What better way to start the first day of this year’s Perini Navi Cup than on board the technological marvel that is the 88-metre superyacht Maltese Falcon? The lack of wind didn’t help the yacht to strut her stuff off the Sardinian coast, but we managed some good beats in the light airs that reached eight knots at times. With one-touch control of her sails and systems, the well-drilled crew handled the yacht smoothly, and you get the sense that they can have the sails up and ready for action just as the last of her lines is untied at the quay. It’s surprisingly quiet on board as they go about their work with the minimum of fuss.

For the afternoon’s action I switched to Helios as the 45-metre followed the course, rather than competing. For the record, P2 – a 38-metre sloop – was the first yacht home, with Silencio first overall. Third home was the 52-metre Tamsen, boasting 60 friends and family on board – which really sums up the fun, family-oriented racing the Perini Navi Cup is all about.

At the pre-race briefing earlier on Thursday in the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, Perini Navi’s CEO Giancarlo Ragnetti had spoken of his pride at gathering 15 Perini Navi yachts together. “A lot of our owners come to the Perini Navi Cup for the competion as well as for the friendly atmosphere amongst the particants,” he said.

Inset 2
Day 2 promises better winds – though as I write pre-race on Friday morning a squall with thunder and lightning has sent 100-odd people from the terrace overlooking the water to seek cover. For the sake of my laptop, I’m going to join them. And with storms staying around for a while racing has been suspended until 1300.