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Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta: Day Two race report

As Day Three of racing at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in Sardinia gets underway, once again the 14-strong fleet of sailing superyachts will be hoping that a forecast for a building breeze will prove correct. Currently there is a light 3-5 knots of wind, but as Day Two proved, there is always hope when it comes to these unique sailing grounds. As things stand, the race committee has reported that there is no wind to the north and it is likely that a course will be set south of Porto Cervo.

Race report: Day Two of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

Light winds had looked set to disrupt Day Two of the regatta – Embraer Executive Jets Race Day – in Porto Cervo, but patience by the race committee paid off and after an hour’s postponement the fleet got underway. With a custom 12-mile course around laid marks in the Gulf of Arzachena to the north of Porto Cervo, it turned into a surprisingly hard-fought day.

“We were all saying it wasn’t going to happen today,” grins Clive Walker, captain of the 33 metre  Baltic Yachts  WinWin. “We were talking about going to the beach to play some rugby or football and do some team building, and then the race committee got an amazing race underway. It turned out to be a fantastic race.”

“We didn’t expect any wind today,” agrees Tom Aiken, captain of the beautiful  Spirit Yachts 100  Gaia, “so it was a great move by the race committee, and it was great to have a three-hour sail because we weren’t expecting it at all.”

Day Two's racing

In Class A, the five largest yachts in the fleet – ranging from the 45 metre Saudade and Clan VIII to the 55 metre ketch Marie – battled hard on the first beat, but it was Ganesha that led the way onto the first downwind leg, with Marie and Saudade close behind. By the second beat, Ganesha and Saudade had pulled away and were engaged in a rematch of their duel on Day One, although it was Saudade who won through this time.

“We found today beautiful – it was a great race for us.,” enthuses Saudade’s delighted owner. “We think the race committee made the right decision to postpone the race. It was a really short, 12-mile race – we were a little sceptical in the beginning but then we saw we had a chance and could beat everybody. So metre by metre, mile by mile we did it!”

In Class C, the Southern Wind Grande Orazio was aiming for a repeat of Day One’s win, and after making her way through the fleet she broke into clear air and notched up bullet number two some three minutes ahead of second placed Nahita. The Spirit Yachts 100 Gaia came in one and a half minutes later for third place having battled hard with Nahita all the way round the course. 

“We’re pretty confident in light winds,” says Tom Aiken, Gaia’s captain, “and sub-12 knots is our best speed. In both races so far this year we’ve managed to keep Nahita behind us in the first third of the race – our tactics have been slightly better, they’re slightly quicker upwind and we’re slightly quicker downwind so we’re pretty evenly matched. Our crew work has to be perfect every race, and it’s very difficult to make up time on a high performance boat. But we’re confident we can get second place off Nahita this week!”

The closest race of Day Two

The closest race, however, was the battle for second in Class B. My Song had sailed away at the start into clear air, and was untouchable, but the 33 metre yachts WinWin and Inoui traded blows all the way round the course. “My Song just sailed away from us because with the close-quarters sailing we just couldn’t get past Inoui. They were doing an incredible job of blocking us, but right in the final 100 metres we managed to sneak our way under them and poke our nose through. It was very satisfying after trying all race!” Although My Song scored an emphatic second win, the WinWin crew would be right to be satisfied – the finish line delta between her and Inoui was just 16 seconds!

Cocktail competition

After racing, the crews were invited to create an original cocktail using Belvedere vodka as the base. This time it was Marie that claimed victory with a delicious concoction that mixed the vodka with homemade strawberry syrup, egg whites and white pepper.

Owners and their crews will be hoping for more breeze tomorrow on Day Three of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta, and racing is set to resume at 1200 local time.

To see full results, overall standings, and to view video and images of the action so far, head to the event website at loropianasuperyahtregatta.com. You can also follow today’s action live from the racecourse on Twitter ( @boatint).

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