Bonati had to enlist the help of Italian naval restoration expert Enrico Zacagni.

As a result, more than 40,000 hours were spent restoring the vessel.

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