Last week in the fantastic Virgin Gorda yacht charter location was marked by the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous 2015, which provided three days of adrenaline charged competition. An amazing fleet of superyachts gathered at the five-star YCCS Marina, with bright sun and brisk winds creating some white-knuckle racing around the fabulous islands.
With a new time-on-distance pursuit race format – where the first yacht over the line is the winner – and a new superyacht rating rule in the form of the Offshore Racing Congress’s ORCsy system, the 2015 edition of the regatta promised great action on the water. From the very first race, it was clear that the rating system was just right, and with seconds separating the top finishers in both classes the regatta was shaping up to be a classic.
In Class A it was the 33 metre Vitters yacht Inoui that stole the early march, winning a hard-fought victory on Day One and scoring a second place on Day Two behind the 38 metre Briand-designed Perini charter yacht P2. On Day Three, however, it was P2 who came through to score the tightest win of the regatta just seconds ahead of Southern Wind superyacht Cape Arrow and the Swan 90 sailing yacht Freya. With Inoui managing only fourth on the last day, P2 swept not only to Class A victory but also took the Boat International Media Trophy for best score line overall. Gerhard Andlinger (the Owner of P2) declared his victory on Oil Nut Bay Race Day as “the most exciting win of any we’ve ever had”.
In Class B, the big story was the battle between a regatta veteran – the 55 metre ketch Marie – and a regatta newcomer in the form of Royal Huisman’s recently launched 47 metre sloop Wisp. Once again the rating system proved perfectly judged, as the two yachts fought nip and tuck all the way round the racecourse. With Marie gaining the upper hand on two out of three of the races, it was the big ketch that finally landed the overall Class B win, with Wisp nipping at her heels in second. The giant Perini charter yacht Seahawk – at nearly 59 metres, the largest yacht taking part – scored two bullets in the strong wind conditions of Days Two and Three, but with a DNF on the first day due to gear failure, she was unable to capitalise on her new-found form.
With photo finishes in all three races, the real winner of the week was undoubtedly the ORCsy rating rule, which is based on a Velocity Prediction Program model with data supplied by both the yachts’ designers and the captains. With a stated aim to be totally transparent, the system won the hearts of the owners and their crews – but then, who could argue with such dramatic racing on the water?
As is customary at Loro Piana Regattas, superyacht owners and their guests enjoyed a sparkling social programme which commenced with a relaxed Welcome Cocktail on the YCCS Clubhouse Lawn. The following day, the guests reconvened for an exquisite dinner hosted by Loro Piana with entertainment provided from the great lyric soprano Maria Luigia Borsi accompanied on the piano by Maestro Roberto Barrali. Meanwhile, the crew kicked back at a well-earned beach party on Prickly Pear Island. On Friday night, Oil Nut Bay hosted the Hollywood Glamour Beach Party with guests dancing the night away in the stunning surroundings. The beach club generously offered all attendees the opportunity to enjoy Oil Nut Bay’s facilities throughout the regatta.
Boat International Media and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Virgin Gorda, would like to thank their sponsors for helping to make the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous a great success.
Special thanks go to Title Sponsor; Loro Piana, Gold Sponsors; Embraer Executive Jets and Oil Nut Bay, Event Associates; BVI Tourism and Willis. We are delighted to announce dates for the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous for the next two years: 9-12 March 2016 and 8-11 March 2017.