Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup: top conditions and close competition make the day
Saturday, September 9, 2017 7:31 AM
Porto Cervo, September 8, 2017.Today was the second to last day of racing at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi72 World Championship, the annual event organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with Title Sponsor Rolex and the International Maxi Association.
The lull in the wind that the fleet was dreading didn't appear and today was another exceptional day of racing in Mistral breezes at 12 to 15 knots along a 34.5 nm coastal course.
Currently in the lead of the provisional results at just a day from the end of the event are Momo (Maxi72), Ribelle (Supermaxi), Highland Fling XI (Maxi), Nahita (Wally), Jethou (Mini Maxi R), Supernikka (Mini Maxi RC1) and Shirlaf (Mini Maxi RC2).
Starting procedures got underway punctually at 11:30 AM in the waters off Porto Cervo. The yachts headed upwind to Passo delle Bisce and up to the Secca di Tre Monti in the Arzachena Gulf. Once they had rounded the Secca, the fleet sailed counter clockwise around the islands of Caprera, La Maddalena and Spargi and then back to Porto Cervo.
There were head to head match races in all Classes and tactical attempts to get an edge on rivals set against the spectacular natural scenery of the Arcipelago della Maddalena's landscape. The battle between the Maxi72s was especially hard fought: Caol Ila R got her groove right off the start and took the lead while Bella Mente and Momo both struggled after getting OCS penalties. Caol Ila R arrived at the finish in the lead in real time, 12 seconds ahead of Cannonball. But on corrected time the latter yacht won by four seconds. "It was real fun and a great satisfaction," said Cannonball's tactician Vasco Vascotto with a smile. "Today's win is dedicated as much to our owner, Dario Ferrari, as to the part of the team we left on the docks when we thought that air would be too light to sail with a full roster. In the Maxi72 Class you can really sail close and hard; it's a Class where lots of top sailors compete in boats that come within inches of each other. Pure emotion!"
With today's win in the Supermaxi Class, Ribelle, owned by YCCS members Salvatore and Paola Trifirò, has already technically won the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup a day before it has ended. "It really has been a wonderful event," said helmsman Francesco De Angelis. "Ribelle is racing in a very competitive Class against boats that are very similar to her. Our boat is new, but has been getting better all the time. Today we took advantage of a chance we had to cinch the win and we got it."
Another sure win is Jethou in the Mini Maxi Class: this yacht has placed first every day she has raced so far. Spectre and Lucky trail her at a fair distance. In the Maxi Class, today was the day for the Swan 90 Nefertiti owned by Juan Ball. She placed ahead of Highland Fling XI, leader who retains the lead overall in the Class.
The last day of racing will be decisive in the Wally Class: the 80' Nahita placed first today and is currently in the lead by two points on Galateia and Lyra who are tied for second place.
It's a close race in the Mini Maxi RC1 Class: Roberto Lauro's Swan 601 Wohpe placed first today followed by Supernikka, still in the lead overall, and Wallyño. Giuseppe Puttini's Swan 65 Shirlaf won the Mini Maxi RC2 Class and is tied for first place with Riccardo De Michele's Vallicelli 80' H2O.
Tonight is the highly anticipated Rolex Gala Dinner and tomorrow, September 9th will be the final day at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2017. The Maxi72 and Mini Maxi Racer Classes will do windward-leeward courses, while all other Classes will do a coastal race that is scheduled to start at 11:30.