As the fleet headed out for race day three, sponsored by Embraer Executive Jets, excitement was mounting for the final race of the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta 2014, organised by Boat International Media and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. The overnight standings showed several tight battles left to be fought, with Class C in particular proving a talking point as the yachts Moonbird and Sarafin sat tied on four points apiece. [Read more…]
An Exciting Custom Course Determined the Victors of the 2014 Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta
Sun and light cloud over the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda Marina heralded the start of a perfect day on the water for Race One of the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous, organised by Boat International Media and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.
After Wednesday’s briefing and welcome cocktail, owners, their guests and crews prepared in earnest for a great day on the water. A 13 to 17 knot breeze from the east promised ideal sailing conditions, and the race committee – led by Principal Race Officer Peter Craig – selected two similar courses for the three cruising divisions, sending the fleet clockwise around Virgin Gorda. Class C rounded the western point at Round Rock, while Classes A and B headed a bit further to round Ginger Island before a straight upwind leg inside the Dog Islands to the finish just to the west of Necker Island.
With the yachts running under a staggered start, slowest rated yacht first, it was the 29 metre Altair that got racing underway. The first beat up to the northeastern corner of Virgin Gorda appeared straightforward, but there were opportunities for the shrewd tacticians to make gains in subtle shifts. For some, particularly the larger yachts racing including the 60 metre Perini Navi Seahawk, 57 metre Royal Huisman-built Twizzle and the 55 metre ketch Marie, a straight tack more or less to the lay line east of Necker Island was the preferred option, while some of the smaller yachts put in more tacks to make best use of the conditions.
As the fleet headed round the south side of Virgin Gorda, kites flying, the faster yachts that started later began to press through the fleet making for a spectacular sight. Leading the pack was the 37 metre Fitzroy built yacht Moonbird, with Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson at the helm, pursued by the beautiful modern classic Tempus Fugit running close to the shore and the mighty Seahawk out to weather.
As the Class C yachts hit their turning mark, off Round Rock at the western corner of Virgin Gorda, Moonbird had notched up a delta of more than three minutes of second-rounding yacht Sarafin, the Oyster 100. Tempus Fugit followed just a minute and a half later.
Meanwhile, the Class A and B yachts pressed on to round Ginger Island, and as the kites came down it was Marie that rounded first, hotly pursued by a flying Nilaya, the 34 metre Reichel/Pugh built by Baltic. The two yachts had built up quite a gap over the pursuing pack, which was led by Leopard by Robertissima and Hetairos, with Freya, the Vitters-built Inoui, Swans Selene and Alpina, Alia Shipyard’s Aiyana, Wally Saudade and the Southern Wind Blues holding off the J classic Rainbow – with Pier-Luigi of Loro Piana at the helm.
With Moonbird taking line honours for Class C, the racing in Class A was getting close on the water as a battle of the Baltics developed between Hetairos and Nilaya. It was Hetairos that won through on the water to take Class A and B line honours, although the corrected times would tell a different story.
When the results were in, Nilaya had taken the bullet in Class A ahead of Leopard by Robertissima and Inoui. Class B victory went to Freya, ahead of Alpina and Selene making a clean sweep for the Swans. In Class C Tempus Fugit took the win, just one minute 41 seconds on corrected ahead of Sarafin, with Moonbird clocking third.
“We’re over the moon,’ beamed a delighted Erbil Arkin, owner of Tempus Fugit. ‘I’m loving being here. I just crossed the ocean – my first crossing, which was a bucket list thing – to come and race here so for me it’s absolutely great, it’s marvelous. The plan for tomorrow is just to keep it going with the enthusiasm we have.”
For Rob Humphreys, designer of Tempus Fugit and navigator for the regatta, it was a perfect day on the water.
‘There were lovely sailing conditions, absolutely fantastic. We seemed to do quite well going upwind and the crew did a really good job. I think the fundamental strategy is to party really hard and get very drunk, and that will carry us through!’
“It was fantastic – this is a sailor’s paradise,” enthused Filip Balcaen, owner of Class A winner Nilaya. “I think we had a good race, we did not make a lot of mistakes. The winds were perfect, and to the east of the islands the water was pretty flat so it was nice sailing. We had a beautiful day.”
Peter Corr, owner of Aiyana, has only missed one Loro Piana Caribbean Regatta since it started.
“It’s wonderful, it’s great to be back,’ he enthused. ‘Nothing’s better than sailing in the BVIs – constant winds, great fun, beautiful sun, warm water and great competitors. This is a really great line-up of boats and it was great fun today.”
Tonight, owners and their guests will enjoy the sumptuous surroundings of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda terrace for the Loro Piana Owners’ Dinner, which this year features exclusive entertainment from the Stefano di Battista Jazz Quartet with Nicky Nicolai on vocals. The crews, meanwhile, will enjoy a proper beach party and tug of war at Sandbox on Prickly Pear, sponsored by Marina Casa de Campo and the BVI Tourism.
Racing resumes on Friday at 1100 AST for the second day of competition at the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous.
The Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous continues to go from strength to strength with 20 sailing superyachts signed up for the four day event. Organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) and Boat International Media (BIM) from 19th to 22nd March in Virgin Gorda, the event is sponsored by the Italian luxury brand Loro Piana and plays host to three days of coastal racing for a fleet of sailing titans. [Read more…]
Venues for the eighth season of the RC44 Championship Tour have been confirmed. Two new venues will make their debut, alongside three RC44 favorites. The season will start in the Caribbean next February, where the class will be welcomed for the first time by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Virgin Gorda. [Read more…]
Day Two of the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous, organised by Boat International Media and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, dawned with downpour – an inauspicious start after Thursday night’s Loro Piana Owner’s Dinner, where owners and distinguished guests had been entertained on the YCCS Virgin Gorda terrace by New York doo-wop group Acapella Soul.
But the rainclouds soon gave way to a searing sun and a moderate breeze that would offer the 20 sailing superyachts taking part in the racing a real tactical challenge on the day’s custom course. With the wind hovering around eight to 10 knots, the race committee decided to send the fleet on a near-figure of eight loop, first to a laid windward mark, then out to a laid reacher, then past Seal Island and round the Dog Islands before heading back to the finish line. [Read more…]