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Grace on the Water

Grace on the Water
The Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendevouz

A combination of 28 sailing yachts and motor yachts, ranging in size from 72 to 295 feet, attended the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta and Rendezvous at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Virgin Gorda in its second installment in March. Participating boats made passage from all corners of the Americas, Caribbean and Europe to be there.

The classes for the sailors were separated into racing, performance, cruising and catamaran, with courses set fairly challenging in a pursuit style. During the downwind leg on the south side of Virgin Gorda towards Ginger Island, enormous, colourful spinnakers filled with 10-15 knot winds decorated the deep blue sea. When they passed the press boat for the upwind leg, the sails spilled their excess wind, sounding like helicopter blades overhead, and looking like giant, graceful birds of the sea.


After three days of racing, Indio, a Wally 101, took the title from Hanuman by one point, after winning the final race on corrected time. Hanuman, a graceful J Class 138’ Royal Huisman, and winner of last year’s inaugural event, was second overall. Indio was able to take two bullets and a second over the three days of racing whilst Hanuman took one bullet but two seconds. Event newcomer, the Perini Navi built, Philippe Briand designed 125’ sloop, P2 placed third.

While sharing a drink with local watersports enthusiast and HIHO front man Andy Morrell, I asked him to describe his time as crew on P2. “It’s a bit like being in an Army platoon,” he said, laughing as he sipped his wine. “I need to go home tonight, to rest. When these guys sail, they sail hard together. And the parties, well, same thing. In for one, in for all!”

The event does not hold anything back on the parties and entertainment for the racers, owners and members of the yacht club. Parties spilled out from the clubhouse onto the docks and into the yachts themselves—everything from a Mount Gay cocktail competition to a Gold Party to a tasting aboard host yacht Icon. During the day, while the sailboats raced, the motor yachts were encouraged to follow along in their boats or to participate in a tender treasure hunt throughout the North Sound.

After racing and relaxing for a bit, I wanted to speak with the source—the origin and mind behind it all—David Johnson of Victor International, who was beaming aboard his motor yacht Resolute. Rather than discussing results and tactics, I wanted to hear if he felt his “If you build it, they will come” attitude paid off. “We are looking to change the way we see these Islands,” he said, “and in particular, to encourage access and visits to the events we are putting in place to establish a season up here in the Sound. It’s my home. I have been asked to look at other areas and encouraged into putting my efforts into other arenas, but the BVI is where I am focused, and here is where it has all happened for us. I’d like to add my wife would divorce me if I take on anything else! This has been a lot of work!” We looked down the dock and marveled at the boats. “This wealth these days is scarce,” he said, “and to see it on sailing yachts, beautifully crafted vessels all lined up together from all over the world, is a credit to the BVI.”



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