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Three out of three for Open Season at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

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Maxi Yacht Rolex

After two days of cancelled racing due to strong winds, today competition resumed at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in conjunction with the International Maxi Association, before the wind dropped off the light end of the Beaufort Scale. 

In an attempt to recover the schedule, racing started an hour earlier by which time the wind was already sub-10 knots. The race committee chose to send boats south around the rugged Mortorio and Soffi islands, then north towards ‘Bomb Alley’, across to the Monaci Islands before returning to the finish off Porto Cervo. The Wallys and Maxi 72s, the latter sailing their Rolex World Championship, sailed a shorter version of this course in anticipation of a second race today.

Sadly with the wind dropping away, only one race could be sailed for the Wallys and Maxi 72s, while the course was shortened for the remaining classes.  

In the Maxi 72s, today’s race was won convincingly by Roberto Tomasini Grinover’s Robertissima, elevating the Italian team to second overall, 0.75 points astern of leader and defending champion, Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente. 

“On the first leg we went in the right direction,” explained Tomasini Grinover. “The boat was going very fast and after the first leg, we were able to sail our own race.”

Clearly Robertissima likes Porto Cervo. As Niklas Zennström’s Rán 2, the boat won the Maxi 72 World Champion three times here. Tomasini Grinover explained: “The boat is really all-round - we can play with everyone.” Although still greatly enthusiastic about the Maxi 72 and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup (“this is the top event for us - top location, top people, top regatta – absolutely the best…”) work commitments are forcing Tomasini Grinover to stand down from racing next year. But he says he’ll return in 2018. 

Robertissima’s tactician Vasco Vascotto said today they did well after a late call to start from the pin: “I saw a little more pressure on the left. Sometimes in these conditions, the left is not so bad in Porto Cervo. That’s down to my ‘white hair’!”

After three races in the Wally class, International Maxi Association President Thomas Bscher and his Wally 107, Open Season, remain unbeaten. Otherwise today in the Wally class it seemed to pay to be over early – both Sir Lindsay Owen Jones’ Wallycento Magic Carpet Cubed and Claus Peter Offen’s Wally 100 Y3K were OCS, but ended up second and third on the water. Sadly in a start line collision between the Wallycentos, the new Galateia was damaged and she will not be able to compete in the remainder of the regatta. 

Of Y3K’s third place, Claus Peter Offen explained: “We had a horrible start – being over early cost us almost five minutes, but from then on we had an excellent race and were overtaking all the fleet except the Wallycentos. It was a nice day after two previous very stupid races when we had some technical problems.”

According to tactician Jesper Radich, Y3K made her gains by picking the best path after rounding the islands at the southern extremity of the course. “It got really shifty there and we made a good call to get into the breeze first on the right hand side.”

As a past President of the International Maxi Association, Claus Peter Offen is proud with this year’s record entry at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. “It is a brilliant fleet here. The quality is getting higher every year and the number is getting bigger. The IMA can be very happy about that.”

In the Supermaxi class, Winwin is leading. Following her victory in Tuesday’s race, she was second today behind the lime green Briand 108, Inoui. 

Winwin’s owner Kim Schindelhauer said conditions were difficult, getting so light towards the end, before the course was shortened. However a second today following her victory in stronger, lumpier conditions on Tuesday shows the versatility of this two-year-old Javier Jaudenes-designed, Baltic-built giant. This is only Winwin’s third regatta and her and her owner’s first experience of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, of which Schindelhauer commented: “It is good: I like the competitiveness and the fleet starts. I am not so in favour of the staggered starts [in superyacht regattas] because if you start at the end you sail in dirty wind. For the very big boats it is different, but for these boats there is no problem with a fleet start.”

After a disappointing opening to the regatta, Carlo Alessandro Puri Negri and his much modified Farr 70, Atalanta II, came good today to win the Mini Maxi Racing class, elevating her to second overall, while victory for Benoit de Froidmont's Wally 60 Wallyß┐ćo sees her claim the overall lead in the Mini Maxi Racer-Cruiser class. 

Elsewhere Mike Slade’s Leopard 3 won today in the Maxi Racing class, leaving her tied with George David’s Rambler 88 in the Maxi Racing class, while Pier Luigi Loro Piana scored a second bullet aboard My Song to remain leader in the Maxi Racer-Cruisers.