Supermaxi Luxury Yacht & Superyacht News

The Perini Navi Group to once again sponsor St Barths Bucket Regatta

March 26, 2014

The Perini Navi Group will once again sponsor one of the most prominent superyacht regattas in the world, the St Barths Bucket. This year’s event will be hosted by the popular Caribbean yacht charter location – St Barth from March 27 to 30.

Saint Barths Bucket Super Yacht Regatta - Photo by Onne van der Wal

Saint Barths Bucket Super Yacht Regatta - Photo by Onne van der Wal

The Viareggio based shipyard will be the best represented at the regatta having the largest number of their own builds in the fleet. Two of their latest yachts will be present putting the latest Perini innovations in terms of design and technology to the test. Mega yacht Seahawk, the first yacht in the Perini 60m series with her sleek hull lines and new generation Perini Navi captive reel winches and furlers, and superyacht State of Grace, the first yacht in the new performance 40m Fast Cruising series.

There will be thirty eights yachts total in the fleet that will be racing in the waters around St Barth. The fleet will be divided into four categories: les Gazelles des Mers, les Grandes Dames des Mers, Les Mademoiselle des Mers and les Elegantes des Mers. Perini Navi yachts present will be Seahawk, charter yacht Zenji, superyacht Clan VIII, State of Grace, charter yacht Parsifall III, luxury yacht Silencio and charter yacht Andromeda la Dea. All of the above will be racing in the Grandes Dames Class. The highest placed Perini Navi build will be awarded, this year just like in the past, with the Perini Navi Trophy.

PERINI NAVI superyacht Parsifal III at St Barth Bucket - Photo by Carlo Borlenghi

PERINI NAVI charter yacht Parsifal III at St Barth Bucket - Photo by Carlo Borlenghi

This eagerly anticipated regatta also includes an intense programme of side events. The first will be the Superyacht Racing Association’s Annual Meeting on March 26th. Other social events will be held throughout the regatta up until the final prize giving that will be held on March 30th.

Nauta Design / Reichel Pugh yacht NILAYA Overall Winner of Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta 2014

March 26, 2014

Nauta Yachts are thrilled to announce that the Nauta Design / Reichel Pugh yacht NILAYA was first overall at the 2014 Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta, hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) in the waters of the fabulous Caribbean yacht charter location – Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. The majestic 112′ Baltic sailing yacht NILAYA was honoured with the Boat International Media Trophy for her excellent participation.

Sailing yacht Nilaya designed by Nauta Yachts and Reichel Pugh

Sailing yacht Nilaya designed by Nauta Yachts and Reichel Pugh - Image credit to www.ingridabery.com

Luxury yacht NILAYA won in Class A after placing first in two races and second in one. A very impressive performance at her first appearance in this regatta.

Superyacht Nilaya under sail

Superyacht Nilaya under sail - Image credit to www.ingridabery.com

Warmest congratulations from Nauta Yachts to the Owner and the crew of NILAYA yacht.

Nilaya Yacht Crew

Nilaya Yacht Crew - Image credit to Carlo Borlenghi/Studio Borlenghi

Below is a gallery for the superb charter yachts with design by Nauta.

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous: Victory of superyachts NILAYA, FREYA and MOONBIRD

March 22, 2014

Following three days of picture perfect sailing, superyacht Nilaya (Class A), sailing yacht Freya (Class B) and charter yacht Moonbird (Class C) have been announced as the overall winners in their respective divisions at this year’s Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous.

Nilaya, Division A winner. Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Carlo Borlenghi/Superyacht Media.

Superyacht Nilaya, Division A winner. Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Carlo Borlenghi/Superyacht Media.

Second place in Division A went to the J-Class superyacht Rainbow, on equal points with the 50 metre Fitzroy sloop Ohana in third. Division B runner up was the 57.5-metre ketch Twizzle ahead of the 55-metre Vitters ketch Marie. Division C silverware went to the 31-metre Dubois-designed sloop Sarafin, just one point behind the winner Moonbird, while the 27.4 -metre superyacht Tempus Fugit, built by Arkin Pruva, took third place. The Boat International Media Trophy for the event went to the 34-metre Nilaya, designed by Reichel-Pugh and built by Baltic Yachts.

The YCCS Race Committee set a custom course for today’s third and final race which took the fleet west from the start off Necker island to round the Dog Islands to starboard before heading further westward and rounding back to Necker and the finish.

The 40 metre luxury yacht Rainbow, chartered by Pier Luigi Loro Piana and with Francesco de Angelis and Brad Butterworth on board, took victory in today’s race among the division A boats. Nilaya claimed second place leaving her with an impressive 1-1-2 scoreline and overall victory.

Moonbird, Division C winner. Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Carlo Borlenghi/Superyacht Media

Luxury charter yacht Moonbird, Division C winner. Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Carlo Borlenghi/Superyacht Media

Filip Balcaen of Nilaya was pleased with the result despite some difficulties in today’s race: “It is a fantastic place to race, good winds, nice competition, incredible boats so we really enjoyed it although today we had a bad race. We had a big problem at the upwind mark so downwind we were not able to hoist our code zero. Anyway the good thing was we only lost 3 minutes and in the end we came second which is not that bad and we won the whole regatta in our class.”

In division B the Frers-designed Swan 90 superyacht Freya took her second bullet today and notched up an equally impressive 1-2-1 scoreline while Twizzle claimed second place today and overall.

Owner Don Macpherson was thrilled with Freya’s win: I couldn’t be happier. One year ago we were here and we came in last! Over this past year we have worked very hard and for us to come in first today was just so rewarding, we’re delighted. The crew has really pulled together, we’ve kept the same core guys and I take my hat off to our tactician Mike Toppa who has been a great help.”

Freya, Division B winner. Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Carlo Borlenghi/ Superyacht Media

Luxury sailing yacht Freya, Division B winner. Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Carlo Borlenghi/ Superyacht Media

The 37-metre Fitzroy Yachts sloop Moonbird, with designer Ed Dubois on board, also claimed her second bullet today, sealing the fate of the 31-metre Sarafin which placed second in today’s race and the division overall.

Moonbird’s owner thoroughly enjoyed the event: “My first reaction is to thank everyone for organizing such a beautiful regatta and for getting together such an exceptional gathering of superyachts. We had very friendly and super professional racing so I really enjoyed it, it was really fantastic. What we like here is the flat water, 15 to 20 knots, ideal for most of us.”

Prizes for the top three boats in each division were awarded by Riccardo Bonadeo, YCCS Commodore, Pier Luigi Loro Piana, Roberto Kerkoc, Vice-President of the Board of Directors of YCCS,  and Tony Harris of Boat International Media.

At the final prizegiving ceremony YCCS Commodore, Riccardo Bonadeo, expressed his satisfaction at the week’s proceedings: “Each year we think this event simply cannot get any better, but I am happy to report that each year we are proved wrong! I feel honoured to say that I have received a great number of compliments from owners and crew here on the docks. Excellent race organization, perfect sailing conditions and superb social events have made this an unforgettable week for everyone involved. Alongside our title sponsor Loro Piana, my thanks go to the YCCS management and staff whose hard work continues to make this, along with Porto Cervo, one of the best race venues in the world. We look forward to welcoming all of these boats for the Mediterranean event in June.”

Pier Luigi Loro Piana was equally happy: “We had a fantastic regatta, fantastic weather and great sea conditions, the best possible ones for racing. It’s a pleasure, as a sponsor, to see this event growing. There are more boats, more people and the level of technical skills is really high, my compliments and my thanks go to the real stars of this event, the sailors who participate.”

The Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta will take place at the YCCS in Porto Cervo from June 3rd to 7th.

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous: Day 2

March 21, 2014

After yesterday’s clockwise circumnavigation of the fabulous Caribbean yacht charter location – Virgin Gorda, Day Two of the currently running Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous saw the 20-strong superyacht fleet finish a second round-the-island race, this time sailing counter clockwise around the BVI‘s third-largest land mass. The YCCS Race Committee set a 29 mile course for divisions A and B, while division C sailed a slightly shorter course of around 27 miles, cutting inside Ginger Island at the westerly tip of Virgin Gorda.

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Jeff Brown/SYM

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Jeff Brown/SYM

Conditions were once again ideal with the south-easterly breeze holding at around 14 to 17 knots. The 34-metre Baltic superyacht Nilaya, boasting VOR campaigner Bouwe Bekking on tactics, and the 27.7-metre Frers designed sailing yacht Freya, with tactician Mike Toppa, provided consistent performances in divisions A and B respectively to hold on to the top spots they gained yesterday. Division C saw yesterday’s winner superyacht Tempus Fugit take fourth place while the 37-metre Dubois-designed charter yacht Moonbird claimed her first bullet to move up to first place overall in the division on equal points with luxury yacht Sarafin. Racing in the event, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Boat International Media, is set to conclude tomorrow, 22nd March.

Don MacPherson, owner of Freya, was satisfied with today’s second place finish which, combined with yesterday’s bullet, leaves the Swan 90 with a four point lead over the 54.6-metre superyacht Marie in second: “It was just a delightful day today. Flat water and consistent wind, a lot of great boats and really a lot of fun. It’s wonderful here in the Virgin Islands, it’s the best, there’s nothing quite like it. Virgin Gorda is a fantastic island, we’ve raced it clockwise and counter clockwise and to be here at YCCS is just spectacular, it’s one of the best yacht clubs I’ve ever been to.”

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Jeff Brown/Superyacht Media

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Jeff Brown/Superyacht Media

Asked of his hopes for tomorrow’s final race, he remained cautious: “Each day is a new day so you’ve got to work it from the very beginning, we hope for the best and we’ll get up early and do it again.”

America’s Cup veteran Francesco de Angelis, racing aboard the 40-metre J-Class yacht Rainbow with Mr. Pier Luigi Loro Piana in division A, gave an insight into the tactics involved in today’s race: “It was a downwind start so something that you usually don’t practice too much and you have to make sure you don’t make any mistakes there. Tactically, each boat has its own problems given the size and the start order. Sometimes you have to understand how best to deal with bigger boats overtaking you, and the other thing is around the corners, sometimes there are islands like the one we rounded after the first leg, Ginger, which is quite tall so you have to negotiate the shadow. Other than that it was pretty straight forward. It’s a fantastic venue: the Race Committee can make different custom courses every day, the venue is fantastic, very enjoyable.”

Nilaya - Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo C/Sualo Borlenghi/ Superyacht Media

Nilaya - Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo C/Sualo Borlenghi/ Superyacht Media

Exciting on-the-water action continues to be complemented by an exclusive social programme with owners, guests and crews attending a Beach Party at the nearby Oil Nut Bay resort this evening. Participants will then enjoy the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s impeccable hospitality once again at the final prize giving ceremony scheduled for 4 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday 22nd March.

The success story of Yacht Club Portofino’s Owner

March 21, 2014

Positioned near Genoa, the breath-taking Italy yacht charter location – Portofino is an enchanting fishing village and upmarket resort well known for its fabulous harbour as well as historical association with celebrity visitors. With visually beautiful, underwater attractions like the statue of ‘Christ of the Abyss’, it is a popular destination for diving enthusiasts and a regular stop off on the superyacht circuit. This Mediterranean resort is so fascinating it has even been recreated by Disney around the harbour at Tokyo DisneySea in Chiba, Japan!

The popular Meditteranean yacht charter location - Portofino in Italy

The popular Meditteranean yacht charter location - Portofino in Italy

Everyone has dreams, and in the superyacht industry some might say there are occasional delusions of grandeur. In an arena where grandeur is definitely encouraged there doesn’t seem to be a problem with this.

Giovanni Copello, owner of Yacht Club Portofino is one such man with a grand dream, whose hard work and commitment has paid off, proving however ‘off the cuff’ his ideas were, he is definitely not delusional! Five years in the making, Giovanni’s dream was to turn Pitosforo, the oldest and he says, most beautiful club in Portofino, Italy in to a yacht club with a difference. Combining the usual members only VIP lounge areas for captains and owners to relax and do business in, with the services of a yacht agency. But wait, there is more…

Inside Yacht Club Portofino

Inside Yacht Club Portofino

Going against the grain Giovanni also wanted to make his precious club available to everyone, while still providing a haven for his luxury yacht clients.

Talking to Yachting Pages, Giovanni said, “My dream was to open the best yacht club in Italy and for everyone to be able to share in my dream. By day the club is open to yacht members only, giving captains, owners and crew a space to relax and enjoy themselves, we have inside and outside seating areas facing the harbour, a bar stocked with the finest drinks and the fastest WiFi in Portofino. Non-members can visit as long as they are invited, and pay a small fee of course. By night the club is open to all, adding to the evening offer in the area and making Portofino ‘the destination’ to go to outside Genoa itself.”

Luxury sailing yacht Ohana

Luxury sailing yacht Ohana

Giovanni went on to mention, “There is still an exclusive members only area to make sure my regular yachting visitors can enjoy the same benefits whatever time they visit, and I have a series of private rooms that captains and owners can book, but the rest of the club is open to everyone and has already become a ‘go to’ venue for celebrities, tourists and locals alike.”

It is important to Giovanni that other established businesses in the area support his venture and he has spent many hours talking to restaurants along the harbour. “I wanted to compliment other businesses and provide something new, not take custom from my friends”, the entrepreneurial Yachting expert explained. “Therefore I provide top quality light bites at my establishment and encourage customers to eat their main meal at one of the excellent local restaurants. This partnership with the local eateries is working very well.”

This success story doesn’t end here, and in honour of Giovanni’s unstoppable enthusiasm and entrepreneurial mind set, his first customer, the luxury sailing yacht Ohana provided him with an excellent opportunity. Not one to sit back and wait for his business to thrive, Giovanni spoke with the captain and owner of the 50 metre superyacht and quickly spotted a mutually beneficial idea.

Yacht Club Portofino Team Shirts

Yacht Club Portofino Team Shirts

Superyacht Ohana was going to be put out for charter and needed to make an impact on the luxury yacht scene; Yacht Club Portofino needed exposure on the same stage. A partnership was born and in just a couple of weeks S/Y Ohana will be entering the St. Barths regatta in the Caribbean, followed by the Loro Piana regatta three months later back in Italy.

The Ohana yacht is fully sponsored by Yacht Club Portofino and a number of co-sponsors, which Giovanni was quick to engage. Yachting Pages and the Superyacht Owners’ Guide join brands such as Kappa and Cabestan in supporting the enterprising partnership and whose logos can be found on the really rather fetching team shirts.

Portofino is already known as a luxury destination on the Italian Riviera, and with the exposure the superyacht regattas will certainly bring, it is building its reputation throughout the superyacht community. It seems one mans dream can ‘make’ a destination.

Dubois-designed Superyachts attending Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta 2014

March 21, 2014

A fleet of 20 sailing yachts, 5 of them Dubois designs, are currently being hosted by the fabulous Caribbean yacht charter destination – Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands for the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous 2014. The popular regatta has kicked off this week.

Superyacht Ohana by Fitzroy and Dubois - One of sailing yachts attending the 2014 Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta

Superyacht Ohana by Fitzroy and Dubois - One of sailing yachts attending the 2014 Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta

The regatta is the first outing for the new superyacht Ganesha – the 46m incarnation was launched from Vitters Shipyard in Holland earlier this year.

Also racing are the 50m sailing yacht Ohana and 37m charter yacht Moonbird – both built by Fitzroy Yachts in New Zealand.

Moonbird -  Cruising

Moonbird - Cruising

The majestic 30m Oyster superyacht Sarafin and the impressive 57.4m Royal Huisman superyacht Twizzle make up the remainder of the Dubois fleet.

Superyacht Twizzle launched by Royal Huisman in 2010

Superyacht Twizzle launched by Royal Huisman in 2010

The Dubois team are in attendance as well and wish all the yachts the best of luck!

Below is a selection of other outstanding charter yachts with design by Dubois.

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta: Day 1 – Top spots for superyachts Nilaya, Freya and Tempus Fugit

March 21, 2014

Day 1 of the currently running Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous was marked by a round-the island race for the 20 superyachts participating in the three day event. A fresh south easterly breeze of approximately 12 knots, some of the world’s finest sailing yachts crewed by the world’s top sailors, as well as a backdrop of sparkling turquoise seas dotted by the islands and islets of the archipelago of the British Virgin Islands combined to bring an amazing inaugural race. The fourth edition of the event, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Boat International Media, is in full swing at YCCS Virgin Gorda, and will last until March 22.

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Jeff BrownSYM

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Jeff Brown/SYM

The 34 metre Reichel-Pugh designed superyacht Nilaya claimed victory in Division A ahead of charter yacht Leopard by Robertissima and the 33.4 metre Vitters-built sailing yacht Inoui respectively.

Vasco Vascotto, tactician on board the super maxi yacht Leopard, chartered for this event by Roberto Tomasini Grinover who was unable to race today due to a fever, was pleased with the team’s first competitive outing on the record-breaking yacht: “We were curious to see how the super maxi would perform in this first race of the event and it was a great race in spectacular conditions. The course around the island was interesting in terms of strategy, which sails to use. We are satisfied with the second place we got today, we did good clean manoeuvres and we didn’t take any chances. We hope that tomorrow we will have the owner back on board and that we’ll improve wherever possible on today’s performance.”

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Jeff BrownSuperyacht Media

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Jeff Brown/Superyacht Media

All three of the top spots in the seven-boat Division B were taken by Nautor’s Swan yachts. The 27-metre luxury yacht Freya, launched in late 2012 and competing for the second time in this regatta, claimed victory in corrected time ahead of the 25-metre sloop, charter yacht Alpina. The Frers-designed superyacht Selene, winner of the Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean at YCCS Virgin Gorda in 2013, took third place.

The newly launched, J-Class inspired yacht Tempus Fugit – in her first competitive performance – took first place in Division C by just under two minutes in corrected time. The Dubois-designed yacht Sarafin and the 2013-launched charter yacht Moonbird took the respective runner-up slots.

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Image Jeff BrownSuperyacht Media

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Image Jeff Brown/Superyacht Media

Erbil Arkin, at the helm of superyacht Tempus Fugit, a Humphreys design with classic lines was happy with the yacht’s inaugural competitive performance: “We’re over the moon. I’m loving being here. I just crossed the ocean, my first ocean crossing, a bucket list thing, to come and race here so for me it’s absolutely great, it’s marvellous – I am where I want to be, let’s just say that! Loving it. Great boat and a great designer! The plan for tomorrow is just to keep it going as we have with the enthusiasm that we have.”

Following yesterday’s welcome cocktail the busy social programme which accompanies racing continues today with the exclusive Loro Piana Owners’ Dinner at the YCCS Clubhouse and the Crew Party sponsored by Marina Casa di Campo and BVI Tourism.

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta 2014 welcomes international fleet of superyachts

March 18, 2014

As a prominent fleet start to take up berthing at the five-star YCCS Marina, Boat International Media and Yacht Club Costa Smerelda are preparing to welcome owners, guests and race crew to this year’s Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous. The event, which will play a host to an amazing collection of superyachts, will be held off the fabulous island of Virgin Gorda this week, running from 19th – 22nd March. The beautiful coastline, distinguished by huge granite boulders, inshore coral reefs and an abundance of warm Caribbean trade winds are expected to once again provide excellent sailing conditions that year-on-year result in an exciting regatta.

Perini Navi mega yacht Seahawk to attend the Regatta

Perini Navi mega yacht Seahawk to attend the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta 2014

A diverse mix of performance yachts divided by class will compete relentlessly over three days to take the prestigious champions title. Event newcomers include the dynamic Italian race team Robertissima on charter yacht Leopard III, who are rapidly cementing their name on the international race circuit, as well as an exciting selection of new build yachts; award winning mega yacht Seahawk by Perini Navi, carbon composite superyacht Inouï built by Vitters, Humphrey’s built J-Class inspired yacht Tempus Fugit and powerfully rigged charter yacht Ganesha launched by Vitters in late 2013. Returning sailing yachts such as sailing yacht Aiyana, superyacht Freya and luxury yacht Sarafin will be aiming to capitalize upon their knowledge of the region’s tricky waters whilst a flotilla of motor yachts participating in the Rendezvous will cruise in company to follow all the action on the race course.

Ganesha - Sailing

Ganesha - Sailing

A flotilla of motor yachts will follow the fleet to catch all the action on the water
Participating sailing yachts may opt to participate in a practice race on the day of registration which could provide an early indication of front-runners for the regatta title. Throughout the practice day, owners and their guests are invited to relax and enjoy a welcome lunch at Oil Nut Bay’s exquisite beach club restaurant. In addition, the luxurious resort is extending their hospitality throughout the regatta, allowing event guests privileged use of their sumptuous facilities. Official festivities kick off on the evening of 19th March at a laid-back yet glamorous Welcome Cocktail on the YCCS lawn, whilst the full competitive race fleet will take to the start line on 20th March for day one of racing at 11:00 local time (GMT-4).

Luxury yacht Inoui - side view - Photo by Carlo Baroncini

Luxury yacht Inoui - side view - Photo by Carlo Baroncini

As well as first-class regatta racing, owners and charter guests along with their family, friends and crew, can expect an array of sensational social occasions and the highest level of exclusive hospitality services. Title Sponsor, Loro Piana, will host yacht owners for an exquisite dinner at the YCCS Clubhouse to round-up day one whilst day two will be topped off by an intimate cocktail reception for superyacht owners hosted by Pamela and David V. Johnson along with Embraer Executive Jets. This exclusive gathering will precede the ‘Emerald Elegance’ beach party to be attended by all guests at Oil Nut Bay.

Before departure, regatta competitors and guests will attend a relaxed price giving on the prestigious YCCS lawn to commend the team crowned ‘Spirit of the Regatta’ as well as the illustrious victors on the race course. Captains and crew will be invited to celebrate their regatta successes in laid-back Caribbean style at a dedicated crew party sponsored by BVI Tourism and Marina Casa de Campo.

Undoubtedly the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous will produce three captivating days of racing.

Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014 expected to host 70 or more yachts

March 14, 2014

Set to run from april 14 to 19, Les Voiles de St. Barth 2014 is expected to host 70 or more yachts. So far, sixty two racing yachts have confirmed plans to line the docks or otherwise slip into the warm embrace of Gustavia’s inner harbor and protected anchorage on the western side of St. Barthelemy island, where the Quai Général de Gaulle is the event’s headquarters and lively epicenter for shoreside socializing.

Les Voiles de St Barth 2014 Preview - Image credit to Christophe Jouany

Les Voiles de St Barth 2014 Preview - Image credit to Christophe Jouany

Seven or more “maxis” (to be further separated into Maxi-Racing and Maxi-Racing Cruising/CSA Rating) are sure to steal the show in terms of sheer elegance and their precisely calculated approaches to competition, while at least 39 “spinnaker” yachts (to be further sorted into Spinnaker 1 and 2/CSA Rating), three IRC 52s, five Non-Spinnaker yachts and eight Racing Multihulls will impress with a dazzling array of sailing talent aboard, ranging from home-grown Corinthians to worldly professionals.

“We’re delighted to be coming back to Les Voiles de St. Barth with Rambler 90 yacht (a Reichel-Pugh designed 90 footer),” said owner George David (Hartford, Connecticut), giving an appreciative nod to the event’s fifth anniversary. “It’s an exceptional regatta given its venue and organization, and this will be the fourth year for us (three in the 90’ Rambler and one in Rambler 100 superyacht). The winds begin to moderate seasonally in April, but we recall a good many days of well over 20 knots.”

Although he credits consistently good sailing with helping Rambler to win its class in three prior appearances, David expects tough competition in 2014 from at least two of the newer mini-maxis. “They’re quicker around shorter courses than we are, and they’re a decade newer in design and build.”

Les Voiles de Saint Barth - Photo credit to Christophe Jouany

Les Voiles de Saint Barth - Photo credit to Christophe Jouany

David’s reference is undoubtedly to Hap Fauth’s (Minneapolis, Minn.) Judel/Vrolik 72 luxury yacht Bella Mente and Alex Schaerer’s (Newport, R.I.) Mills 68 sailing yacht Caol Ila R. Both are new to the regatta.

“I’ve done a fair amount of racing at the St. Barths Bucket, about five or six, over the years, but I’ve never done this regatta,” said Fauth. “I love sailing around St. Barths. We keep (our cruising sailboat) Whisper there a lot, and the conditions are just fantastic. It will be fun to race a raceboat in this environment, which I know from a cruising standpoint.”

Just off the high of steering Bella Mente to win the mini maxi class at Key West Race Week (where Caol Ila R came second) and finish second overall and second in IRC Z class at the RORC 600, where Rambler finished sixth and fifth, respectively, Fauth added, “Rambler has got a lot of waterline, and they’re tough; they’re well sailed. We have a couple of tricks up our sleeves, and our team will get four days of practice in and then we’ll let ‘er go. It should be fun.”

Les Voiles de St Barth - Image credit to Christophe Jouany

Les Voiles de St Barth - Image credit to Christophe Jouany

Bella Mente finished fourth to Caol Ila R‘s fifth at last year’s Mini Maxi Worlds and, according to Fauth, is “tactically and strategically up to speed” on the coastal racing that is signature to Les Voiles de St. Barth. “If we sail well and don’t make any mistakes, the outcome will take care of itself, but you’ve got to practice before these regattas to get the crew back in sync.”

As many teams will do during the regatta, Bella Mente Racing will spread out over several villas, with one central gathering house designated for meetings and meals that are not enjoyed at the regatta or at local restaurants. “We are going to tie up next to Whisper in the anchorage because Bella Mente draws so much water,” said Fauth.

Along with the 72’ sailing yacht Aragon, the 77’ charter yacht Ocean Phoenix and the 112’ charter yacht Highland Breeze, Wendy Schmidt’s Swan 80 superyacht Selene will be another decidedly American entry to watch among the Maxis. Having last year won Maxi class overall, Schmidt will be traveling over 2300 miles for her repeat appearance, yet she will find St. Barth in many ways similar to her home island of Nantucket off the coast of Massachusetts.

Only eight square miles, the tiny collectivity of St. Barth–nestled among the leeward islands that comprise the French West Indies–is at once both sophisticated and quaint, busy and laid back, complicated and simple. In-season, it’s a luxurious destination for the rich and famous, with its cobblestone streets, gingerbread architecture, fine restaurants and fancy boutiques, while off-season, during Les Voiles de St. Barth, it’s the perfect playground for enjoying all of that plus the best regatta action in the Caribbean.

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014 to feature strong Doyle fleet

March 12, 2014

This year’s Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous will be attended by six luxury vessels powered by Doyle, with plenty of them sporting brand new sails. The Doyle-powered entries will comprise sailing yacht Blues, charter yacht Leopard 3, luxury charter yacht Moonbird, superyacht Ohana, Sarafin, as well as Tempus Fugit.

Doyle-powered luxury charter yacht Leopard 3

Doyle-powered luxury charter yacht Leopard 3 - Image courtesy of Doyle Sails NZ

Matt Bridge and Justin Ferris from the Doyle NZ loft will both be in the regatta along with other members of the international Doyle team. Following a strong win from the Doyle-powered charter yacht Salperton in 2013, all these yachts will be looking to follow in her footsteps and take the title.

Soon after the Loro Piana regatta, Ohana, Moonbird and Sarafin will join Doyle yachts including sailing yacht Blue Too and superyacht State of Grace at the St Barths Bucket (28 – 30 March).