With just under a week to go before the official closing date for entries in the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous, the provisional registration list reveals an impressive fleet and an interesting mix of seasoned and first-time participants.
Over 30 yachts are expected to attend the annual event taking place from 9th to 12th March in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, which marks the start of the 2016 sporting season for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.
More than 20 sailing superyachts have registered to compete over three days on the spectacular coastal courses offered by the Caribbean archipelago known as "nature's little secret". With steady trade winds of around 18-20 knots and racing regulated by the OrcSy superyacht handicapping rule, the regatta is renowned as much for the high levels of competition among participants vying for the Loro Piana Prize: Boat International Media Trophy, as for its sumptuous location and exclusive social events.
Veteran competitors eager to build on past successes will be the 34-metre Nilaya, winner of the 2014 edition, and the Perini Navi fast sloop P2, division winner in 2015. The 46-metre Dubois-designed Ganesha, two-time winner of the Porto Cervo edition of the event, will be looking to export her winning ways to Caribbean waters, while the 33-metre Inoui, built by the Vitters shipyard, will be striving to improve on last year's second-in-division ranking. Hetairos, at 66.7 metres in length the largest yacht in the fleet, is another competitor returning to the waters off Virgin Gorda after placing fourth in her division in 2014.
Yachts new to the event this year and sure to make a splash include the 45-metre Perini Navi sloop Clan VIII, the Swan 90 Odin as well as the newly launched 46-metre Unfurled, a performance sloop from the Vitters shipyard christened in winter 2015 and making her regatta debut at the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous. Another winter 2015 launch making her first regatta appearance will be the 38.8 metre Atalante from Claasen.
The motoryacht Rendezvous is sponsored by Westport this year and will feature a selection of luxury yachts cruising in company each day to watch racing and sample the beautiful coves and opulent hideaways of the British Virgin Islands.
All participating owners and guests will enjoy a programme of elegant social happenings with welcome cocktails, the exclusive Loro Piana Owners' Dinner and the final prize giving held at the YCCS Clubhouse overlooking the North Sound, while a beach party will take place at the nearby Oil Nut Bay resort.