The last day of the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands ended with lighter winds but decisive racing. Thirteen sailing yachts, 96’ – 179’ in length, competed in the races March 15-17 collaboratively organized by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Boat International Media. The Wally 101, Indio, took the title from Hanuman after winning the final race on corrected time. Hanuman, a stunning J Class 138’ Royal Huisman, and winner of last year’s inaugural event, was second overall, and event newcomer, the Perini Navi built Philippe Briand designed 125’ sloop, P2 was third.
Andrea Recordati owner of Indio dedicated the Caribbean Superyacht Regatta trophy to his crew and to Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo who was unable to attend this year’s event. “The last windward leg we had perfect shifts which is where where we won the race,” Mr Recordati said of his win. ”It was a lot of fun and even if we had not won, it was a fantastic regatta. I’m very happy, and very happy for all the crew, and we will definitely be back next year to defend our title.”
Indio beat Hanuman by one point, having racked up two wins and a second place, while Hanuman had one win and two second places in three race days. Two points separated P2, Sojana 115′ Farr Yacht Design and 115′ Firefly Claasen Shipyards, who finished third, fourth and fifth with 11, 12 and 13 points respectively.
The race committee threw a custom course into the mix on the final day which saw the fleet starting off Necker Island, and then heading upwind in a short but tactical beat to a mark north of Necker. After rounding this windward mark there was a long spinnaker reach west to a spreader mark, and then another reach to the Dog islands before a final beat to the finish south-east of Seal Dogs.
The racing conditions throughout the event were mainly perfect with clear blue skies, moderate seas and winds 10-15 knots. With safety a priority, the YCCS Race Committee was able to set courses that allowed all boats to sail points that were most advantageous to their design.
Commenting on the event, Marc Fitzgerald, skipper of Sojana, said: “We were fourth again but beat P2 today [overall], so that was good. We would definitely come back. This regatta has a location with incredible beauty, exceptional hospitality and very professional race management.”
At the prize giving, the Chairman of the YCCS Board of Directors, Princess Zahra Aga Khan, welcomed and thanked everyone for being part of the event.
Dr Kedrick Pickering, Deputy Premier of the British Virgin Islands welcomed participants to the BVI. “To show our gratitude for you coming, the government of this country is going to endeavour to make sure that we make things much better and much smoother for you to be able to enjoy your sailing and to share in these beautiful waters and to share this lovely part of the world that we call the British Virgin Islands,” said Dr Pickering.
Dr Pier Luigi Loro Piana, Managing Director of Loro Piana, shared remarks on the spirit of the event: “Everyone who participates in the regatta has the right spirit of competition and fun. For the future I hope that this regatta will continue with even more boats enrolled.”
First time event competitor Robert Eichler’s Altair recieved the Spirit of the Regatta award presented for the sportsmanship and spirit of camaraderie displayed throughout the event. Andrea Recordati with Indio received the special YCCS Member’s award.
This was the first international event to be hosted at the YCCS, Virgin Gorda Clubhouse which celebrated its official opening on January 3 this year. The elegant venue was the setting for the exclusive owner’s dinner hosted by Loro Piana which featured special guest performances by legendary singer Amy Stewart and world-famous musicians, the flautist Andrea Griminelli and classic pianist, Stefano Nanni.