The 7th edition of the Perini Navi Cup lives up to its exhilarating reputation.
In terms of sheer visual splendor, the Perini Navi Cup is arguably the most spectacular superyacht regatta on the international circuit. A dozen super sailing yachts gathered this past September off Porto Cervo, Sardinia, to compete in the seventh edition of the one-brand event, and many more came along to enjoy the camaraderie and party atmosphere.
The sight of so many towering masts in the marina was impressive enough, but under sail in the azure waters along the Costa Smeralda, these normally sedate cruisers locked horns in fickle conditions that varied from 30-knot gusts and dramatic seas to light airs and flat calms. From day one, two yachts dominated the rankings in their respective categories: the 164-foot (50-meter) Silencio in the Cruiser Racer class, and the 288-foot (88-meter) Maltese Falcon in the Corinthian Spirit class.
After three days of intense racing, Silencio comfortably topped the table in her category. But it was Maltese Falcon, Perini’s majestic three-masted flagship, that went on to win both her class and the overall Perini Navi Cup, no doubt spurred on by the memory of placing fifth in the 2015 edition.
“The racing really was of a very high standard, and the fleet is so impressive,” said Riccardo Bonadeo, commodore of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, which hosted the event. “Seeing 19 Perinis lined up in front of the YCCS at sunset brought such glamor and elegance that we will remember them for a very long time.”
A truly classic Perini competing on the racecourse was the 210-foot (64-meter) Spirit of the C’s, launched in 2003 as Felicita West. Following an interior refit with new owners, she is still one of the largest aluminum sailing yachts afloat. She put in a swift performance to take third place overall in the Corinthian Spirit class.
Joining the fleet as a spectator was the 183-foot (55.7-meter) Galileo G, the Perini-Vitruvius explorer yacht that Philippe Briand designed. Like her sisterships Exuma and Nautilus (formerly Grace E), Galileo G has roamed the world’s oceans, circumnavigating twice since her 2011 launch. Built to Ice Class criteria, she also has transited the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic, meeting the Perini ketch Rosehearty in Greenland along the way.
Photos | Have a closer look at all the action from the 2018 Perini Navi Cup in the gallery below:
In many ways, the 171-foot (52-meter) Tamsen, which came in second overall in the Corinthian Spirit class, sums up Perini’s aspirations for those who buy the yard’s yachts. Four generations of the Californian Firestone family routinely cruise on board, and the yacht has covered more than 200,000 nautical miles since her launch more than a decade ago.
“This is our third Perini Navi Cup, and the event keeps on evolving and developing, but the main attraction for us is that we get to see all our Perini friends who we became very close to when were building the boat,” said Steve Firestone, the yacht’s co-owner. “We were undecided about coming this time, as we were still cruising the Med, but the Perini guys insisted, saying it just wouldn’t be the same without the Tamsen. We relented, of course, and once here, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.”
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