As Saturday slowly breathes into life – much like the owners, their guests and crew who attended the Phi Beach beach party last night – it looks like the fleet of 21 sailing superyachts competing in the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta will have a challenging day for the final race of the regatta.
The early breeze looked light, and the race committee were struggling to make sense of conflicting weather forecasts, choosing to send a series of RIBs out to various points on the course to try to assess that actual conditions on the water.
As the regatta nears its climax, there is still room for manoeuvre in all three classes. Pier-Luigi Loro Piana's yacht My Song holds the lead in Class A, having scored three wins out of three so far, and it looks as if she will be unbeatable. However, the 25m Aegir and Baltic 112 Nilaya are separated by just two points in second and third, so today will present an interesting tactical battle on the water.
In Class B, the 45m Fitzroy Salperton holds a three point advantage over second placed Zefira – also a Fitzroy yacht – with another three points back to the Southern Wind Cape Arrow. In Class C, the yawl Bequia holds a solid lead, but the 37m Genevieve and 30.8m Oyster Sarafin are tied on points with Genevieve holding second on countback.
'Of course, we'll try to do the best we can,' said Cape Arrow's crew boss Guido Maisto, 'but anyway we're quite happy as the boat is not in 100 per cent racing condition. The boat's potential could be even better so even in light conditions we're not doing so bad! It's been beautiful and the conditions we've had so far have been unbelievable. It's been amazing.'
For the owner and friends aboard 37m superyacht Bliss, the regatta has been as much party as competition. 'We've completely removed the serious element, so it's 100 per cent fun,' beamed Paul, otherwise known as Lumpy and the yacht's 'entertainment manager'. 'We have one motto – it's important to have a reputation, good or bad, and I think we've done that here...'
'It's our first time here at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta,' said the owner of Genevieve, fresh from victory in the Dubois Cup that was held here last weekend. 'We're having a great time, whether crew, race team or my guests.'
For the classically style Hoek-designed Drumfire, Friday's windy conditions proved too much for the yacht's genoa and it tore, forcing a retirement. But that doesn't seemed to have dampened the owners' or crew's spirits. 'This regatta is amazing,' enthused Jorge Heinritz, the yacht's helmsman. 'The setting is incredible. I know the area here but this is our first Loro Piana, and I am impressed. The owner is happy, the guests are happy, and the crew are happy. Stay like you are - everyone is happy!'
Racing is scheduled to start today at 1200, with final prizegiving scheduled for 1800 this evening.