Excitement is mounting as the final day of racing at the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous – organised by Boat International Media and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda – gets underway in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands.
With the southeasterly breeze settling in once more and blue skies bringing smiles to the faces of the owners, their guests and crews from the 20 competing sailing superyachts, all eyes will be on the action. The Baltic Yachts 34m Nilaya holds a commanding lead with two wins out of two at the top of Class A, ahead of the Vitters Inoui and Wally Saudade who are tied on points in second.
In Class B, the Swan Freya is in top position having scored a first and a second, but the 55m Marie and 24.4m Swan Selene are tied on points in second place, with the 57m Twizzle just one point behind after her impressive win yesterday.
The tension will be even higher in Class C, where the Dubois-designed 37m Moonbird – helmed by Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson and with Cam Appleton calling the shots – and the 30m Oyster Sarafin are tied on points overall, with Moonbird currently holding top spot on countback. The Humphreys-designed, J Class-inspired modern classic Tempus Fugit will be pushing the leaders round the course, lying as she does in third place just one point behind.
‘Virgin Gorda always offers up really great racing, and it’s a lot of fun for the owners and the crews,’ says Cam Appleton. ‘We’re on a rating game and we’ve just got to sail our best race, and try not to leave any time on the race course. We’ve got to keep an eye on Sarafin, and slow them down if we can, but generally we’re just trying to be as far ahead of them as we can. It’s yacht racing, and you’ve always got to deal with the elements and the variables, and how you deal with them best is what will make you win or lose.’
It is clear, though that the owner and crew of Sarafin are not going to give up easily. ‘We’ve had a little bit more breeze this year, which has been a nice thing for us, ’ says her captain, Lachie Paramor. ‘It’s a very interesting day today. Two quite similar boats – Moonbird are a little bit older. I’d expect them to have the legs on us being a longer boat, but we’ve managed to stay with them, which has been a nice thing. They sailed a flawless race yesterday, but hopefully today if the breeze is a knot or two down hopefully we can stay in touch with them. All the guys are very fired up and we’re going to give it our all.’
As the music and memories from last night’s beach party at the fabulous Oil Nut Bay resort fade, the yachts are heading out towards the start line west of Necker. Tune in throughout the day to @nautiwords and @boatint on Twitter for live updates from around the race course, and look out for the full race report and all the winners’ stories at the end of the day.