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Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta Finishes on Virgin Gorda

The Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta and Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup came to a close at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) on Virgin Gorda on December 4th.

Eight superyachts and maxi yachts participated in the event, which started on November 21st from Tenerife in theCanary Islands. It was the first time the event finished in the British Virgin Islands.

The 65ft Karuba 5 took the victory on corrected time ahead of the 216ft Hetairos, while Tobias Koenig’s Swan 82 Grey Goose took third place overall.

Hetairos launched in July 2011 claimed line honors, after completing the 3,069-mile crossing in eight days, ten hours, 58 minutes and 30 seconds at an average speed of about 15 knots.

The first boats started to arrive at the YCCS two to three days before the award ceremony. Landscaping and minor construction was still under way at the yacht club hours before the award ceremony started. Sailors dressed in uniform along with organizers and invited guests sipped champagne on the freshly laid green sod of the event lawn in front of the yacht club.

A ‘special’ award was given to Hetairos as the first International Maxi Association member to cross the finish line and to Andrea Recordati’s Wally 101 Indio as the first YCCS member to finish. Peter Harrison’s Sojana also received a special award for having participated in all four transatlantic races since 2007.

After the award ceremony, guests were treated to dinner poolside at the yacht club. However, most of the club was closed with some of the rooms being used for storage, while other areas were off limits due to ongoing construction.

Premier Orlando Smith praised the event’s success.

“The BVI has always been known as a good sailing destination due to the topography of the islands and it is called the sailing capital of the world,” Dr. Smith said. “But with the addition of the yacht club here and the finish of the Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta and Maxi Yacht Cup with these beautiful boats in the BVI for the first time, the reputation of sailing in the islands has been taken to another level altogether.”

Organizers hope the YCCS in the BVI will mirror the Porto Cervo yacht club, which hosts several maxi yacht regattas throughout the year. An official inauguration for the Virgin Gorda yacht club is planned for January 3rd.

“I am delighted to see this beautiful fleet of sailing giants lined up at YCCS Marina and their owners and crews enjoying a ‘sneak preview’ of our new clubhouse, which will be officially inaugurated in January,” said YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo during the final ceremony.

The next YCCS event on Virgin Gorda is the Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous on March 14th -17th.

Todd VanSickle is a journalist living and working in the Virgin Islands.

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