June 2014 Report

I have just returned from my first European event of the season, the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in Sardinia in early June. This event targets the new growth class in our sport, Superyachts. This class started as informal racing amongst big cruising yachts, but as it grew in popularity and wealthy owners naturally started to compete more intensely, the new designs have become more performance oriented. The beauty is that some truly dual-purpose yachts are now being designed and built; a sleek performance design incorporating the latest technology, but with a cruising interior tucked inside that one can enjoy entertaining family and guests on. For this reason, it is now probably the area of the most growth in our sport.

Back to the event. The racing was held in Porto Cervo, which is one of the nicest areas in the world to sail; clear water, lots of small islands to use as marks, and generally good winds and weather. For this event I was sailing with the Highland Fling team on a chartered Southern Wind 100 named Cape Arrow. We had a great series with a close battle right through to the final day, and finished on the podium in 3rd place, which we are content with considering we were racing with a “rental”!

A couple of weeks before this I enjoyed racing in a “fun” event in Antigua during Sailing Week. Eight skippers were invited to compete for a one-week holiday at the Nonsuch Bay Resort in Antigua, sailing in three person RS Elite boats. I had a blast, really enjoying getting back into a small boat, getting to use some of my matchrace skills, and dueling with other teams on a short race track. We did well, making it to the finals from our group, and then winning it with three straight bullets! I was particularly grateful to my crew Kevin Miller, so he gets to take his wife on a one-week holiday!

Next up for me will be Cowes Week in England in late July, where we get to test the latest modifications to the IRC52 Highland Fling.

All for now,

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