There was something of a fanfare marking the start of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in Porto Cervo this evening. As the captains, tacticians and navigators from the race fleet listened to the pre-racing briefing on the upper terrace of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, the rigging of the assembled sailing superyachts whistled to the fierce wind blowing in from the west.
With five days of racing planned, it certainly seems like there will be no shortage of breeze, at least for the first couple of days – and hopefully the clear blue skies and bright sunshine will decide to hang around too. Principle Race Officer Peter Craig was quick to point out that safe racing was the top priority for the event. With a wide spectrum of yachts taking part – from the five-strong fleet of Southern Wind yachts including KibokoDos making her international regatta debut, to the modern classic Annagine; from the 24m Ivanka, to the giant 57.5m Huisman ketch Twizzle, the rocket ship Highland Fling and old faces such as Salperton and Scorpione Dei Mari – the 40 metre rule, introduced to allow room for manoeuvring of these large yachts, will be strictly enforced. The weather was also a key point for discussion. ‘Forecasts for the next couple of days vary,’ said Craig, ‘but it might be a little bit on the windy side…’ Observations will be taken from early tomorrow morning, including from a race office boat out on the course, so tomorrow at 0930 will likely be the first indication of whether racing will go ahead as scheduled or if there will be a postponement.