Best of 2011: Events

Here are our picks for some of the best events of 2011. For more of our Best Of 2011, visit www.yachtingmagazine.com/BestOf2011.

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The Perini Navi Cup at Porto Cervo, Sardinia, qualifies as one of the best events of the 2011 season because of its superb organization, fabulous food, camaraderie among the owners and the fleet’s outrageous total amount of tonnage. Seeing the owners of these hyperexpensive and beautifully crafted yachts racing around the buoys as though it were a Wednesday night beer-can regatta simply has to bring a smile to one’s face.

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Perini Navi Cup

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Perini Navi Cup

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Perini Navi Cup

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Perini Navi Cup

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Mystic Seaport Museum celebrated its 26th annual Moby-Dick Marathon in traditional style this year, reading the 160-year-old book aloud in its entirety from the deck of the last remaining whaleship, the Charles W. Morgan. But proving that you can improve on tradition, this year the Melville-fest featured a live video feed and Twitter commentary. We have to think that the author, who was underappreciated in his own time, would be flattered, although probably a little confused — 140 characters? Just not his style. www.mysticseaport.orgMystic Seaport

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Penobscot Bay Rendezvous: Anyone who harbors the notion that folks in Maine don’t know how to have fun should have attended the inaugural Penobscot Bay Rendezvous this past August in Camden. This four-day event, which has the distinction of sharing its PBR acronym with Professional Bull Riders (and, let us not forget, Pabst Blue Ribbon), opened with a welcoming party at Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding at the company’s yard on the bank of the St. George River in Thomaston. A spectacular pyrotechnic display ended the evening. The rest of the weekend treated sailors to spirited handicap racing, in spite of fluky winds and pesky fog, and provided the nine-boat power fleet with more than enough challenges in the photo pursuit and poker run. A lively party closed each day of the event.

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We were awestruck as we watched Maltese Falcon jockeying for position at the starting line of the New York Yacht Club’s 2011 Transatlantic Race in Newport this summer.

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Maltese Falcon at the start of New York Yacht Club’s 2011 Transatlantic Race in Newport.

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When it was announced that the 2013 America's Cup would be raced with 72-foot catamarans, there were mixed feelings. Some thought it was just the shot in the arm that the sport needed to attract the next generation of enthusiasts. Others thought it was a travesty, a departure from purity and tradition, the final blow to one of the world's oldest sporting events. After watching some of the coverage of the America's Cup World Series, the preliminary regattas raced in AC 45s currently traveling the globe, we have seen the light. The new America's Cup is cool. Very cool. In a world of tradition, a high-speed, high-tech regatta might be just what the doctor ordered. www.americascup.com2011 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

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America's Cup World Series2011 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

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America's Cup World Series2011 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

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America's Cup World Series2011 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

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America's Cup World Series2011 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget