The Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2012 got off to a roaring start today as the fleet appeared to fly around the islands of the the La Maddalena archipelago accompanied by 20 knots and more of westerly wind, blue skies and blazing sunshine. It was Sir Irvine Laidlaw's 25-metre Highland fling that dominated in the Performance class, leading from the off and fairly powering around the course well clear of the rest of the fleet while in the 12-strong Cruising division, the 38.8 metre Ganesha took the top spot today. The event, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with Boat International Media, sees 16 superyachts competing in Porto Cervo through 9th June.
After a long wait for the infamous Sardinian Mistral which was gusting along the north-eastern coast of Sardinia at up to 35 knots this morning, the YCCS Committee's faith in lighter afternoon breezes proved to be well founded and racing got underway at 15.30. Both divisions followed a course which saw them fly off the blocks headed for Mortorio Island before turning north to round Monaci Island and doubling back to the finish just off Porto Cervo. While the Performance yachts raced for 27 nautical miles, the Cruising yachts covered 23.
Hot on the heels of Highland Fling was Pier Luigi Loro Piana's My Song while the 25-metre Aegir took third place. Among the cruisers Ganesha, with veteran sailor Jens Christensen calling tactics, was followed in second place by another Dubois-designed and Fitzroy-built yacht in the form of the 37-metre Moonbird with Britain's Andy Green at the helm. Third place went to the 29-metre Scorpione dei Mari, participating in their fourth consecutive edition of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta. The top-placed Southern Wind yacht was the Farr-designed 30.2-metre Cape Arrow.
"It was a good day and we were very pleased that the organizers decided to wait for the breeze to calm and allowed us to get a good race in." confirmed Andy Green. "The conditions were nice, there was a lot of reaching but they were conditions that suited Moonbird. We always enjoy great racing with Ganesha, they won today and we hope to return the favour tomorrow!"
As the sailing giants returned to their moorings on the quays below the YCCS Clubhouse, owners and crews gathered in Piazza Azzurra to relax and trade stories at the after race refreshments.
Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, Wednesday 6th June with south-south easterly breezes of approximately 10 knots predicted.
Follow the races online with our live tracking system on www.yccs.com or via the YCCS twitter feed (YccsPortoCervo).