Highland Fling wins maxi prize
The 39m Ganesha, designed by Dubois and built by Fitzroy Yachts, took first place in the Cruising Division to claim overall victory in the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2012. Second place went to the 29m Scorpione dei Mari designed by Tony Castro and built by Jongert while the 45m Salperton, another Dubois/Fitzroy creation, took third place.
The top spot in the Performance Division went to the Wally 80 Highland Fling, designed by Reichel-Pugh and built by Goetz, ahead of the Brian Benjamin's 25m Aegir and Pier Luigi Loro Piana's 25.4m My Song, designed by Reichel-Pugh and Nauta Yachts and built by Cookson.
The YCCS Race Committee put all their local knowledge to good use as they waited until the west wind, gusting at up to 38 knots, settled to approximately 20 knots before setting an 18-mile course which saw both divisions head south of Porto Cervo, leave the islands of Mortorio and Soffi to starboard and return to the finish line via the Gulf of Pevero. The fleet of sailing giants was pushed to the limit as the 18-20 knots registered on the starting line increased to hit 24 and 25 knots on the home stretch.
In the Performance Division Highland Fling finished a little over four minutes clear of My Song on corrected time although Aegir crossed the finish line just 16 seconds behind her in real time. My Song - with tactician Tommaso Chieffi - and Aegir, which have similar speeds and equal ratings, marked each other from start to finish in what proved to be a spectacular duel which the Italian boat clenched in the end. Third place in today's race was still enough to confirm Aegir, with Olympic medalist Steve Benjamin calling tactics, as first runner up in the overall classification for the division.
Competition was just as fierce in the 12-boat Cruising Division, where Ganesha stormed around the course to claim a bullet which assured her overall victory. Salperton, with double Olympic gold medal winner Shirley Robertson at the helm and America's Cup veteran Cameron Appleton calling tactics, took second place which improved her position from yesterday's fifth place overall to third in the final line-up. Third place in today's race went to the Southern Wind 100DS L'Ondine.
During the final prizegiving, in the presence of YCCS President His Highness the Aga Khan, Ganesha was also awarded prizes for the top placed Fitzroy Yacht and the top-placed YCCS boat while Highland Fling, with tactician Peter Holmberg, scooped the International Maxi Association award. The Southern Wind 100RS Cape Arrow took the prize for the top SWS yacht ahead of Mrs Seven and KibokoDos. Brian Benjamin's Aegir took the prize for the best overall performance among the cruiser/racers in the Performance category.
"Each edition of this event is exceptional and brings the cream of international superyachts to Porto Cervo." commented Riccardo Bonadeo, Commodore of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. "The range of wind and sea conditions over the course of the week provided stunning racing and thanks to the collaboration with Boat International Media and the support of our title sponsor Loro Piana, everyone concerned had a fantastic week both at sea and ashore."
Pier Luigi Loro Piana, CEO of the family company commented on the event: "It has been a great week, together with all the other participants I really enjoyed it. We had a great time thanks to the organizers the YCCS and BIM. But I would especially like to thank the participants and everyone who brings their boats to race with us, the boats, the owners and the crews are what make this regatta so exciting and unique."
The YCCS Race Calendar now moves to the Audi Sardinia Cup over 11-17 June. Six teams, each composed of a TP52 and a Soto 40, will do battle on the waters of the Costa Smeralda over five days.