Yacht Regatta Caribbean

LPSR BVI 2014Sun and light cloud over the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda Marina heralded the start of a perfect day on the water for Race One of the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous, organised by Boat International Media and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

After Wednesday’s briefing and welcome cocktail, owners, their guests and crews prepared in earnest for a great day on the water. A 13 to 17 knot breeze from the east promised ideal sailing conditions, and the race committee – led by Principal Race Officer Peter Craig – selected two similar courses for the three cruising divisions, sending the fleet clockwise around Virgin Gorda. Class C rounded the western point at Round Rock, while Classes A and B headed a bit further to round Ginger Island before a straight upwind leg inside the Dog Islands to the finish just to the west of Necker Island.

LPSR BVI 2014With the yachts running under a staggered start, slowest rated yacht first, it was the 29 metre Altair that got racing underway. The first beat up to the northeastern corner of Virgin Gorda appeared straightforward, but there were opportunities for the shrewd tacticians to make gains in subtle shifts. For some, particularly the larger yachts racing including the 60 metre Perini Navi Seahawk, 57 metre Royal Huisman-built Twizzle and the 55 metre ketch Marie, a straight tack more or less to the lay line east of Necker Island was the preferred option, while some of the smaller yachts put in more tacks to make best use of the conditions.

As the fleet headed round the south side of Virgin Gorda, kites flying, the faster yachts that started later began to press through the fleet making for a spectacular sight. Leading the pack was the 37 metre Fitzroy built yacht Moonbird, with Olympic gold medallist Shirley Robertson at the helm, pursued by the beautiful modern classic Tempus Fugit running close to the shore and the mighty Seahawk out to weather.

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