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Third day of great sailing at Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo

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Spectacular conditions for the third day of the 2021 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.  Rambler 88, Maxi Division, with the Capo Ferro lighthouse in the backgroun
Spectacular conditions for the third day of the 2021 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. Rambler 88, Maxi Division, with the Capo Ferro lighthouse in the background.

Porto Cervo, 8 September 2021. Today brought the third race day in the 31st Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with the support of title sponsor Rolex and the International Maxi Association. 

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The Race Committee's perseverance paid off as an easterly breeze finally filled in, allowing all competitors to complete an excellent coastal race. A first start was given at 2 p.m. for the Maxi division, but the race was then cancelled due to the failing breeze. At 3.30 p.m. the starting sequence resumed for all divisions, starting with the Maxis, then Mini Maxi 1, Supermaxi and Mini Maxi 2-3-4, with wind that increased from an initial 8 knots to hit 15 knots at points in the channel between the island of La Maddalena and Sardinia.

The Maxi, Mini Maxi 1 and Supermaxi divisions faced a course of around 23 miles which, after a downwind start that had navigators and helmsmen focused on calculating the precise “time on distance” to the line, brought the fleet into the channel known as Bomb Alley via the Bisce Pass, with an upwind return run after having rounded a mark positioned between the islands of Spargi and La Maddalena. For the remaining part of the Mini Maxi fleet, a course of just under 20 miles featured the same first reaching leg and changed at the Golfo delle Saline, where the fleet rounded a mark and headed for the Monaci islet before returning to the finish line off Porto Cervo.

Spectacular conditions for the third day of the 2021 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. 

Rambler 88, Maxi Division, with the Capo Ferro lighthouse in the background.

The new wind conditions made today's racing spectacular, particularly the ongoing battle between the two J Class yachts, Topaz and Velsheda. Topaz arrived at the mark rounding off La Maddalena with a good lead, but an imperfectly executed manoeuvre allowed Velsheda to regain ground and engage in a tacking duel. The result was a third consecutive victory for Velsheda ahead of Topaz in compensated time. Third place today went to Geist, a 111-foot Spirit of Tradition yacht. In the Maxi division victory in compensated time went to the Wally Y3k, owned by Claus-Peter Offen, on equal points with Galateia. Magic Carpet 3 came third with Highland Fling XI in fourth place today and holding fast at the top of the provisional overall rankings for the division.

Cannonball won in the Mini Maxi 1 group thanks to good tactical choices and excellent boat handling, ahead of tough opponents such as Bellamente and Vesper. The top five slots on the leaderboard are occupied by Maxi72 class yachts, pure racers who mark each other closely throughout. In the Mini Maxi 2 category, Twin Soul B claimed the win in compensated time ahead of Capricorn, whose second place leaves her still firmly at the top of the overall classification. A difficult day for Lorina 1895 left her in seventh place in the day's race and dropping to third place in the provisional overall rankings. Lyra completed her hat-trick in the Mini Maxi 3 and 4, ahead of H2O and Blue Oyster.

Claus Peter Offen, owner-helmsman of Y3K: “It was a long day, I have to admit. At the first start there was a general recall, at that time there was very little breeze but surprisingly the breeze picked up quite nicely in the afternoon and we had up to 14 knots and that’s where we feel quite good with the boat, we are a fairly heavy boat but we have good upwind qualities and so it was our day."

Luciano Gandini, owner-helmsman of Twin Soul B, winner in the Mini Maxi 2 class: "We redeemed ourselves after yesterday, which did not go as we had hoped, we had an OCS that cost us. Today we were good, we ran a good race and we managed to win. Over the past few days we have had the opportunity to observe our opponents' weak points, we think we can still do well.”

To make the most of the forecast weather conditions, the lay day scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday 9 September, has been moved to Friday 10 September. Coastal races will be held for all classes with the exception of the Mini Maxi 1 who will have a windward-leeward course. The start is scheduled for 12 midday with wind forecast from the southeast of between 12 and 15 knots.

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