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Home > Regattas > Sailing is an experiential sport – Alice Widdows
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Sailing is an experiential sport – Alice Widdows

Superyacht sailors are keen to get back to racing. Recent news that the St Barths Bucket is cancelled for a second year and the Millennium Cup in Auckland is postponed until late March is tough for the superyacht sailing fraternity. Will the delayed start to the superyacht racing season affect confidence in events held later this summer?  Time will tell.  As organisers we continue to work to rebuild trust in “safe sailing” and in person superyacht events.

Millennium Cup Regatta 2020

However, one thing the pandemic has taught us is that yacht owners love superyacht regattas. Sailing events bring together families and friends in a private and intimate setting allowing them to pursue their passion for yachting and the sailing lifestyle. We all missed events in 2020, none more so than the owners who enjoy the camaraderie and community of the yachting fraternity. I have seen many firm friendships form over the years between owners and their families united by their love of yachting.  I believe we have missed these connections this past year and are keen to rekindle them. 

Many of the leading sailing shipyards and brokers recognise the strength of these events for building and maintaining relationships with their customers and potential clients and some even have their own boutique sailing events on the strength of this model.  The Southern Wind Trophy & Rendezvous is an example of this as is The Perini Cup.

Sailing is an experiential sport, and, in my experience, it is best enjoyed on a great yacht, racing in a fabulous place, in excellent company. Too much to ask? Not if you know where to look.

Below is my calendar of Superyacht Sailing Events I recommend for 2021. Join me?  


Although not strictly a live sailing event the three-day programme hosted by The Superyacht Gathering will allow you to experience, learn, share, inspire and entertain in the world of yachting. The Superyacht Gathering offers immersive audio-visual experiences engaging speakers, networking opportunities and is serious about socialising. From long lunches to social soirees, all events are set in stunning venues, so nothing is a hardship.

The Superyacht Gathering is different, more experience oriented instead of days of just talking. The brainchild of two passionate female leaders in the yachting industry Linda Berry and Ellie Brade, it is a fresh take on industry events that is designed to inspire, ignite and engage in an authentic and relevant way.  Move over the conference centre, make way for connection and community over canapes.

The purpose of The Superyacht Gathering is to build a culture and community of like-minded people within the superyacht industry to share and inspire for the better good of our livelihood, the sea and all beings that live in, on and around it. The event focuses on people and stories, delivering ownership journeys, exciting technology developments, altruism, authentic lifestyle experiences, and more… and not a sales pitch in sight.

Jonathan Beckett

Among the speakers are avid sailors such as Jonathan Beckett CEO of Burgess, Jonathan will have many stories to share when he graces the stage with his long-time friend and industry legend, Andrew Winch Founder and CEO of Winch Design. S/Y Captain Terry Gould A born and bred Kiwi, Captain Terry Gould’s yachting career spans over five decades. As Captain of the iconic 65-metre gaff rigged schooner S/Y Adix, he and the yacht’s owner are committed to teaching young crew the art of becoming true sailors – a unique apprentice-style scheme that has trained up some of the industry’s most passionate sailing crew.

Mark de Jong specialises in superyacht marketing, with his work straddling three pivotal non-profits – the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss), The Superyacht Life Foundation and The Water Revolution Foundation (WRF). Mark will talk about the WRF’s important work and how it will, hopefully, change the industry for the better.

Tickets on Sale now at www.thesuperyachtgathering.com


The New Zealand Millennium Cup was due to run 15-18 February 2021 and open the Superyacht racing season. Organisers have elected to postpone the regatta until late March in response to an elevated Covid alert level across New Zealand.

Due to precautionary Covid restrictions across the country, racing will now be held 28 – 31 March in Russell, returning to the regatta’s Duke of Marlborough headquarters.

The regatta is run by the NZ Marine Export Group and promotes New Zealand’s cruising grounds and marine industry to international and domestic superyachts. It’s the longest running superyacht regatta in the South Pacific and has garnered a reputation for its camaraderie and fierce competition.

“As an event run to further the interests of the New Zealand marine industry, we feel a keen responsibility to our industry, superyacht owners, guests and crew, sponsors and the wider community to ensure we are taking every precaution possible,” commented NZ Marine CEO, Peter Busfield.

“Postponing until late March allows us to still run an excellent event, supported by our sponsors, and our hosts, the Duke of Marlborough Hotel. Organisers expect the event to be well supported by superyacht entrants post America’s Cup.”



I’m excited to confirm that we have sent out the invitations and entries are now officially open for the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta, scheduled to take place from 1 to 5 June 2021 in Porto Cervo Sardinia. Hosted by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda the event marks the start of the Mediterranean superyacht racing season in serious style.

The invitational event is supported by Title sponsor Loro Piana and is open to sailing superyachts with a minimum length of 90 feet, and to Wally, Southern Wind and multihull boats of over 50 feet. 

The 14th edition of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta will also mark the 30th anniversary of the Southern Wind Trophy and Rendezvous. The Southern Wind Trophy and Rendezvous will host Southern Wind yacht owners, their family members and potential owners showcasing the Southern Wind yachting lifestyle through connection and community.

This is the first Notice of Race to be published online. Together with partners, the YCCS are continuing to work on relaunching the sporting events on the calendar for the coming season.

In order to support all the owners who are keen to get back to racing, the entry fee for The Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta will be refunded in full in the event the regatta is cancelled due to the pandemic.

Developments in relation to the pandemic and related restrictions will be monitored constantly in order to adapt the schedule for the event accordingly, and to ensure maximum safety for participants at all times.

Taking place across four days of coastal races and set against the stunning backdrop of the La Maddalena archipelago, the 2019 edition of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta saw a fleet of 20 sailing superyachts parading around the island of northern Sardinia.

If you are serious about sailing superyachts then register your interest in participation at The Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta: alice@alicewiddows.com Tel: +44 (0) 759 100 6250. We look forward to welcoming you in June in Porto Cervo.


Superyacht Regatta calendAr 2021 & 2022

RORC Caribbean 600  21 Feb 2022AntiguaRoyal Ocean Racing Club
Mastercard Superyacht Regatta  23 – 27 FebAuckland, New ZealandRoyal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
Superyacht Challenge Antigua  9 – 14 MarchAntigua 
St Barths Bucket Regatta  17 – 20 March 2022St Barthélemey 
New Zealand Millennium Cup   28 – 31 MarchRussell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand Russell Boating Club
Les Voiles des St Barth17-23 April 2022St Barthélemy   
17th Palma Vela  1 – 9 MayPalma De Mallorca – Spain 
Maxi Yacht Capri Trophy  10 – 20 May MayCapri, ItalyPart of the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge  
Regatta dei Tre Golfi  15 MayNaples to Capri Island , ItalyPart of the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge  
151 Miglia- Trofeo Cetilar  30 May – 1 JuneLivorno to Punta Ala, ItalyPart of the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge  
Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta  1 – 5 JunePorto Cervo, Sardinia, ItalyYacht Club Costa Smeralda
Rolex Giraglia  11 – 19 JuneSt Trpoez to Genova, France and ItalyPart of the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore and Inshore Challenges  
The Palma Superyacht Cup    23 – 26 JunePalma, Mallorca, Spain 
Copa del Rey MAPFRE  31 JunePalma, Mallorca, SpainPart of the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge  
Swan European Regatta  20 – 25 JulyAiristo, Turku, Finland 
Rolex Fastnet Race  8 AugustCowes to Cherbourgh, UK, Jersey 
Palermo- Montecarlo Race  21 – 26 AugustPalermo to Montecarlo, Italy and MonacooPart of the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge  
Rolex Swan Cup  5 – 11 – SeptPorto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy 
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup  5 – 11 SeptPorto Cervo, Sardinia, ItalyPart of the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge  
Ibiza Gold Cup  13 – 16 SeptMarina Es Nautic, Ibiza 
Perini Navi Cup15 – 18 SeptPorto Cervo, Sardinia, ItalyYacht Club Costa Smeralda
Les Voiles de St. Tropez  25 Sept – 2 OctSaint Tropez, FrancePart of the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge  
Rolex Middle Sea Race  23 OctoberValletta, MaltaPart of the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge  
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race26 Dec – 02 JanHobart Race Village, Sydney Harbor, AustraliaCruising Yacht Club of Australia

Meet Our Classic Yacht Columnist Alice Widdows.

Alice is a regatta manager on the Superyacht circuit offering a first-class racing experience. A keen yachtswoman and self confessed island-hopping addict, preferably by boat!