The participating yachts built by Italian shipyard Perini Navi unfurled their sails this morning for the first of three days of regattas in the seventh Perini Navi Cup, the event organised jointly with the Costa Smeralda Yacht Club from September 19 to 22.

Racing for the two divisions, Cruiser Racer and Corinthians Spirit, got underway on time this morning at 11.30 a.m. using a staggered start formula (a start every three minutes). The boats completed coastal courses of 25 and 21 nautical miles accompanied by a north-easterly wind of 18 to 21 knots and lumpy seas. From the start off Capo Ferro the Perini ships headed towards the Monaci island and from there to the Secca Tre Monti and the Bisce strait before turning south. While the Corinthians rounded Mortoriotto and headed for the finish line, the Cruiser Racer group carried on to round the island of Soffi before crossing the same finish line off the islet of Nibani.

The Cruiser Racer fleet remained compact from the off, and only at the finish did the 60-metre Seahawk gain some distance over the 50-metre Silencio – which finished second in real time but took the win of the day in compensated time ahead of Seahawk in second and Victoria A in third place in the provisional classification.

In the Corinthians Spirit class, the 64-metre Spirit of C’s took an early lead but was overtaken by the impressive 88-metre Maltese Falcon which took the lead after rounding the island of Monaci and stayed at the front of the fleet for the rest of the race to claim the top spot in the provisional classification. Spirit of C’s placed third in compensated time behind the 52-metre Tamsen in second place.

On their return to the docks the participants enjoyed a wine-tasting organised by Marchesi Antinori, and the evening will continue in Porto Cervo’s central piazzetta where guests will take part in an exclusive cocktail by Vhernier. A dinner for owners and an event for the media will follow.

Racing will continue tomorrow, Friday 21st September, at 11.30 a.m. with more north-easterly winds of 8 to 10 knots forecast.