Who has not dreamed of tall sails and quiet seas, heard of the Maltese Falcon, or been scared by tales of shipwrecks when young? Sailing, in fact, invades our lives in ways we often aren’t aware of – from regular vernacular (plain sailing, cut of your jib, three sheets to the wind) to what we wear.
When it comes to glamour, luxury and romance, little beats sailing yachts. When Milena Modigliani Perini, the “first lady of supersailing”, talks about her involvement with Perini Navi, she says she loves her boats like her babies, and they reduce her to tears.
As I sailed around Sardinia this summer in our Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta, I could see why, such was the excitement of being aboard WinWin. Though why we came seventh, when we cruised past the finishing line a tight second, is beyond me. The regatta scoring system is perhaps the only element of sailing I will never learn to love.
I came into this job with a slight prejudice against sailing. Having worked almost exclusively with motor yachts for the past 12 or 13 years, my few sailing experiences were limited to a windless, endless cruise on a Beneteau during a press junket in Portugal and freezing in full foulies aboard a keelboat on a rain-lashed Solent. Much better, I reasoned, to be up high, away from the water, helming from a flybridge, or a nice warm wheelhouse.
I obviously wasn’t doing it right, as I’ve managed to rack up several more sailing experiences in the past few years at various sun-soaked regattas. Any last, lingering negativity fully evaporated in the Sardinian heat in June when hitting 20 knots downwind aboard the Wally Open Season. The conversion had begun earlier, but this was confirmation: I love sailing. So much so we’ve dedicated an entire issue to it – and what a group of yachts to include. Enjoy.