After a squally night in the British Virgin Islands, conditions for the fleet of sailing superyachts taking part in the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta look perfect today. Racing starts at 1100 as Loro Piana Race Day kicks off the event, and with the sun shining and the breeze blowing steady from the east, owners, their guests and crews will be looking forward to a classic day on the water.
Racing today will follow a true pursuit race format, with yachts crossing the start line at timed intervals according to their rating. ‘Pier-Luigi Loro Piana and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda commodore, Riccardo Bonadeo, wanted to try the pursuit race style this year following requests from a lot of the superyacht owners,’ says Peter Craig, principle race officer for the event. ‘It means that whoever finishes first on the water in each class wins!’
The course for Race One will send the yachts – which range from the 24 metre Drumfire and 22.4 metre Bolero to the mighty Perinis Seahawk and Parsifal III – clockwise around Virgin Gorda, giving plenty of opportunity for tactical calls and some fun kite runs round the back of the island. Class A yachts will run a custom course of just under 32 miles, while Class B yachts will race a slightly shorter course of 26 miles. With the wind blowing at 16 to 20 knots, the race committee has selected the rating band for heavy airs and flat seas.
Class A will certainly be one to watch for some hot action, with several performance orientated superyachts fighting it out for glory. Among them are the 45.9 metre Ganesha, who will be chasing down the Vitters sloop Inoui. Meanwhile, the Nautor’s Swan Freya and the Southern Wind Blues are separated in rating by the smallest of margins, meaning near match-racing conditions around the course.
Look out for live updates from the race course on Twitter at @boatint, follow the live tracking of the fleet on the YCCS website, and check out our social media channels for photos as the racing starts with a vengeance. For more information, head to the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta website.