Some sixty years since the Aga Khan bought 7000 acres of land on the beautiful north eastern Sardinian coast, Porto Cervo sits proudly as one of Europe’s most elegant and exclusive destinations. The stunning coastline of La Maddalena archipelago and its propensity for good breeze make it no wonder that Porto Cervo is a draw for Superyacht owners and crew.
Italian fashion house Giorgio Armani came on board, once again, as title sponsor for the Superyacht Regatta hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. To complement their boutique, which opened last season in Porto Cervo’s La Passeggiata, a pop-up store was created on the yacht club’s Piazza Azzurra.
Eleven yachts over thirty metres raced under ORCsy system across a Superyacht division and Southern Wind Rendezvous. A modest breeze opened the regatta as Gitana (formerly Salperton IV) set off first in the Superyacht division’s pursuit race format. The 45-metre Fitzroy yacht was loaded with sailing legends including Paul Stanbridge, Tom McWilliam and Chris Sherlock of Doyle Sails Palma.
A twenty mile course in champagne sailing conditions took the Superyacht fleet around the rock of Monaci, up the coastline of Caprera and back down the Bisce Pass. WinWin, designed by Palma-based Javier Jaudenes claimed victory in the Superyacht Cruising class. The striking green hulled Inoui battled closely with Pattoo. In a tight sparring between the two Vitters built yachts Inoui came out ahead in second place.
Ken Read, regular of this Sardinian race course, onboard the Wallycento V. He enthused: “We couldn’t have asked for a better opening day here in Porto Cervo”. “Sunshine, flat seas and a gentle breeze of 12 knots, a perfect situation for these boats. The beauty of this place always amazes me and sailing here with these boats is a unique experience. They let me have a few moments to look around and smile, because honestly there is nothing more beautiful than all this.”
The sixteenth edition of the regatta rolled into day two under similar conditions. The Southern Wind group sailed to Razza di Giunco beach for social activities organised by the South African builder. Meanwhile, the Superyacht division headed, one by one, in the opposite direction. They rounded the islets of Mortorio and Soffi and back up under gennaker, through the renowned ‘bomb alley’ where winds increased to 16 knots. After an almost thirty mile course, twenty seconds separated winner Inoui and Pattoo. In the overall standings after two days Inoui, WinWin and Pattoo topped the Superyacht Cruising Class in that order, only separated by one point each.
The combined Performance & Cruising class on the penultimate day saw the Mark Mills-designed WallyCento V find clean air as she made her way up the fleet overhauling the competition. In the more stable wind the team pushed V (formerly Tango) to its optimum.
The regatta on the glorious Costa Smeralda lost the final day to light wind. When a three knot promise dropped to one, seasoned PRO Peter Craig took the inevitable decision to call it off. The classification remained unchanged. At the silver-laden prize giving Inoui owner Marco Vogele was presented with the Silver Jubilee Cup. WinWin claimed second ahead of Pattoo. Vogele also received the YCCS Trophy for top scoring member of the Club in the event.