Highland Fling takes close win on Day 3 of Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta
by Tim Thomas
Day Three of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta may have been a day of relaxation for the Cruising division superyachts who were enjoying a lay day, but for the Performance class there was all to play for. The wind started at around 9 knots from the northeast, but quickly switched and settled at around 125 degrees as the start sequence was about to begin.
The race committee sent the fleet of racing superyachts up to Mortoriotto and Soffi islands, then downwind to Monaci and the entrance to ‘bomb alley’ before returning for a finish off Porto Cervo.
While Highland Fling quickly stretched her lead as the wind on the first beat built to around 20 knots, Aegir and My Song – who share the same rating – had a ding-dong battle all the way round the course. My Song held the early advantage, but as the two yachts fought along the south side of Soffi Island, a hoist on a tight reach by Aegir was enough to sneak through on the inside. Having moved into second, Aegir managed to maintain the gap all the way round the course, although she never managed to pull away from My Song – the gap on corrected time after the finish was just one minute 16 seconds.
Highland Fling’s lone march around the course was not as dominant as it seemed, however, and when the results were calculated the difference between her and Aegir on corrected was just 13 seconds – an incredibly close finish after two and a half hours of racing at average speeds around 15 knots!
‘We are well happy with that ,’ beamed Aegir’s owner Brian Benjamin back at the YCCS docks. ‘It’s probably about as close as we’re ever going to get to Fling. It was a perfect race today, and we didn’t make any mistakes.’
For Alpina, the 24.9m Swan, it is evident that this event is about more than just the results. ‘Our Swan is really a cruiser compared to the competition in the performance class, and we could have entered the Cruising division,’ said her owner after the race, ‘but we didn’t want a lay day! It’s really beautiful here – all the islands mean flatter water which makes racing more controllable, and the scenery is fantastic. The crew is quite new, and we’re just getting better and better.’
Racing resumes for both classes tomorrow.