Hollywood actor Chris Pine is running barefoot across the main deck of our superyacht chasing a stray straw boater that’s somersaulting in the salty Caribbean breeze. “It’s too windy for hats,” warns Czech supermodel Karolína Kurková, who is taming her flailing blonde hair with a Loro Piana scarf. Meanwhile, Peaky Blinders star Annabelle Wallis is posing Titanic style on the bow for a photo with department store heiress Hayley Bloomingdale and fashion A-lister Indré Rockefeller.
Posts from these style-savvy It gals and other jet-setting crew mates, including violinist Charlie Siem, Fashion Guitar blogger Charlotte Groeneveld, style guru Taylor Tomasi Hill and British socialite Violet Manners, are whipping up a storm on social media and making our nautical knees-up the talk of the ultra-chic island of St Barths.
This shipshape assemblage of actors, musicians, models and fashion insiders has been invited aboard the swish vessel Far Niente (an Italian expression meaning the pleasure of doing nothing) by refined fashion house Loro Piana. We’re here to experience the St Barths Bucket, one of the world’s most famous regattas, which attracts superyachts and elite racing crews from around the globe.
We are cheering for My Song, a sleek 40-metre craft owned and helmed by Italian textile titan Pier Luigi Loro Piana, whose family started the eponymous clothing brand in 1924. Today Loro Piana sits within the LVMH group, but Pier Luigi—also known as Pigi (pronounced Pee-gee) remains a shareholder and deputy chairman.
It’s a day of triumph, with My Song winning its race in a gripping battle that sees the crew stealing first place by only eight seconds.Strong winds and sea spray keep us cool as we follow the race around the island, cruising past sugar-white sandy beaches and palm-fringed cliffs, spotting sculling turtles and divebombing pelicans as we glide through the crystal-clear turquoise water.
As the sun sinks into the cerulean sea, we cruise back to Gustavia, the buzzing capital of this tropical paradise, for a rambunctious prize-giving ceremony. Champagne froths and flows as we celebrate with Pigi and his crew who, despite a day on the high seas, look remarkably dapper in their crisp white Loro Piana cotton polo shirts, linen shorts and aviator-style sunnies.
Sailing has been a passion of the high-octane billionaire since he was 15 and continues to be his favourite way to unwind. “I’ve always been attracted to the sea,” says Pigi, his arms draped across the shoulders of his jubilant teammates. “I love nature, and sailing represents the ultimate way to be outdoors, far from the coast, far from towns and traffic. You just leave everything behind.”
This story appears in the June 2019 issue of Indonesia Tatler. For the full story, grab the copy at your nearest newsstand, or subscribe here.