Friday, June 8, 2012

Sirocco Causes Racing to Abandoned at Loro Piano in Porto Cervo

Porto Cervo, Italy. 8th June 2012

No change on the leaderboard on Day Four of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in Porto Cervo as Sirocco winds of over 30 knots and a highly agitated sea state put paid to all hopes of racing off the Costa Smeralda today. 
Photo:  © Carlo Borlenghi
Heading into tomorrow's final day of racing the field therefore remains wide open in the 12-boat Cruising Class where just five points separate the top seven yachts. Current overall leader Scorpione dei Mari will be looking in particular to defend her position against second-placed Ganesha and KibokoDos in third. In the Performance Division the Goetz-built Highland Fling sits fairly comfortably in first place while the battle will be for second place between brian Benjamin's Aegir and Pier Luigi Loro Piana's My Song.
Ganesha in the foreground with the Cruising fleet behind Photo: © Jeff Brown
Principal Race Officer Peter Craig explained his decision to abandon racing at 1 p.m.: "All five of the forecasts that we consult were off today and we saw much more wind than predicted. Even in the straits to the north there were 30 knots, which is very unusual in these parts when a southerly is blowing. Instead of fading, the Scirocco gradually increased as the day went on so, despite our best intentions to get another coastal in today, our decision to abandon racing was an easy one to make. Based on the forecast for tomorrow for the westerly breeze to drop off in the afternoon, we have moved racing forward one hour in order to get another great race in."

South African Mark Sadler, a former America's Cup skipper and tactician aboard Scorpione dei Mari, was already thinking about tomorrow's final race: "We're obviously disappointed that we couldn't sail today. The conditions have been challenging so far but we've managed to get some great racing in each day and this always a superb event. Looking towards tomorrow, the boats are very close at the top of the classification, Ganesha is always a strong competitor but if we have lighter winds then the Southern Wind KibokoDos could do well, it's all to play for yet."

Prior to the final showdown, owners yachts and crews will be getting together this evening for a Sunset party on the beach while the final prize giving will take place on Saturday afternoon on the Yacht Club's Piazza Azzurra.

Racing is scheduled to conclude tomorrow, Saturday 9th June for both Performance and Cruising Divisions with the first starting signal brought forward to 11 a.m. Sirocco winds of approximately 18 knots are forecast.

Jill Campbell

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