Bequia Wins Class at Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

Veronica Brown

Outfitted with North NorLam spectra/carbon sails, the 90-foot wooden yawl performs among formidable competitors

Bequia, a 90-foot wooden yawl built at Brooklin Boat Yard, won her class in early June at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in Porto Cervo, Italy. Owned by Jes and Debbie Staley, Bequia was designed by Bob Stephens and Paul Waring and built by Steve White and his team in Brooklin, Maine in 2009. She is equipped with a full North Sails NorLam spectra/carbon sail inventory, a Southern Spars mast and EC6™ rigging. Though she is used primarily for cruising, she traditionally does one regatta each year.

90-foot yawl BEQUIA
"It was a great regatta, with super boats to race against," said Staley after collecting his trophy. "Porto Cervo is a beautiful place, and it's also a great win for all the guys in Maine who helped build the yacht. For me, racing Bequia helps push the boat a bit and get the best performance out of the sail combinations and the rigging," Staley explained. "As an amateur, I have learned a lot about sailing through racing. You get to really test the boat and the sails and learn how to maneuver it and make it go fast." But contrary to most racing programs, the rule onboard Bequia is to make sure everyone has at least one beer before the boat ties up at the end of the race. "We try to have a lot of fun racing with family and friends and we have a great advantage knowing people like Tom Whidden who raced with us at this event," Staley said.

Tom Whidden, CEO of North Technology Group, and his daughter Holly, who trimmed the mizzen onboard Bequia, shared Staley's sentiments. "It was a really fun regatta because sailing onboard Bequia was a very casual atmosphere which made it relaxing and very enjoyable," said Whidden, who has sailed at both Loro Piana Superyacht Regattas this year. "All the sails are roller furling and the mainsail and mizzen sail are both boom furling which makes it easy and quick to get out to the race course," Whidden continued. "We left the dock and five minutes later we were ready to race! All the sails onboard are NorLam™ spectra/carbon radial cruising/racing sails and they looked great and performed very well at this event. I am really impressed with the performance of the boat, it's a 90-footer that weighs more than 70 tons, so to win our class was a great success for Jes, his wife Debbie, and the crew. I am hoping I will be invited to race with them again!" Whidden continued. "Having raced at both Loro Piana Regattas this year (Virgin Gorda in March and Porto Cervo this month) I was extremely impressed with the race management and with the amount of energy and organization the Loro Piana family has put forward to make them both huge successes," Whidden concluded.

Bequia has sailed primarily with the original sail inventory (mainsail, mizzen sail, jib & staysail) that was delivered with the boat when she was built four years ago. "Last year, we added a racing jib and a larger lightweight spinnaker, which has helped improve our racing performance tremendously," he continued. "These two sails were the secret to our success at the Loro Piana Regatta for sure and I believe our spinnaker was so popular with one of our competitors, they have ordered a similar sail for their boat!" Staley said. Staley and his crew have done quite a bit of distance cruising, sailing Bequia from Nova Scotia to Panama and then over to the UK and Sweden. Last year, she raced in the Pendennis Cup in the UK where she placed a respectable 3rd amongst some formidable competitors. "We will keep her in the Mediterranean this summer and then bring her back to the States in November," Staley explained when asked about plans for the rest of the year. "Next year we plan to race her in the Newport Bucket and hopefully take her down to the island of Bequia for which she is named," he concluded.

North Sails would also like to congratulate the following boats for their fantastic performances at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in Porto Cervo:

Cruising Division A (1st - My Song; 2nd - Aegir; 3rd - Nilaya)
Cruising Division B (2nd - Zefira; 3rd - Cape Arrow)
Cruising Division C (1st - Bequia; 2nd - Genevieve; 3rd - Sarafin)

For more information on the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta, visit http://www.loropianasuperyachtregatta.com/results-2013/

For more information on North Sails NorLam sails visit: http://www.na.northsails.com/tabid/21951/Default.aspx