Superyachts gear up for first day of Caribbean regatta
by Tim Thomas
A fine collection of 20 sailing superyachts sit peacefully on the dock of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Virgin Gorda, BVI, tonight ready for the opening day of racing at the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous, organised by Boat International Media and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.
As the sun sets and the opening cocktail party and barbecue gets under way, there is an air of anticipation among the owners, their guests and crew getting ready for the fun on the water which gets underway on Thursday morning.
The fleet ranges from 23.5m Wild Horses to the mighty 62m Athos. Among those taking part is the Southern Wind 100 Blues, whose Brazilian owner is about to enjoy his first superyacht regatta. The yacht suffered a torn gennaker just before the event, but quick thinking by Southern Wind’s sales director led to a last-minute reprieve. A call was made to sister SW100 I-Sea – currently in Antigua and a veteran of Loro Piana regattas in Porto Cervo, Sardinia – and 24 hours later one of I-Sea’s crew was on a plane, complete with gennaker. Blues will get to race after all.
This year sees the adoption for the first time of the International Super Yacht Rule (ISYR). ‘There are three major priorities for owners at these events,’ says Jim Teeters, creator of the original Bucket Rule which forms the foundation for the ISYR. ‘They want to have fun, they want their racing to be safe, and they want to have a realistic chance every race, if they sail well, of getting on the podium.’ The rule uses a combination of speed predictions and windspeeds to give each yacht three different ratings – for light, medium and heavy airs – with the most appropriate rating chosen each day according to the prevailing wind conditions.
Alongside the sailing yachts are six motor yachts, enjoying an extensive cruise and social programme at the rendezvous part of the event.
Look out for exclusive coverage of the racing, the megayachts and the social events on boatinternational.com, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for live updates from the BVIs.