When it comes to the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta, if anyone had thought that the lighter airs on day one were an indicator of a light regatta in general, they were proved resoundingly wrong on day two. The regatta, organised by Boat International Media and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, hit its stride on Thursday as the wind built gradually during the day to offer the fleet of 21 sailing superyachts a perfect day on the water.
2013 Loro Piana Superyacht regatta Porto Cervo day 2 My Song
For Day Two's race, the race committee reversed the starting sequence sending the fastest rated yacht off first. With 10 knots of breeze blowing across the start line from the southeast, the medium wind rating band was selected and Peter Craig - Principle Race Officer for the event - picked three similar courses for the three classes. It was a great course, sending the fleet downwind across the start line, through bomb alley - the channel between the main island of Sardinia and the islands of Caprera and La Maddalena - before heading round the back of La Maddalena and beating to the finish line off Porto Cervo.
By the time the fleet had got to the entrance to bomb alley, the wind had risen to around 15 knots, and in Class A Visione had a lead of nearly eight minutes over Nilaya. Saudade - who had made a good recovery from an early hiccup - was holding third on the water.
Approaching the northern tip of La Maddalena the fleet split in two, with the faster Class A yachts rounding the Barrettinelli islands and the yachts in Class B and C effectively cutting the corner. The wind had increased to 18 knots, and with La Maddalena offering good protection the flat water made for exceptional sailing conditions.
P2 had made good progress and held the lead on the water in Class B, but the 45m Salperton was showing a great turn of speed rounding second. She was followed by the Oyster Sarafin and 49.7m Zefira, with a gap back to Unfurled, Timoneer, Karibu, Cape Arrow, Day One's Class C winner Bequia, Drumfire, Virtuelle - who had her rating tweaked overnight - and the Alloy Yachts 37m Genevieve.
With the yachts theoretically stretching out, rather than enjoying the concertina effect that you get when the slower yachts start first, it was difficult to see who would actually take the glory when the handicaps had been applied. Visione certainly blasted her way around the course to take line honours, and it was some time before the next yacht made it across the finish line.
When the provisional results came in, the 25.4m My Song claimed her second bullet on corrected time in Class A, while Salperton's charge meant she took victory in Class B, ahead of the Southern Wind Cape Arrow and Zefira, who suffered a torn spinnaker during the race. In Class C, the 27m yawl Bequia held on to take her second win of the regatta, putting her in a great position for the final two days of racing.
'It was a really good day,' said Tom Davies, captain of Salperton, back at the dock. 'There were a lot of tactics today; we had a good start, and were the only one of the early starters to have the kite up as we crossed the start line so we probably gained half a minute right there. We made a very good call rounding Monaci, as we went high so we could soak down to drop the kite.'
For Nilaya, a second place in Class A was a good improvement on Day One's fourth. 'It went really well today,' her captain Tom Weiss enthused. 'It's good if we get real upwind or downwind legs - the bigger boats take off on the reaches with their bigger waterlines. The yacht sails really well in more breeze, and it makes a big difference starting third and having clear air - so deciding to alternate the start sequence makes the regatta fairer. It was a perfect day, with perfect conditions - everyone on board is happy with the way we sailed.'
Racing continues tomorrow with the first start scheduled at 12:00 and easterly winds of 10-12 knots forecast.
Provisional Results after Race 2
Cruising A - Position.Boat - R1/R2 = Total
1.My Song - 1/1= 2
2.Aegir - 2/3=5
3.Nilaya - 4/2=6
Cruising B - Position.Boat - R1/R2 = Total
1.Salperton - 3/1=4
2.Zefira - 2/3=5
3.Cape Arrow- 4/2=6
Cruising C - Position.Boat - R1/R2 =Total
1.Bequia - 1/1=2
2.Sarafin - 3/2=5
Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta website