Magic Carpet Cubed wins the Giorgio Armani Superyacht Regatta

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Magic Carpet Cubed
Credit: YCCS/Studio Borlenghi

Magic Carpet Cubed wins the Giorgio Armani Superyacht Regatta

6 June 2022• Written by Holly Overton

The 30.48 metre Wallycento Magic Carpet Cubed has been crowned the overall victor of the Giorgio Armani Superyacht Regatta after taking the win on two out of the four days of racing. The event, hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda last week, saw a fleet of 14 superyachts return to the La Maddalena archipelago after a two-year hiatus.

The Superyacht Division was comprised of nine yachts including Bullit, Magic Blue, Inoui, Ribelle, Morgana, WinWin, Geist and Mariette of 1915, many of which are veterans of the regatta and familiar with the rocky waters of the archipelago. The overall standings saw a Wally trinity, Magic Carpet Cubed, Bullitt and Magic Blue, take first, second and third respectively. 

Ribelle and Bullitt go head to head
Credit: YCCS/Studio Borlenghi

Overall results

  1. Magic Carpet
  2. Bullitt
  3. Magic Blue
  4. Inoui
  5. Ribelle
  6. Morgana
  7. WinWin 
  8. Mariette of 1915
  9. Geist

Day one saw the start delayed by an hour as the committee waited for the breeze to fill in. Mariette of 1915 was the first to start the 24-mile course, which saw the fleet beat upwind up to the Mortoriotto rock and reach across to the Passo delle Bisce strait before entering the Saline Gulf, where the wind had picked up to a moderate 13 knots of breeze. Magic Carpet Cubed, owned by Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, took an early lead on day one, followed by Bullitt and WinWin, just seven seconds apart in corrected time.

Speaking on the day's racing, Jim Pugh, yacht designer and crew member on Magic Carpet Cubed said: “The boat was going really well and there was good competition in the class. It’s wonderful to be back here sailing after a few years. It’s a great place to sail, the best place in the world. The coastline and the islands, there is nothing like it. No matter how many times you round the same island it’s like rounding a piece of art.”

Ribelle returns to the racecourse with new owners
Credit: YCCS/Studio Borlenghi

On the second day of the regatta, the fleet set off on a longer course of 30 miles which saw the pack circumnavigate the islands of Caprera and La Maddalena, passing through the channel between Palau and La Maddalena and reaching to the Tre Monti shallows in the Saline Gulf. An east-northeasterly breeze of 10 to 14 knots saw Mariette of 1915, the oldest yacht on the racecourse, take the lead today by a comfortable margin, followed by Magic Blue and WinWin. Although, it was Magic Carpet Cubed that maintained the overall lead following her day one performance.

Credit: YCCS/Studio Borlenghi

The third and penultimate day brought a breeze of 10 knots from the northeast and the fleet sailed on a clockwise tour of the islands of La Maddalena and Caprera through the Bisce strait. The La Maddalena channel presented a number of challenges with wind shifts and changes in pressure; the racing became less about speed and more about judgement, testing the ability of the tacticians to navigate a course with varying conditions. 

The day's results saw the 32.4 metre Vitters sailing yacht Ribelle take the win with her new owners on board, followed by the 33 metre Vitters Inoui, owned and helmed by Owners' Club member Marco Vogele, who placed second, just 40 seconds ahead of the Wally 93 Bullitt in third. At the close of the day, Magic Carpet Cubed remained at the top of the overall leaderboard, with the Bullitt chasing just one point behind. 

Alberto Barovier, tactician on Ribelle said: “The new owner and his wife are sporty people, they both love to steer their boat and today's result is the first step on a competitive path that promises to be interesting. The key to today's result was when we gybed in front of La Maddalena towards Palau, finding more pressure to get out of that area. The drop in the breeze towards the end didn't help us because ours is a heavy boat, but the result rewarded our efforts.”

Bullitt, Geist and Inoui racing around a natural market
Credit: YCCS/Studio Borlenghi

The final day saw the committee opt for a southerly course where Magic Carpet Cubed was forced to defend her overall lead, as her pursuers, Bullitt and Magic Blue closed in. Despite their best efforts, Magic Carpet Cubed won the day's racing followed by Bullitt and Magic Blue finishing in second and third place today, as well as in the overall standings. 

Jochen Schuemann, tactician on Magic Carpet Cubed: "Here we had an extra element to deal with because when starting last and then passing the fleet, you have to respect the safety rule and maintain a minimum distance of 40 metres from the other yachts, which was not easy. On the other hand, the wind offered us many tactical options, so we had a few more opportunities.”

The next edition of the Giorgio Armani Super Regacht Regatta is scheduled for 2023, although dates have not yet been confirmed. Speaking on this year's regatta, Michael Illbruck, commodore of YCCS said: “On behalf of the YCCS, I'd like to thank the owners that return year after year with their yachts, who are the stars of this event. The Race Committee did a great job handling the conditions, choosing the best course each day in this idyllic setting. My thanks go to them, the International Jury and the entire YCCS staff who organised an excellent event.”