Friday, June 8, 2012

Highland Fling Too Hot At Loro Piano In Porto Cervo

Porto Cervo, Italy. 7th June 2012

With three consecutive bullets Highland Fling remains unchallenged at the top of the overall classification of the Performance Division at the conclusion of Race Day Three of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta.
Performance Division start Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi
Second place for Aegir today was enough to move her into second place overall ahead of My Song while Alpina rounds up the fleet in fourth place. While the Cruising Division enjoyed a scheduled lay day today, both fleets will be back on the starting line tomorrow for the penultimate race of event organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Boat International Media from 4th to 9th June.
My Song Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi
The four competing Performance yachts crossed the starting line at 12.35 this morning accompanied by a Sirocco breeze of 7 knots which would quickly build to approximately 20. The 29 mile course set by the YCCS Race Committee took the fleet south to round the islands of Mortorio and Soffi before embarking on a long downwind stretch to Monaci island. From there the superyachts turned back south along the coast of Caprera, left the Secca Tre Monti rock to port and headed through the strait between Capo Ferro and Isole delle Bisce toward the finish line off Porto Cervo.

While Highland Fling continues to dominate, some smart tactical manoeuvres from Aegir - which boasts an international crew including America's Cup sailor Juan Meseguer as well as VOR veterans James Carroll, Guy Barrow and Jaime Arbones - led to her finishing just 13 seconds behind the leader on corrected time. After a close-fought race with Pier Luigi Loro Piana's My Song crossed the finish line less than one minute behind Aegir.

Aegir's owner Brian Benjamin was pleased with the day's sailing: "The top windspeed we hit today was about 23 knots. Rounding the bottom mark we were able to get our A3 asymmetric sail up before My Song and we sailed through them on the leeward side. The crew then did a great job of changing from a 3A to a 2A on a very short run of about two minutes and we gained a lot of ground there. It's really all about not making mistakes and we didn't make many today. We are almost in a match-race situation with My Song as we have similar speeds and ratings and we tend to mark each other closely but to finish so close to Highland Fling was a really nice surprise."

Tommaso Chieffi, tactican on board My Song told a similar story: "Rounding Soffi and Mortorio we were a little slow on the sail change and Aegir got past us. We had a good day nevertheless, we were close to Aegir all the way and we had some great sailing, even if we made a few mistakes. The boat has been totally refurbished and we are still get used to some aspects."

Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, Friday 8th June for both Performance and Cruising Divisions with the first start scheduled for 12 midday. Sirocco winds of approximately 18 knots are forecast.

Jill Campbell

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