It was another classic Sardinia sailing day on Friday at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta, organised by Boat International Media and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Earlier fears that the day would be windless were proved wrong as the race committee reported breeze to the south. With the forecast suggesting the wind would drop during the day, the committee set an 18-mile course for Classes A and C round the islands of Mortorio and Soffi, with Class B sailing an extended version via an additional laid downwind mark.
“Today was an exciting race,” enthuses Massimiliano Florio, owner of the Southern Wind Grande Orazio, “even though it was too short because we were really having fun – the wind that was supposed to die didn’t die so in the middle of the fun we had to stop!”
In Class A, the competition between the 45 metre yachts Ganesha and Saudade hotted up, although today it was Saudade that gained the upper hand, squeezing inside of Ganesha at Mortorio and stretching away. “Today we made a tactical error,” says Alex Pamment, captain of Ganesha. “We thought we were getting lifted earlier than we did and we dropped the kite earlier than we should have done. However, we recovered with a really good upwind leg [to the finish]. It was a great day and the conditions really favoured us and but we knew it was going to be tough against Saudade.”
The result means that going into the final day of racing Saudade and Ganesha are tied at the top of Class A, with Saudade leading on countback. The battle is tight for third too, with Marie – who finished third today – tied with Clan VIII on equal points.
In Class B, the slightly bigger breeze favoured the longer waterline of WinWin, and after she had got past the 33 metre Inoui the chase was on to catch Pier-Luigi Loro Piana’s yacht My Song. It turned into a classic pursuit race, as metre by metre WinWin closed the gap only to run out of racecourse and she crossed the finish line at pace just 18 seconds off My Song. With My Song now holding three wins out of three, her lead at the top of Class B is unassailable.
Class C proved to be a day for the three Southern Wind yachts taking part in the regatta, and the result was an impressive one-two-three for the Italian marque. Grande Orazio added a third bullet to her impressive tally this week, giving her a certain Class C overall victory tomorrow. It was a good day for Blues, who beat her sistership Cape Arrow by the smallest of margins – just 21 seconds separated them at the finish.
“At the beginning there was no wind but at the end it improved to around 15 knots, which is better for us because we need power,” says the owner of Blues. “I think we sailed a good race with a few mistakes to improve, but second for me is a good place – I am happy with our position.”
“We had fun today,” adds Avv. Maria Cristina Rapisardi, charter owner of Cape Arrow. “There was a bit more wind today so it was much better! Less wind tomorrow for us would make it more difficult, but we can’t do anything about that – just keep sailing!”
“We are thankful to Cape Arrow and Blues because thanks to a team job we have got first place overall so we are very happy,” beams a delighted Florio. “We don’t stop here – we hope to have a first place tomorrow as well, which should enable us to win the overall regatta trophy. We are doing much better than last year as the yacht was brand new in 2014 and this year we are more organised and settled, so it’s a very good result!”
Last night, owners and their guests enjoyed the legendary beach party at Phi Beach – the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta is not just about friendly competition on the water! “We had a good dinner on Wednesday at the Loro Piana Owners’ Dinner,” smiles the owner of Blues, “and last night we had a good party! The crew are happy, and for me everything is perfect. I have cruised in Sardinia a few times but this is my first time racing here. You have the Italian feeling, the Italian way of life and I really appreciate the sailing and racing in Italy – for me it’s the best.”
“The owner is loving it,” adds Pamment. “He always enjoys coming here and sailing the waters in Sardinia – there’s a lot of scenic sailing and it’s very exciting regardless of the wind. As long as you’re out on the water and you’ve got a diverse fleet to race against then you’re guaranteed a good day out on the water!”
For full results from the racing, and to see video and images of the action on the water, head to the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta event website.