Close battles on Day Three of Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta
2014-06-05By Tim Thomas

After two thrilling days of racing at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta – organised by Boat International Media and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda – Day Three had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint.

A new breeze from the southeast meant new challenges, a new course and new stars. The race committee chose to send the 19 sailing superyachts who are racing in the event upwind to the islands of Mortoriotto and Soffi, before giving them a long and tactical downwind leg to the south of Caprera, then out to Monaci for a fetch home.

The overnight leaders of Classes A and C – the Claasen-built F Class Firefly and the Southern Wind Grande Orazio – both had another great day on the water, securing three wins out of three and leaving them almost unassailable in their respective divisions. Elsewhere, however, it was all change as Moonbird slipped to third today behind the 34m Unfurled and the Southern Wind Cape Arrow, who were separated on corrected time by just 14 seconds. It means that Class B is wide open going into the final day of racing with just three points separating the top three yachts.

‘We’ve had some great racing against Unfurled,’ said Peter Holmberg, racing on Cape Arrow. ‘I think every race has been within 20 seconds. They have an advantage going in to tomorrow – it’s been great racing, and hats off to them as they did a great job today.’

In Class A, the WallyCento Open Season was back in action after gear failure forced her to retire yesterday, and the result was a ding dong battle with fellow WallyCento Magic Carpet 3. The two yachts – who start last in the sequence – quickly reeled in the fleet and by the penultimate mark at the bottom of the run were already four minutes clear. Their battle continued to the finish, with Open Season sneaking into second behind*on corrected time just seven seconds ahead of *Magic Carpet 3.

‘It was great again, the conditions were great and there was a different wind direction today,’ smiled Mike Atkinson, boat captain of Open Season. ‘*Magic Carpet *is still a quicker boat than us but we sailed pretty well considering and beat them by seven seconds, so we’re delighted – super happy!’

‘Full credit to Open Season,’ offered Edward Bell, one of the permanent crew aboard Magic Carpet 3. ‘They had gear failure on the boat yesterday, they came out last night, they did all the work they needed to do, and to get the boat back on the racecourse is absolutely amazing. They deserved a win today just for that effort alone.’

In Class C, the big battle is for second where the 24.4m Selene and 27m Karibu are separated by just one point, having traded positions all regatta. With *Grande Orazio *just 3 points ahead, there is still a shot at glory for the silverware in the last race.

Tonight owners and their guests are enjoying the legendary Sunset Party at Phi Beach, although most will be aiming for a clear head when the final day of racing gets underway at 1200 Saturday.