All change for Day Two of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta
by Tim Thomas
As race day two of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta gets underway in Porto Cervo, it looks like we’re changing gears – in more ways than one. The sun is shining through some high cloud on the fleet of 21 sailing superyachts taking part in the event, and the wind – as forecast – looks as if it is up a little on yesterday with 11 to 14 knots blowing across Porto Cervo Marina from the southwest.
Owners and their crews are readying their yachts for the second race, which is due to start at 1200 local time, with owners and their guests no doubt still smiling after last night’s Loro Piana Owners’ Dinner, during which there was a musical performance from Ornella Vanoni and Toquinho, who were reunited in performance for the first time in 20 years.
There has also been a change to the ratings, with yesterday’s Class B winner Virtuelle receiving an amendment to her rating. The International Super Yacht Rule (ISYR) allows for changes to handicaps at a regatta only in the case of ‘gross anomalies’. Ratings expert Jim Teeters, from whose Bucket rule the ISYR is based, explains: ‘This is the first time we have tried to fit Virtuelle into the superyacht fleet. I saw her go off at the start line in Race One, and also at mark Echo, and could see right away she’s a very fast boat. A lot of the difficulty we have with superyacht racing is taking a more race orientated boat and fitting her into a fleet of cruising superyachts.’
Virtuelle’s revised rating would have meant that she would still have won yesterday, but that the gap between her and second-placed Zefira would have been much closer. ‘We like to approach the handicapping gradually, so we adjusted her rating so she would have been just slightly ahead of second, giving her the benefit of the doubt that she was well sailed,’ Teeters continues. ‘The intent is not to be punitive, but to bring ratings into alignment with the rest of the fleet. This is the part of the ISYR that is subjective, but this is – superyachts are not designed for racing. A pure measurement rule doesn’t work because of the various compromises that are unique to superyachts, and a rating change should not be punitive but realistic – that’s where the challenge is!’
In a change to yesterday's start sequence, racing today will see the fastest yachts starting first. With the yachts slipping their berths and making for the start line, it looks like today will be another classic day on the waters off Porto Cervo.