Porto Cervo, Italy. 3 June 2015. Light air on the opening race day of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta provided for some interesting racing for the superyachts gathered in Porto Cervo for the event organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Boat International Media. At the conclusion of a day which saw crews intent on exploiting every possible tactical advantage, victory went to Ganesha, My Song and Grande Orazio in their respective divisions. With three more races scheduled before the final prize giving on Saturday 6th June however, the field remains wide open at this point.
The course selected by the YCCS Race Committee sent the yachts north through the canal between the coast and the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago, making the most of the breeze channelled there - which reached points of 14 knots - to complete races of 15, 20 and 18 nautical miles for classes A, B and C respectively.
Right behind the 46-metre sloop Ganesha on the leaderboard of Class A is Perini Navi's 45-metre Clan VIII while the Wally 148 Saudade sits in third.
In Class B the battle was on today between Pier Luigi Loro Piana's My Song and WinWin, a first-time participant from Baltic Yachts with South African J22 World Champion Mark Sadler calling tactics. In the final strait WinWin came perilously close to catching My Song, but the all-Italian crew on the title sponsor's boat won out in the end to cross the finish line first. The 33-metre Inoui took third place.
Pier Luigi Loro Piana, owner of My Song: "It was a stressful day but that's why we go racing - for the emotions! WinWin was catching us towards the end, so it's nice that the ORCSy system we are using is working really well - WinWin is very new and My Song is not so new but we were racing closely. Thinking that you have to escape from someone who is faster than you is very exciting!"
Class C saw another Italian boat triumph as Massimiliano Florio's Grande Orazio - division winner in last year's Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta - claimed first place ahead of Nahita, a Farr-designed Wally boasting Croatian 470 World Champion Sime Fantela as navigator and Andy Green on tactics. The 31-metre Gaia took third place.
Sime Fantela, tactician on Nahita: "It was definitely challenging - two winds fighting and with an inversion inside. There were plenty of opportunities to win or lose the race, and we managed to sail pretty well with mostly good decisions so we finished second in Class C which is great - this is our second regatta ever for this team so it's quite big for us!"
After racing crews gathered in the Piazza Azzurra for post-race refreshments while owners will enjoy a gala dinner at the YCCS this evening with entertainment by Australian singing star Delta Goodrem.
Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, Thursday 4th June, at 12 midday. Further light breezes are forecast.
Follow the regatta via Live Tracking from the YCCS homepage. News and images will be posted on the YCCS Twitter account (#LoroPianaSYR).
The full entry list and complete event schedule are available on www.yccs.com and www.loropianasuperyachtregatta.com.