Twenty-eight of the largest and most spectacular sailing superyachts in existence are ready and waiting in Porto Cervo for the start of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta. Taking place in Sardinia from 8 to 12 June 2010, the regatta is set for a thrilling start, with moderate to strong breezes predicted for the first day. The event, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Boat International Media, is in its third edition and has attracted a stunning fleet of sailing yachts ranging in length from 24 to 45 metres.
The event officially got underway this morning with a day dedicated to registrations, inspections and informal training sessions for the participating crews. Racing is scheduled to begin tomorrow at 12 midday with the fleet, divided into Cruising and Performance divisions, following coastal courses along the rocky coastline of the Costa Smeralda and through La Maddalena archipelago where islands and rocks will act as natural buoys and marks. The Race Committee will be able to choose daily from a variety of courses based on the wind and sea conditions on what is recognized as one of the world’s most challenging and visually striking regatta courses.
Dotted around the fleet are a host of top racing stars, Olympic medallists, America’s Cup skippers and round-the-world race veterans such as Peter Holmberg, Karol Jablonski, Tommaso Chieffi and Neal MacDonald. Daryl Wislang, the bowman on Highland Fling, has just completed a high-speed transatlantic crossing aboard Leopard 3 and made it to Porto Cervo in the nick of time, as Highland Fling crew boss George Skuodas explained. “Daryl got off the boat in Falmouth, flew straight up to Gatwick Airport and flew out here to join us last night, still wearing the clothes he’d been in across the Atlantic. So the first thing he did was have a shower! These are nice boats to sail, especially in this environment. Beautiful boats in beautiful surroundings”, Skuodas continued.
A newcomer to the event this year is Perini Navi’s 38 metre racing sloop P2, helmed by America’s Cup winner Peter Holmberg; she will be making her regatta debut in the Mediterranean at the superyacht event. She will be joined by the Royal Huisman built Gliss, winner of the 2009 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta and Saudade – the largest yacht in the fleet measuring 45.2 metres (147 feet).
Skippers and crews will be attending a technical briefing in the YCCS Clubhouse this evening followed by a Welcome Cocktail on the Club’s poolside terrace. Alongside spectacular racing a host of social events are also planned for the week, including a Beach Party for owners and guests at the Hotel Romazzino, a gala dinner at the YCCS and a crew party organized by Sardinia Yacht Services in the picturesque village of San Pantaleo. The Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta will conclude on Saturday 12 June with a prize giving ceremony in which the Loro Piana Silver Jubilee Cup by Boat International will be awarded to the best classified yacht overall.
The superyacht fleet will be followed by a host of official support vessels including the 39 metre Feadship motor yacht GO.
The forecast for tomorrow gives south-easterly winds of 16 to 18 knots accompanied by sunshine and blue skies.