A third consecutive day of sustained wind and a spectacular 28 mile course had the 19 superyachts racing in the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2014 storming, once again, around the islands and islets of the La Maddalena archipelago. The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's Race Committee took full advantage of the new easterly breeze to send the fleet south of Porto Cervo for the first time, rounding the island of Soffi off Porto Rotondo before the spinnakers went up and the superyachts passed Porto Cervo on their way north to the Monaci island and back home to the finish.
Fleet racing towards Monaci Island - 2014 Loro PIana Superyacht Regatta
The Hoek-designed Firefly continued her clear run of bullets and, with just one more race to be run in tomorrow's final day, is set for victory in Division A while a three-way fight for second and third place will be on between Magic Carpet 3, Ghost and Open Season.
Former Luna Rossa sailor Michele Cannoni has been getting used to being back on board Ghost as the 37-metre Vitters yacht returned from a four year sabbatical in the Pacific: 'Today was a nice race, we overtook a lot of boats that we hadn't passed before. The regatta crew has worked together for a long time but the boat hasn't raced in four years and we need to fine tune her. Tomorrow we hope there will be good breeze, like today, and lots of downwind runs - which is where we seem to do best - and we hope that the owner continues to enjoy himself.'
Unfurled (Division B) - Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2014
In division B the Fitzroy yachts Moonbird claimed third place today but still holds the overall lead, if only by one point, over today's race winner Unfurled with the Southern Wind Cape Arrow just one more point behind. Today's runners-up were neck and neck as they approached the finish and it was Cape Arrow who managed to nip across the line just six seconds ahead of Unfurled in real time.
Ross Field, Safety Officer on Unfurled hopes conditions will change again tomorrow: 'We had a lot of lighter winds today and the wind had completely changed around into the east. We have good racing with Cape Arrow and it's not ideal conditions for us anything under 15 knots is not good for us. We're praying for wind tomorrow - if we have wind tomorrow we're all right.'
Fleet racing - 2014 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta
Grande Orazio raced a fantastic regatta leaving her too with an unblemished record of three straight victories and a four point lead over Selene in the overall classification. While Grande Orazio's owner Massimiliano Florio can consider himself well placed, although not completely safe, the battle will be on tomorrow between the Frers-designed Selene in second place overall and Karibu, sitting just one point behind in third.
The busy social programme that accompanies the racing schedule continues today with the usual after-race drinks before owners and crews prepared for the Sunset Party in nearby Baja Sardinia.
Racing will conclude tomorrow, Saturday 7th June and the event will close with the final prize giving at the YCCS.