As the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta – organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Boat International Media – entered its final day of racing in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, the fleet of 21 sailing superyachts taking part were looking forward to another sparkling day on the water. Sadly, the weather gods had different ideas.
With the wind virtually non-existent off the entrance to Porto Cervo, the race committee set flag lima (‘follow me’) and led the fleet north round Capo Ferro, where one of their spotter boats had reported 5 knots of wind. With 7 knots recorded up around Spargi island, the committee set custom courses to send the fleet through bomb alley to Spargi, with Classes A and B rounding Spargi, and the slower Class C yachts rounding a mark set southeast of Spargi.
After several of the yachts had hoisted kites and ghosted over the start line in their staggered sequence (with the fastest yachts starting first today) the race officers got an update from up the course that there was no wind at Spargi, and decided to fly november over alpha – the code flags for race abandoned – citing their concern over there being ‘a fair contest’. The fleet dowsed sail and headed back to harbour.
The abandonment meant that the standings after the first three days of racing would count as the final scoreline. In Class A, Pier-Luigi Loro Piana’s yacht My Song took the victory with an impressive three wins out of three races. The 25m Aegir placed second, with the Baltic 112 Nilaya placing third.
In Class B, Salperton’s solid performances on the first three days secured first place, with fellow Fitzroy build Zefira – at 49.7m the largest yacht in the fleet – taking second and Southern Wind Cape Arrow taking third. Bequia held on to win Class C, with 37m Genevieve and 30.8m Oyster Sarafin tied on nine points each; Genevieve took second on countback, having scored a bullet in Friday’s race.
The winner of the Silver Jubilee Cup by Boat International Media presented by Loro Piana, for top scoring cruising superyacht at the regatta, was Salperton IV.
'We've had a wonderful regatta,' beamed Barry Houghton, Salperton's owner. 'There were fantastic conditions for three days of beautiful sailing.'
The sentiment was echoed by Class C winner, Jes Staley - owner of the wooden yacht Bequia. 'It was a great regatta, with super boats to race against,' he said after collecting his trophy. 'It's a beautiful place, and it's also a great win for all the guys in Maine who helped build the yacht.'
Pier-Luigi Loro Piana was also ecstatic after My Song's emphatic win in Class A. 'Today finally we won,' he smiled. 'I think here is one of the best places in the world. The wind has been good, and the fact that the regatta has attracted more boats this year shows that Sardinia is the preferred place for superyachts!'