Highland Fling dominates
Race Day Two in the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta brought more picture-postcard sunshine and scenery and saw the 25m Highland Fling continue to dominate the Performance division ahead of Aegir and My Song. In the Cruising division meanwhile, today's lighter breeze favoured many of the smaller boats in the 12-strong group and made for a very different classification compared to Day One. The 29m Scorpione dei Mari now sits at the top of the overall classification having pushed the 38.8m Ganesha back to second place with KibokoDos in third.
Diverse wind conditions in the channels between the Sardinian coast and the Islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago created a few challenges for the YCCS Race Committee which assigned a 30-mile course to the Performance yachts taking them from the start off Porto Cervo upwind through Bomb Alley where the northwesterly wind reached 16 to 18 knots. After the Performance start, however, a front of southeasterly Sirocco breeze filled in just below Porto Cervo and after a short wait the Cruising division were sent south to round the islands of Mortorio and Soffi to starboard before setting their spinnakers for the homeward stretch and the finish line off the Gulf of Pevero, having covered a total of 18 miles.
Highland Fling once again led the Performance yachts from the off and the 25.4m My Song was in hot pursuit on the first beat until a guest on board suffered an injury during a gennaker change and she was forced to retire. Aegir took second place with the Swan Alpina in third.
Today's race saw two of the five competing Southern Wind yachts heading up the Cruising division. KibokoDos, which boasts several America's Cup sailors on board, took the lead shortly after rounding Soffi, closely followed by Mrs Seven, with tactician Andrea Casale, with the Jongert-built Scorpione dei Mari in third place rounding off the tight group sailing well clear of the remainder of the fleet. All three held their positions to the finish with a second consecutive third sufficing to take Scorpione to the top of the overall standings.
"Starting second to last in the fleet can be a bit discouraging," commented Juan Ignacio Entrecanales, owner of KibokoDos. "But when you turn around to look behind you as you get near to the finish and see all of those spinnakers in the distance it's a wonderful feeling. These are the perfect wind conditions for us. We get good acceleration after we tack and held an angle of 21-22° at about 10 knots. By the time we got to Soffi we had worked our way through most of the fleet and had just a few yachts in front of us. On our last gybe we passed Mrs Seven and Ganesha by dropping our spinnaker and staying inside. Once we were past them we hoisted the spi again and it was a cruise to the finish".
Once back ashore, crews gathered for after-race drinks while owners prepared for the gala dinner offered by title sponsor Loro Piana at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's Clubhouse. Tomorrow evening a Pizza Party for all participants will take place in Piazza Azzurra.
Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, Thursday 7 June for the Performance division only while the Cruising yachts will enjoy a lay-day. Sirocco winds of approximately 16 knots are forecast.