Nilaya Wins Second Consecutive Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta

Nilaya won all three races in Class A

Nilaya, the dominating Reichel/Pugh design, was presented the Boat International Media Trophy for overall victory at the seventh Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous sailed March 10 – 13.

It is the second consecutive year and third time in the past four years that the 111-footer has won the trophy at the annual regatta presented by Italian luxury brand Loro Piana and co-organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Boat International Media. Built by Baltic Yachts, Nilaya won all three races in Class A by an average of more than six minutes.

“It comes down to good management and, of course, a great owner,” said tactician Bouwe Bekking. “Without a great owner you can’t put a good team together and he puts a lot of emphasis on good team work. It’s a combination of a couple of pros, a lot of friends, and a lot of history; we’ve been sailing together for nearly seven years now.”

Nilaya also won the Loro Piana Cup for winning Class A; as did the 38m P2 in Class B, the Swan 90 Freya in Class C and the 60m Perseus³ in Class D.

The magnificent Swan 90 Freya
The magnificent Swan 90 Freya

With brisk winds of 13 to 20 knots propelling the 17 yachts around the 23 nautical mile course set about the Sir Francis Drake Channel, P2 won its final race showdown with Ganesha to capture Class B.

The two were tied on points heading into the finale, but the P2 crew signaled their intention to take no prisoners early when they fired their cannon – a 39-inch long, two-inch bore piece of ordinance that was captured from the French frigate Le Medee in 1801 – upon leaving the YCCS dock. When they fired it again after finishing, everyone in earshot knew the job had been done.

“The cannon has become our signature move,” said Tony Rey, the tactician. “The poor fellow who has to fire the cannon has the hardest job because you don’t want to misfire. But we had a great race with Ganesha, it seems it always comes down between us. Matt Humphries and the guys on Ganesha are incredible competitors. We like to think we’re getting better and better at sailing P2. We all take pride in getting on the podium here. It’s a big deal.”

Matt Humphries’ Ganesha
Matt Humphries’ Ganesha

Don MacPherson’s Freya also captured its second consecutive class victory and third in the last four years, winning all three races in Class C by an average of more than five minutes.

“It was a fantastic week, we did well because we’re a crew,” said MacPherson. “It was really good racing and we made very few mistakes.”

For MacPherson and crew it was their fifth consecutive victory in the past year. They started winning at last year’s Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta, continued at the St. Barth’s Bucket, and then won the Rolex Swan Cup last September in Sardinia and finally the Rolex Swan Cup sailed March 3rd in Virgin Gorda.

In Class D the 60m Perseus³ completed its first class victory with a come-from-behind after suffering a problem with its roller furling system that prevented the crew from using the large headsail. However, the crew was able to get the issue sorted out in time to score a 45-second win over Action, the new 123-footer from Dykstra Naval Architects and built by Royal Huisman.

At the final awards Action, helmed by Olympic medalist Shirley Robertson with Volvo Ocean Race winner Ian Walker calling tactics, was presented the British Virgin Islands Trophy for best newcomer to the event.

“The Loro Piana Superyacht regattas represent one of the highlights on both sides of the Atlantic and these last four days have been incredible,” said YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo. “Here we have such a range of boats, from the smallest at 23 meters to the largest at 60 meters. We also have classic designs such as Wild Horses, to new boats, such as the Swan 115 Shamanna. I want to thank our title sponsor Loro Piana for supporting us and the owners who make all of this possible. I look forward to seeing you in June in Porto Cervo and in 2018 back here in Virgin Gorda.”

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