Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta Day 2: Big breeze allows for a day of recovery
10 June 2010
After a breezy opening day that saw several boats returning to the marina off the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with breakage, so strong winds continued to blow overnight and through into this morning when, after a 90 minute delay, Principle Race Office Peter Craig cancelled day two of racing at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta.
“I’m happy to say this was one of the easier decisions,” said Craig over a background din of flags cracking and wind whistling through rigging. “All forecasts called for 25-30 knots of breeze and that is on the deck and not up at mast height level. Even when we had the lull here in Porto Cervo at 1000 they were reporting 22-24 knots down in Olbia and the breeze has come back with a vengeance. We had a service boat out on station two miles out from the harbour which last reported 24-26 knots of breeze building. So all five forecast sources we use called for more breeze than there was in the morning. Walking the dock everyone we spoke to agreed with our decision.”
America’s Cup helmsman Peter Holmberg, who is helmsman and coach on board the 38m P2 endorsed the Race Committee’s call. “It is definitely the smart thing to do. These are big, big boats with big, big loads and a lot of it is new territory for the engineering. With a lot of owners and guests on board it really isn’t prudent. I’d say 25 knots would be the top – otherwise the loads are just getting scary.”
P2 is Perini Navi’s first cruiser racer and designed by Philippe Briand is the first boat they have built not conceived by their in-house team. The crew are still discovering teething problems, but according to Peter Holmberg they have catered for every eventuality. “We have a manual for every possible break down. It doesn’t always work, but it did yesterday.”
Leader in the cruising division remains the 38.8m long Ganesha. This is one of three yachts racing here in Porto Cervo built by New Zealand’s Fitzroy Yachts, Gold sponsors of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta and backers of today’s sadly cancelled racing.
“It is a good event and Boat International do a good job organising it and it is a fantastic place to race,” says Fitzroy Yachts’ Managing Director Rodney Martin. “The good thing having it at a club like this is that they make the right calls.
“Ganesha won yesterday and Moonbird came in sixth. I was sailing on Salperton and we had a guy that got injured and we had to come back in. It is a good reminder the power that is involved with these boats and the damage that can be done.”
As to why Ganesha is winning, Martin attributes it - obviously - to her builder, but also to the crew who have competed at several superyacht regattas now and are a past winner of the St Barts Bucket. “Their owner is really competitive and he understands sailing and racing. They are a very professional crew and they do a great job running the boat.”
A day of racing lost did have its benefits. The Loro Piana Owners breakfast hosted by Pier Luigi Loro Piana was a huge success and continued into late morning as the postponement flag allowed for extra cappuccinos and chat. Tonight there is the much anticipated Owners and Guests Beach Party at the Hotel Romazzino, for which additional guests and superyacht owners have flown in especially.
For tomorrow the forecast is looking more promising for racing to take place with the latest forecast showing the wind set to have dropped to 10-15 knots. There will be a residual seaway certainly, but with a fleet where the smallest boat is 24m long, this shouldn’t represent much of a problem.
For further information on the regatta visit loropianasuperyachtregatta.com or contact:
YCCS Press Office
Tel: + 39 0789 902 200
Fax: +39 0789 91213
Alice C. I'Anson Widdows
Boat International Media
Tel: +44 (0) 7591 006 250
Boat International Media
Tel: +44 (0) 7971 438 671