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Costa Smeralda Superyacht Regatta in the Shadow of the ARC

While the 217-boat fleet taking part in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) was the Canary Islands show-stopper, another Atlantic regatta got underway from Santa Cruz de Tenerife the following day, November 21st.

As the name suggests, yachts taking part in the Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta – Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup are rather different to most of the boats taking part in the ARC.

Organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) and the International Maxi Association, and bound for the new YCCS Caribbean headquarters in Virgin Gorda, the fleet included some of the fastest and most luxurious yachts around.

Although eyes were on the two new-builds, the 66-meter Hetairos – the largest boat in the fleet – and the 50-meter Zefira, it was nice to see veteran yachtsman Sir Peter Harrison’s Farr 115 Sojana heading out on yet another Atlantic adventure.

Also taking part were two Wally yachts, Indio and Kenora; the Swan 80 Emm and the Swan 82 Grey Goose, and the X-Yacht Karuba 5.

The weather would determine crossing times for both the ARC and the Superyacht Regatta. The last few years have seen fairly light trade winds during late November and December. However, given the right conditions, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda said one of the maxis could make the crossing in eight days.

Weather routing would be crucial with both west-bound fleets searching for wind while comparing the shorter rhumb line course with the longer more southerly trade wind route.

Having dealt with large areas of calms on the southern route in 2010, this year forecasters said that winds looked promising although the long range forecast predicted lighter winds during the final approach to the Caribbean.

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