Sailing superyachts Nilaya, Twizzle and Moonbird victorious on Day Two of the Loro Piana Caribbean Regatta
by Tim Thomas
Some hard-fought battles on the water today in perfect sailing conditions meant the fleet of 20 sailing superyachts taking part in the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous – organised by Boat International Media and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda – had earned a well-deserved cold one by the finish.
A fresh breeze from the east and blue skies promised another great day on the water, and led to the race committee opting to send the fleet anticlockwise around Virgin Gorda in a near-reverse of Race One. It also meant that competitors got to enjoy the excitement of a downwind start for the first leg to the Dog Islands.
With the slowest rated yacht – Altair – heading over the line first and the rest of the fleet following at two minute intervals, it didn’t take long for the faster yachts to catch up creating some hard-won competition for passing lanes and clear air.
By Round Rock – the turning point for the Class C yachts – the 37m Fitzroy Moonbird held the lead over 60m Perini Navi Seahawk. At Ginger Island – the turning mark for the Class A and B yachts – the 57m ketch Twizzle was holding off a strong challenge from 55m Marie for the lead, while a slew of yachts tacked and hardened to the beat in close proximity.
At Pajaros Point, the northeasterly corner of Virgin Gorda, Moonbird led the fleet and had built up such a good delta that she was able not only to take line honours after the final downwind run, but also to claim victory on corrected time in Class C ahead of Sarafin and Seahawk.
In Class A, the 34m Baltic-built Nilaya scored a second impressive win, ahead of new 37m Fitzroy Ohana – who had a solid race today – and Hetairos. Class B victory went to Twizzle after a storming performance, with Race One winner Freya coming home second and Marie taking third.
It was a perfect day for us,’ said a delighted Gordon Percy, captain of Twizzle. ‘The second leg going up to the top of Virgin Gorda was a nice one for us – we had nice clear air, we were up to windward of everybody and we were just charging along at 12 to 13 knots. The owner is obviously very happy – it was a great day today, and we are all looking forward to the Oil Nut Bay party tonight.’
‘It was a very nice day,’ smiled Francesco de Angelis, racing aboard Rainbow. ‘The wind was steady in speed and direction, and the first part was downwind – something that you don’t usually practice too much and you have to make sure you don’t make any mistakes there.’
For Donald MacPherson, the owner of Freya, a second place today was the perfect follow-up to yesterday’s Class B victory. ‘It was just a delightful day today,’ he beamed. ‘Flat water and consistent wind, a lot of great boats and really a lot of fun. In a pursuit race you pass a lot of boats and you see a lot of action – it’s a lot of fun. It’s wonderful here in the Virgin Islands, it’s the best and there’s nothing quite like it.’
As the owners and their guests head to Oil Nut Bay for tonight’s beach party, the scorelines heading into the last day of racing are close. Nilaya and Freya hold the top position in Classes A and B respectively, while Moonbird and Sarafin are tied at the top of Class C with Tempus Fugit just one point behind.