Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta - Fleet ready for action

YCCS aerial view
Final preparations are taking place for the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2012. A fleet of sixteen superyachts are lined up along the quays of the marina, top yachtsmen from around the world are completing registration procedures and the last technical checks and measurements are being carried out.

Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Tuesday 5th June, at 12 midday and the forecast of sunshine and strong breezes, combined with a regatta course winding through the granite islands of the La Maddalena archipelago, are set to make for a stunning week of superyacht racing. Organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with Boat International Media, the regatta is taking place from 4th to 9th June in Porto Cervo, Sardinia.

The fleet represents the state-of-the art in sailing yacht design and construction and ranges in size from the 24-metre sloop Ivanka to the 57.5-metre ketch Twizzle. Both boats were launched in 2010 and while Ivanka gets by with a crew of 12 Twizzle, the largest of the fleet, has a team of over 30 aboard.

The 45-metre Dubois designed Salperton is one of three yachts built by the New Zealand shipyard Fitzroy vying for the Fitzroy Cup - a competition within the competition - while five yachts from South African yard Southern Wind will be racing for their biennial trophy as well as for the Loro Piana prize. Among the Southern Wind boats to watch are KibokoDos with Jan Dekker (formerly with Alinghi) on board and Mrs Seven with former J24 World Champion Andrea Casale at the helm.

Among the renowned sailors gathered in Porto Cervo for the event are America's Cup Veterans Peter Holmberg (USVI) aboard last year's overall winner Highland Fling, Tommaso Chieffi (ITA) aboard Pier Luigi Loro Piana's My Song and Cameron Appleton (NZL) on Salperton alongside double Olympic gold medalist Shirley Roberston (GBR).

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2012 - Registration day
Mark Sims

Principal Race Officer Peter Craig, heading up the YCCS Race Committee, is looking forward to an exciting week's racing: 'Looking at the big picture the forecast is positive and ranges from eight to 28 knots over the week. The first day may pose the biggest challenge with winds at the upper range of what is suitable for the cruising superyachts. As with any forecast, however, we'll have to wait and see, but the organizer's decision to add a fifth day of racing means we are confident we will be able to get in some great competition.'

Competition and entertainment will draw to a close on Saturday 9th June while on Sunday 10th June the superyachts will make way for the formula one vessels of the TP52 and Soto 40 fleets ready to do battle in the Audi Sardinia Cup, organized by the YCCS from 11th to 17th June.

Racing for the Performance and Cruising divisions is scheduled to start tomorrow with Mistral winds of approximately 20 knots predicted.

YCCS website
Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta website