Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta - day one, morning report
by Tim Thomas
After an unusually cold start to the summer, the temperatures finally seem to be rising in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, as 21 sailing superyachts prepare for the heat of battle at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta. Organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) and Boat International Media, the fleet of yachts are making final preparations before heading out to the sparkling waters of the Costa Smeralda for the first race.
The fleet boasts an impressive range of yachts, from the beautiful 24m Drumfire and similar-sized Valicelli-designed Virtuelle to the 45m yachts Salperton IV, Saudade and Visione. The largest yacht in the fleet – Loro Piana regular Zefira, built by Fitzroy Yachts – measures an impressive 49.7m. The yachts are divided into three cruising divisions, with the possibility of setting different courses for the faster and slower yachts, and racing will be under the International Super Yacht Rule, first used in the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta two years ago. At the skippers briefing on Tuesday evening, captains and crews were talked through the rule and case studies of typical racing scenarios were given to demonstrate the key element of the rule – that the yachts should never be closer than 40m at any time on the course.
Sadly, while the sun rose early Wednesday to greet the fleet under glorious blue skies, the wind was looking a little more reluctant to get up, and an early three to six knots of breeze from the northwest led to a postponement at dock. The race committee chugged out of Porto Cervo at 1115 local with the forecast suggesting the breeze would start to fill in during the afternoon, and at 1200 local time the AP flag came down. The yachts are now making their way out to the start, with the committee boat reporting good course options and a breeze of six to eight knots. The warning signal for the first start is due at 1300.