Firefly, Unfurled and Grande Orazio take top honours at Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta
by Tim Thomas
The was huge anticipation on the docks this morning as the buzz from the Sunset Party at Phi Beach wore off and the realisation dawned that the final standings in the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2014 depended on the final day of racing.
The wind started light, threatening to cut the regatta short, but persistence on the part on the race committee paid off, and by 1400 a course had been announced. The fleet of 19 sailing superyachts taking part in the racing would head on a reach to Monaci, into the bottom of bomb alley, and back round Capo Ferro to the finish in a breeze from the southeast that slowly built as the afternoon wore on.
In Class B, Unfurled played it perfectly, overhauling overnight leader Moonbird by Capo Ferro to secure a win on corrected time. With the Spirit Yachts Gaia and Southern Wind Cape Arrow taking second and third respectively, Unfurled had pulled out a two-point lead to take the overall Class B win.
‘We were almost hoping there was no race today, because we don’t have a lot of confidence in our light air performance,’ said Gary Wiseman, tactician aboard Unfurled. ‘We were pretty sure we’d run the Class for the regatta when we crossed the line. We took a day that we were not feeling confident, but it turned into a really nice race and a really good story for us at the end!’
In Class A, it was another sparkling day on the water for the Claasen Shipyards F Class Firefly, and she scored another win to take not only Class A victory but also the Boat International Media Silver Jubilee Cup overall. ‘We’ve been practicing for three seasons now and we stick together really well,’ beamed her owner. ‘We were very much aiming for our achievements, and I’m delighted not so much for myself but for the team who made it all happen. There’s much more to come! It’s brilliant that it was rewarded with a trophy but there was so much work done before and we’ve been getting better every time. It’s a very warm regatta, and I’ve really enjoyed the hospitality of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, and the organisers Boat International. It’s always lovely to be here and we hope we’ll get to stay here for as long as we can.’
In Class C, the Southern Wind Grande Orazio was pushed into second today by a resurgent My Song with Pier-Luigi Loro Piana at the helm, but had done enough to secure Class C victory as well as top honours in the Southern Wind Trophy. ‘It was four beautiful days, and today was perhaps the best day,’ said her owner, Massimiliano Florio. ‘We had a second place today but we had a match race with other boats which I very much enjoyed, and for me it’s the first time I’ve got a first place overall trophy!’ said her owner, Massimiliano Florio.
Added Pier-Luigi Loro Piana, speaking on behalf of the title sponsor: ‘The level of sailing and the level of the boats was really high this year. We had a great week, good winds, sunshine, we couldn't have asked for more. I'm particularly happy to have seen several new boats racing this year and I hope to see them again both at the Caribbean edition and here in Porto Cervo next year.’
As the sun set over the Piazza Azzurra and the crews prepared their yachts for their next adventures, thoughts turned eagerly to the next edition of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta, which will take place from 2 to 6 June 2015. Dates have also been announced for the future editions, which will take place in 2016 from 7 to 11 June and in 2017 from 6 to 10 June.
Boat International Media Silver Jubilee Cup
Magic Carpet 3
Southern Wind Trophy
Embraer Race Day prizes
Firefly, Moonbird and Grande Orazio