The Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) gets underway in just three weeks time. Set to welcome a fleet of 11 sailing superyachts this year with some changes to the regatta’s usual line-up, I caught up with the Club’s Sports Director, Edoardo Recchi, to find out more about one of the racing calendar’s most prestigious events.
“The 2018 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta is purely for superyachts. In the past different classes have joined us, such as the Wally fleet, the Southern Wind yachts and some smaller vessels were also allowed to race. Now, we return to the original concept.” Edoardo Recchi
The racing fleet sees an exciting mix of carbon fibre, performance orientated superyachts such as 39.7m MY SONG (built by Baltic Yachts and designed by Nauta/Reichel Pugh) alongside the more typical aluminum-hulled cruising superyachts such as 49.8m OHANA (built by Fitzroy Yachts and designed by Dubois), which is the largest of the entrants.
It’s easy to see what makes this regatta, widely regarded as the opener to the Med sailing season, such a popular choice. The Costa Smeralda area of Sardinia offers stunning scenery and ideal sailing conditions: an archipelago with abundant wind, sunshine, and racing courses that can be easily adapted to suit conditions. The YCCS clubhouse in Porto Cervo is considered one of the most luxurious premises of its kind – the building covers 5,800 sq.m and along with its 24 beautifully appointed suites, features a panoramic terrace with pool, a restaurant, Members’ lounge, wellness centre and bar.
“The racing in Porto Cervo is technically challenging and the surroundings are unique. Instead of marker buoys we use the small islands in the La Maddalena archipelago to design the 50-plus racing courses available. Besides the racing at sea, the YCCS offers a traditional welcome to competitors and many owners enjoy their stay here. Superyachts normally arrive a few days before the regatta, or stay a few days after, so that they can also enjoy cruising around this area, which is internationally renowned for its emerald waters and white sands as well as luxurious hotels, award-winning restaurants and designer boutiques.” – Edoardo Recchi
Joined by Loro Piana as Title Sponsor and Pantaenius Insurance as Event Associate, the YCCS is the only Mediterranean Yacht Club that hosts and organizes a superyacht regatta, differentiating it from other popular events like the Palma Superyacht Cup (June 19th – 23rd), and Recchi believes it’s important as he explains, “Superyachts are like any other kind of racing boats, except for the dimensions. When we started to organize the first superyacht regatta, the Racing Rules of Sailing did not take into consideration specific rules required for superyachts: racing 10 superyachts together is vastly different from racing 10 lasers or 470s but those were the fleets the rules were designed for. We succeeded in modifying the rules to achieve a higher level of safety and fairness for this kind of regatta. I believe that different boats need different racing management and if there are owners who enjoy racing their superyachts, then they deserve the best conditions in which to do it.
We communicate closely with other superyacht regatta organizers around the world – now the superyacht racing circuit is well established with 3 – 4 major events every year, the exchange of information is important for improving the regattas in terms of safety and functionality and also to ensure that the different set-ups we all offer are what owners want.”
For Recchi, the Loro Piana Superyacht regatta’s popularity is further enhanced by the social programme ashore, which often includes glittering gatherings at exclusive resorts. This year’s social events include a Cocktail Reception at the Clubhouse, an Owners’ Dinner, and a Sunset Party at Phi Beach.
To find out more about the event, head to the website.