Trophy Conde de Godó TP52 Winners Quantum Racing (Photo by Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

The last day of the Conde de Godo Sailing Trophy has been crammed full with nervousness. The prevailing light wind indicated the worst but finally the fleet was able to race in appropriate conditions. The 40th Conde de Godo Sailing Trophy already has its winners: QUANTUM RACING (TP52), EARLY BIRD (Soto 40), ZHIK / NOVASAIL (J-80), OPEN SEASON (Wally), XSPAIN (ORC 2) FANYTAS (ORC 3) and RATS ON FIRE (ORC 1)

 

Bowman at start of Conde de Godo (Photo by Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

 

Doug de Vos’ QUANTUM RACING, with Ed Baird as skipper, started today’s races knowing that only two points separated him from the leader, Alberto Roemmers’ AZZURA. The American team sailed a smart race which took him to win the regatta, while the Italian-Argentinean team (until then leader) ended in last place in the race, as he was falling to third place overall. Niklas’ Zennstrom’s RAN climbed to the second place of the podium in the Conde de Godo’s Sailing Trophy.

Ran (Photo by Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

In the Soto 40 Class, Pedro Mendoça’s BIGAMIST and Herrik and Christian Najel’s EARLY BIRD started the last day tied up in points. The start was controlled by the German team, while the Portuguese got cornered in an unsuccessful start. This way EARLY BIRD won a comfortable overall victory.

The large J-80 fleet, with 14 boats in the water, proved the tough fight there was within the favorites, which were lots. Spaniard Carlos Martinez’s ZHIK / NOVASAIL, leader since day one, confirmed its great form winning by a margin of 16 points. Following Martinez’s team there was Javier Chacartegui’s HM HOTELS, José María Van der Ploeg’s FACTOR ENERGÍA and Pablo Benjumeda’s PUERTO SHERRY, who fought until the end. Van der Ploeg’s FACTOR ENERGIA, who broke a rudder on the first day and was forced to retire, made an incredible comeback which led him to the second place overall, followed by Javier Chacartegui ‘s HM Hotels in the podium.

Conde de Godo (Photo by Max Ranchi)

In the ORC category two units stood out: Javier Banderas’ XP38 X-SPAIN, who has won all the races sailed in ORC2 (5 out of 5) and Miquel Banus’ Dufour 34 FANYTAS in ORC3, which has also won all his races.

In ORC 1, the overall standings had a turn over after Christian Plump’s ELENA NOVA was disqualified from all races sailed. Once on shore and with the result from the protest that the Race Committee raised against ELENA NOVA, the victory of the Conde de Godo Sailing Trophy in ORC 1 went to Rafael Carbonell’s RATS ON FIRE. In the Wally class victory went clearly to British Mike Atkinson’s OPEN SEASON.

Bowwave (Photo by Max Ranchi) www.maxranchi.com

 

For results for all classes see http://www.trofeocondegodo.com/resultados2013/resultados_en_2013.php

Photos Courtesy of Max Ranchi  www.maxranchi.com

 

TP52 fleet Conde do Godo (Photo by Max Ranchi)

 

Niklas Zennstrom's Rán. (Photo: by  RORC/Tim Wright photoaction.com)

Niklas Zennstrom's Rán. (Photo: by RORC/Tim Wright photoaction.com)

 

It has been a busy 24 hours at the Antigua Yacht Club. At dawn on the fifth day of the RORC Caribbean 600, only three yachts were still at sea vying to complete the course before tonight’s Prizegiving celebrations and all of the class winners are now provisionally decided. The bar at the Antigua Yacht Club has been in full swing, buzzing with stories between the crews and songs in a myriad of different languages.

Team Selene skippered by Benjamin Davitt finished yesterday morning. The Swan 80 sailed an excellent race to claim third place overall and will lift the prestigious Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy later this evening.

Without doubt, the closest racing for this year’s event was in IRC One. Colin Buffin’s Swan 62, Uxorious IV, was first to finish, but the team did not celebrate a class win. Buffin and his young team knew that Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56, Clem, was extremely close to eclipsing their corrected time. Just over three and half hours passed before Clem crossed the finish line to win the class by just 21 seconds on corrected time. There were ecstatic scenes dockside as the Spanish crew of Clem celebrated their class win. The entire crew of Uxorious IV including Colin Buffin sportingly applauded their rivals. Amanda Hartley spoke of their win.

“‘We had no idea until we crossed the line and turned on our phones which went crazy with people calling in from Spain. By our calculation we thought we had lost out by five minutes. We got stuck at Guadeloupe for four hours and we could only sit and watch Uxorious get away. We are obviously extremely delighted and really appreciate Colin and his team coming over to give us such a lovely welcome back to Antigua.”

Jaime Torres’ Puerto Rican First 40, Smile And Wave, finished shortly after midnight last night to claim third in IRC One.

Scarlet Logic, co-skippered by Ross Applebey and Tim Thubron, finished the RORC Caribbean 600 shortly after 2300 last night. The Oyster 48 has been vying for the overall win for the last two days. In the end Scarlet Logic missed out, but the team had put in an incredible effort and have been rewarded with a convincing win in IRC Two. Scarlet Logic has the best corrected time in IRC One, Two and Three and as a result will be awarded the fantastic prize of a week’s accommodation at the luxurious Inn at English Harbour.

“Fantastic, elated but bloody tired,” admitted Tim Thubron, co-skipper of Scarlet Logic. The weather lined up nicely for us and we were aware that we were in with a chance of beating the big, well funded professional teams and that really spurred us on and made us push even harder. A lot of credit must go to the whole team, especially Ross Applebey. Scarlet was immaculately prepared and we hardly had a single breakage, however we did need to drop the main to replace a sail slide. The job was done and the main back up in eight minutes, that to me says it all.”

There was joy and pain for both IRC Canting Keel and the Class40s. Ernesto Cortina’s Volvo 70 Gran Jotiti finished the race in just over two days. The Spanish team is racing the yacht formerly known as Telefonica Black in the last Volvo Ocean Race. Ernesto spoke about his team shortly after finishing. “This has been a great experience, even though our result was badly affected by a lot of sail damage. Many of the sails are tired from thousands of miles of racing. However, the crew have been a joy to sail with and this race is helping us build for the future. Gran Jotiti’s aim is to create a world class amateur Spanish offshore sailing team and we have learnt a lot through this race.

Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50, Privateer, showed exceptional pace and boat handling throughout. Unfortunately the American team failed to start correctly and accepted a 10% penalty from the race organisers resulting in Gran Jotiti being declared winner of IRC Canting Keel.

IRC One, Two, Three and Class40 Start. Smile and Wave, Scarlet Logic, Clem and Uxorious IV (Photo by Tim Wright)

IRC One, Two, Three and Class40 Start. Smile and Wave, Scarlet Logic, Clem and Uxorious IV (Photo by Tim Wright)

 

The Class40s turned into a battle royale between Christophe Coatnoan’s Partouche and Christof Petter’s Vaquita. The two Class40s were locked in a heroic tacking duel for the final push to the finish line, a 40-mile beat from Redonda to the finish in Antigua.

Vaquita crossed the line just after sunset beating Partouche by a slender margin, just 15 minutes in a race lasting over 3 days. However, Vaquita failed to start the race correctly and to the Austrian crew’s disappointment, the class win was awarded to Partouche: “It was a tough race and we had a couple of moments that really slowed us down,” commented Christophe Coatnoan who raced two-handed with Eric Calmard. “We picked up a fishing float after Nevis without realising and we probably lost 8 miles before we knew it was there. Later at Guadeloupe, I had to dive into the water to free Partouche from yet another fishing buoy. The race was an excellent test for our new design especially for our sails as I think we used every one of them during the race.”

Superyacht Start. Windrose, Adela, Hetairos, Sojana and P2 line up for the start. (Photo by Tim Wright)

Superyacht Start. Windrose, Adela, Hetairos, Sojana and P2 line up for the start. (Photo by Tim Wright)

Vaquita’s Andreas Hanakamp commented: “Obviously we are disappointed to have been penalised but we were delighted with our performance. Partouche is a brand new Finot design, whilst Vaquita is a 2006 Akilaria. The RORC Caribbean 600 is a testing race course and a very tough race, exactly what we needed to prepare for our main competition of the season, The Atlantic Cup later this year.”

The latest competitor to finish the RORC Caribbean 600 is Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension. Falmouth Harbour exploded with noise as the smallest yacht in the race tied up right outside the Antigua Yacht Club. Thunderous blasts from megayachts, superyachts and foghorns literally shook the dock as the whole of the sailing community in Falmouth heralded the arrival of local hero Bernie and his crew.

“I said we would be here tonight but I always like to be early for appointments,” joked the Antiguan dentist. “It was a hard but satisfying race and the beat from Redonda to the finish seemed to take forever. We could see Antigua but it just didn’t seem to be getting any bigger, however a few miles out a massive rain squall hit and veered the wind favourably for us to speed our way to Antigua. After last year’s dismasting, I think maybe someone was looking out for us!”

Tonight the RORC Caribbean 600 Prizegiving Ceremony will take place at the Antigua Yacht Club. The two yachts still racing are Igor Zaretskiy’s, First 40.7 Coyote II and the RACYC Offshore Racing Team – White Knight’s Spirit of Venus. Both are expected to make tonight’s party, which should be a momentous occasion.

IRC OVERALL RESULTS

 

Rayon Vert Pulsar 50  (Photo by Tim Wright )

Rayon Vert Pulsar 50 (Photo by Tim Wright )

 

Ran (Photo by George Bekris)

Ran (Photo by George Bekris)

 

The 4th RORC Caribbean 600, starts at 1100 on Monday 20th February. There isn’t a single hotel room left near Antigua Yacht Club, as competitors fly in to the magical island of Antigua from all four corners of the world – Falmouth Harbour is filled to the brim with astounding yachts.

Niklas Zennström’s JV72, Rán, and George David’s RP90, Rambler, are the hot favourites for the RORC Caribbean Trophy, but the two highly impressive yachts are almost hidden in Falmouth Harbour. Rán were out practicing today and Navigator Steve Hayles reports that conditions were a bit lighter than usual, but he expects 15-20 knots of trade winds for the race with their weather routing predicting that they could finish the race in 48 hours, may be less.

RORC member, Stan Pearson has lived and sailed the sublime waters around Antigua for over 20 years. He was one of the creators of the RORC Caribbean 600 and will be racing this year on Adela, the 181′ twin masted schooner:

“I can’t remember ever seeing Nelson’s Dockyard and Falmouth Harbour with so many impressive yachts but I know why they are here; there is nowhere in the world quite like Antigua and the ‘600 is a real celebration of all that the Caribbean has to offer. The sailing is just fantastic; constant trade winds, warm water and air temperature in the high 20’s provides brilliant sailing, but this is a tough race. The course has a lot of corners and there is a lot of activity for the crews. Looking at the fleet, there are going to be some great duels going on, it is going to be a very competitive race.”

For the first time, a Volvo Open 70 will be competing in the RORC Caribbean 600. Some might suggest that the canting keel carbon fibre flyer could have been designed for this course. Ernesto Cortina’s Gran Jotiti has a highly talented Spanish crew and could well be a contender for line honours and an overall win.

IRC Zero has 16 entries and may well be the class to watch for the overall winner. George David’s Rambler 100 is the trophy holder and George David’s all-star crew will not be giving it up without a fight.

 Sojana (Photo courtesy of International Maxi Association)

Sojana (Photo courtesy of International Maxi Association)

With a combined water line length that would soar 500ft above the Eiffel Tower, there are some truly amazing yachts in IRC Zero. The 214′ ketch Hetairos is an impressive sight. The crew of 36 have been out practicing all this week and on board there are enough sails to cover a full size football pitch. Sojana is expected to have a Superyacht duel with 124′ Pernini Navi, P2, owned by businessman and philanthropist, Gerhard Andlinger. Sojana was on mark laying duty today. The only laid mark of the course is the North Sails mark, off Barbuda. No doubt the crew, will be using the exercise to practice the first 45 miles of racing.

In the Spirit of Tradition class Adela will line up against Windrose. This will be the first time these magnificent yachts have raced against each other offshore, however Adela did get the better of Windrose in The Superyacht Challenge inshore regatta. A close battle with these two powerful yachts fully off the leash is a mouth-watering prospect. Past RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine and a team of 11 RORC members including current Commodore, Mike Greville, have chartered the 145ft Windrose.

The multihull record for the RORC Caribbean 600 has not been beaten since the inaugural race in 2009. The 63′ Trimaran, Paradox, skippered by Olivier Vigoureux says the six crew on board are out to ‘beat the current record’. The American, French and British crew members have raced in the Figaro Race, Transat Jacques Vabres, America’s Cup and Mini Transat.

Anders Nordquist’s Swan 90, Nefertiti, has an international crew including Rolex Middle Sea Race winner, Christian Ripard from Malta. They should have a close battle with Wendy Schmidt’s Swan 80, Selene, and Irish entry, RP78, Whisper.

There are a huge variety of yachts racing in IRC One, including Hound, skippered by Hound from Maine USA. The 60′ classic will be competing in the Caribbean 600 for the first time with a family crew of avid racers. Hound has competed in the last 8 Newport-Bermuda races, winning her class twice.

Ondeck’s 40.7 Spirit of Venus is chartered to the Royal Armoured Corp Offshore Racing Team. The majority of the 11 strong crew are part of the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank Regiment which returned from Afghanistan last spring.

Lt Col Paul Macro RTR: “Soldiers have to work together as a team, under time pressure, when cold, wet and tired, in difficult and even dangerous conditions. The adventurous team spirit required by a successful offshore racing crew is the same as that required by the crew of a tank or any other armoured vehicle.”

There are four Class40s competing. Close duels are expected right through the fleet, but a hard fought and close encounter is expected in this class. Trade wind sailing provides perfect conditions for Class40s, with long reaches and downwind legs, these pocket rockets are capable of surfing at speeds of up to 25 knots. Class40s from America, Austria, France and Great Britain are taking on the 600 mile Caribbean odyssey; Tim Fetch’s Icarus Racing, Christophe Coatnoan’s Partouche, Andreas Hanakamp’s Vaquita and Peter Harding’s 40 Degrees, co-skippered by Hannah Jenner. The Class40s will be level-racing under their own rules. First to finish will claim the Concise Trophy; a full barrel of English Harbour rum.

IRC Two includes the smallest yacht in the fleet, Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension. Antiguan dentist, Bernie has competed in all four RORC Caribbean 600 races, however last year, High Tension did not finish the race.

“It is definitely a case of unfinished business,” said Bernie. “We have actually used our downfall to modify the rig, so we have made something good out of the incident. Like many Antiguans, I am amazed how this race has developed since 2009, I have been sailing in the Caribbean for over 50 years and what has been really missing is a well-run, exciting offshore race. The RORC Caribbean 600 has provided that and made my dreams come true.”

 

Icarus Racing (Photo by George Bekris)

Icarus Racing (Photo by George Bekris)

 

Ran and Shockwave Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

Ran and Shockwave Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

 

With three races conducted in strong winds, there was opportunity for boats to make a significant move in the standings on the second day of Quantum Key West 2012. Or in some cases it was a chance to further increase leads taken on Day 1. Pisces fit into the former category, moving into the overall lead in Melges 32 class by winning two of three races on Tuesday. Skipper Benjamin Schwartz and company showed superb boat speed and made some sound tactical decisions and now lead the 19-boat fleet by tiebreaker over John Kilroy and the Samba Pa Ti team. “We are a new program so it is a tremendous feeling to be doing well in a big-time regatta like Key West. Hopefully, we can keep it going,” said Schwartz, who joined the class last summer and promptly placed fourth at U.S. Nationals. Schwartz has America’s Cup veteran Ed Baird calling tactics and Quantum professional Scott Nixon trimming the jib and spinnaker. “You have to give Ed and Scott a lot of credit for getting our boat up to speed,” he said. “I’m fortunate to have a great crew. Today was very challenging because the wind velocity was up and down and the sea state was not very forgiving, but the guys never stopped working and we were able to change gears pretty well.” Race committees on all three courses completed three races in 8-14 knot easterly winds.

With five races in the bag, organizers with Premiere Racing are already halfway to the stated goal of holding 10 races during the five-day regatta. There was a lead change in the Farr 40 class as well with Charisma (Nico Poons, Monaco) and Struntje Light (Wolfgang Schaefer, Germany) overtaking Groovederci (John Demourkas, Santa Barbara, Cal.). Struntje Light has posted a pair of seconds and finished no lower than fourth in the seven-boat fleet, but Charisma holds the overall lead via tiebreaker by virtue of winning Race 5. “We had a very good day on the water and are happy with where we stand at the moment,” Schaefer said. “We have nice boat speed upwind and our crew work has been excellent. We have a very good tactician and he’s made some fantastic calls that have kept me in phase.” Renowned Italian professional and America’s Cup veteran Vasco Vascotta is calling tactics aboard Struntje Light, which has competed in Farr 40 class at Key West ever since 2002 with a top finish of third. “Wolfgang is doing a good job of driving and is getting better every day. The guys onboard have a great attitude and are ready to fight to the end. The good news is that we can still improve our performance.” PowerPlay lived up to its name by making a strong move in IRC 2 class with a strong line of 1-3-4 on Tuesday. Owner Peter Cunningham, a resident of Georgetown in the Cayman Islands, has a nice mix of amateur and professional crew with tactician Tony Rey, trimmer Dave Scott and bowman Geordie Shaver among the superstars aboard. “We’ve only had the boat for six months and we’ve made a lot of modifications during that time,” Cunningham said. “We’re pretty happy with our performance so far. We’re sailing fairly well and having a lot of fun.” Quantum Racing, skippered by Doug DeVos, continues to set the pace in the 52-foot class and leads PowerPlay by six points. Terry Hutchinson, helmsman for the Swedish syndicate Artemis Racing that is Challenge of Record for the America’s Cup, has made strong tactical calls in leading Quantum to victory in three races and second in the two others. “Today was far from straightforward. The wind was very shifty and there are some tricky current patches to deal with,” Hutchinson said. In other classes, the three-race day merely served as an opportunity for the early leaders to extend on the competition.

Red  (Copyright 2012 Ingrid Abery)

Red (Copyright 2012 Ingrid Abery)

Ran, a Judel-Vrolijk 72-footer, continues to sail impressively in the Mini Maxi class (IRC 1), winning all five races so far. Red, skippered by Joe Woods of Great Britain with Paul Goodison aboard as tactician, has accomplished the same feat in the inaugural Farr 400 class. “I guess we’ve just figured the boat out a little faster than the other teams,” said Woods, who has previously sailed a Melges 32 at Key West. “We’re winning, but not by much. The racing has been awfully close.” West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes has posted straight bullets in Melges 24 class and built a commanding 10-point lead over Alan Field and the WTF team. Detroit resident Bora Gulari is steering and getting tactical advice from Australian native and North Sails pro Jeremy Wilmot as West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes seeks to follow up on its 2011 national championship. Groovederci, skippered by Deneen Demourkas of Santa Barbara, Cal., has won all five races in Farr 30 class. Teamwork, a J/122 owned by Robin Team of Lexington, N.C., has posted two bullets and a pair of seconds in grabbing a narrow one-point lead over the 1D35 Tres Hombres in PHRF 1. “We’re having a great time because the conditions have been terrific and the competition has been spectacular,” said Team, who has his brother and two sons in the crew. “We’ve been mixing it up with Tres Hombres and finished overlapped with them in the first two races today. Rush is also tough so I think it will be a dogfight the whole way.” Rush, a J/109 skippered by Bill Sweetser of Annapolis, was named Lewmar / Navtec Boat of the Day after posting a superb score line of 3-2-1. Tom Babel is calling tactics while Quantum pro Tad Hutchins is calling tactics on Rush, which is currently third in PHRF 1 and second in the J/Boats Subclass. “The conditions were very good for us today. When the wind is 14 knots or less we can fly our big jib, which is kind of like our secret weapon,” Sweetser said. “We pay for that jib in our rating so it’s good whenever we can use it.” It’s been close but no cigar for Rush at Key West as Sweetser’s boat has finished first or second in class several times, but never come away as overall winner at week’s end. “One of these years we’re going to finally break through and it’s going to be wonderful,” he said. Regatta dates are January 15 – 20, 2012.

Melges 32 Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

Melges 32 Copyright 2012 Tim Wilkes

 

For more Key West Race Week photos by  Tim Wilkes check out Tim Wilkes Photography

 

Maxi Fleet Start ( Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

Maxi Fleet Start ( Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

 

It’s a wrap. The 2011 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup concluded in dramatic style with the completion of the scheduled programme for all classes. The verdicts are in. This year’s class victors are: Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship: Niklas Zennström’s Rán 2 (GBR); Maxi Racing: Sir Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling (MON); Maxi Racing/Cruising division: Danilo Salsi’s DSK Pioneer Investments (ITA); Supermaxi: Filip Balcaen’s Nilaya (GBR); Wally: Claus-Peter Offen’s Y3K (GER).

For the second day running, the crews had to be patient in view of the light conditions, although the delay of one and a half hours pales in comparison to yesterday’s testing four hour waiting game. A 24-nautical mile coastal course that included the rocks of Monaci, a duck into Bomb Alley and a long beat to Mortoriotto was organised for the Maxi and Supermaxi crews. For the Mini Maxis and Wallys two intense windward/leeward races of approximately seven nautical miles were on the agenda.

Nilaya and Visione (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

Nilaya and Visione (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

A number of today’s races went right down to the wire. Winners on day 5 were: Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship: Rán 2 (GBR) with a 2,1 scoreline; Maxi Racing: Highland Fling (MON); Maxi Racing/Cruising: DSK Pioneer Investments (ITA); Supermaxi: Nilaya (GBR); Wally: J-One (GBR) with a 1,3 scoreline.

Rán at the double
It was on the cards. Bar a catastrophic loss of form or retirement, Rán 2’s second successive triumph in the Mini Maxi Rolex Worlds was in the bag after a convincing start to the week, when she won three of her four bullets. Quite a month for the fully professional crew who only three weeks ago claimed a second straight overall victory at the Rolex Fastnet Race. Rán are in imperious form. Her three main rivals: Alegre (GBR), Shockwave (USA) and Jethou (GBR) all had moments in the sun but never really got close enough.

Zennström’s crew arrived in Porto Cervo with a single objective: “We came here to defend our championship title and pulled off a very good series, sailing very well often under pressure. We came into today with a comfortable lead so we knew we just had to sail well and not make any stupid mistakes.” The Rán crew enjoyed the challenge posed by this week’s temperamental conditions: “This venue is fantastic, you always have good wind during the week here in Porto Cervo. It was a little challenging with the Mistral before two days of good wind and yesterday’s fickle conditions. The Race Committee did a really good job organising everything,” closes Zennström. The season doesn’t end here for Rán – a return to offshore racing is scheduled with an appearance at the Rolex Middle Sea Race next month.

Final fling
The plot in the Maxi Racing division has had one constant theme: speed. Igor Simcic’s 100-ft Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) is bigger and faster than Sir Irvine Laidlaw’s 82-ft Highland Fling, a Wally-hybrid. The question was: could Esimit Europa 2 win by enough of a distance to see off her opponent on handicap as well? Awaiting the results has been an antagonising experience for both crews over the course of this week. The first three days saw the speed machines separated by mere seconds on corrected time. Today, the plot took a dramatic, final, twist with Esimit Europa 2 leading two bullets to one.

Igor Simcic's ESIMIT EUROPA 2

Igor Simcic's ESIMIT EUROPA 2 (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

Simcic’s pan-European crew made a fantastic start, gaining a significant advantage on Highland Fling by Monaci, but as the race developed and conditions suited the lighter boat, Esimit Europa 2 saw her elapsed time margin reduced to 13 minutes. Not enough to see off Highland Fling. Once the maths was done, corrected-time victory, today, was not by seconds but by four minutes. Laidlaw was ecstatic: “Esimit Europa 2 is a serious boat, very well crewed and run and for us to beat them is a great thrill after being nowhere near her last year. Overcoming Esimit is very difficult indeed, she is 20-ft longer and has a canting keel: through great crew work and sail choices we managed it.”

Laidlaw was surprised by the quality of today’s conditions: “It is really nice when you have a day where you don’t expect to get any wind and a good sail but end up with a lovely one. You don’t get any better than sailing here in Porto Cervo: varied conditions and a perfect backdrop.”

Down to the wire
Following yesterday’s dramatic collision between Kora 5 (ITA) and Illusion of the Isles (ITA) during the pre-start, the ultimate drama of the day was once again reserved for the Maxi Racing/Cruising division. Brian Benjamin’s 82-ft Aegir 2 was tied with Danilo Salsi’s Swan 90 DSK Pioneer Investments going into the final act, but held a narrow advantage having won two races to DSK’s one. The ultimate cliffhanger. Winner takes all.

DSK made the better start to today’s coastal race, although Aegir 2 were able eventually to pass and extend her lead en route to Monaci. At Monaci, DSK launched her code zero previously unseen this week, and proceeded to reduce the distance. Worse still for Aegir 2, she then got caught up with the largest yacht in attendance, the 148-ft Saudade (GER), after rounding Secca di Tre Monti. The race could not have been closer, the tension rise higher.

Dockside, post-race, the crews did their calculations but still could not determine whether the prize was theirs. When the results arrived, it transpired that DSK Pioneer Investments had prevailed: by a matter of seconds. As is custom in these situations, Salsi was launched into the harbour by an elated crew. “Two years ago we lost the same race in real time by one second so it is a nice feeling,” explained DSK’s owner, “Aegir is a faster boat downwind so we had to try to do our best upwind, and we did all we had to do to win. This crew has done a lot of races together over ten years, all around the world, and we know the boat very well.” A sweet finish to an intense week for the crew whose home base is here in Porto Cervo.

Debutant’s joy
The 112-ft Nilaya (GBR) was one of a number of new entries in the nine-strong Supermaxi class. She had a good week, taking four bullets and never finishing below fourth, blowing the field apart by a massive fourteen points ahead of nearest rivals, Visione (GER) and Hetairos (CAY).

“It was quite an interesting week,” reflects owner Filip Balcaen, at the helm of an established crew, “during the first half it was very windy and a bit of a challenge. The bigger boats in our fleet sailed more conservatively, and we did pretty well both in the strong conditions earlier this week and then when it became lighter. Success always makes one happy, it is the second time here for us after winning the Swan Cup five years ago.”

Triple triumph
Y3K have made history, taking the Wally crown for the third straight year and for the fourth time in seven years. An outstanding achievement for Claus-Peter Offen’s crew who have seen off powerful opponents. After two straight wins going into the final day, it looked plain sailing for the Germans. However, serious spinnaker issues characterised an uncharacteristically difficult day with Y3K having to settled for third and a sixth place over  two windward/leeward races as Andrea Recordati’s Indio (ITA) closed in. Her final victory margin was a mere two points. “It is a good feeling to make it the third time in a row,” explains Offen, “our victory in 2009 was by a larger distance, last year was a close run thing and this year even closer. Despite our issues today, dropping the spinnaker, we held a certain advantage from the previous days, which was enough. The victory is down to a good boat, crew, experience and once again we had our luck.”

Prized moments
Trophies were awarded this evening at a ceremony held at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS). The winners of four of the classes: Rán 2Y3KDSK Pioneer InvestmentsNilaya plus the best performing racer/cruiser in the Mini Maxi Rolex Worlds – Gunter Herz’s All Smoke (GER) – were presented with a Rolex Yacht Master. In addition, the winner of the annual Rolex IMA Championship – Andres Soriano’s Alegre (GBR) received a Rolex Submariner.

At least four of the yachts which featured at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup are commencing preparations for the Rolex Middle Sea Race (22-29 October, 2011).
ROLEX CUP RESULTS 

Maxi Racing/Cruising

 

BOAT NAME COUNTRY BOAT OWNER R1 R2 R3 R4 TOTAL
DSK Pioneer Investments ITA Danilo Salsi 1 2 2 1 6.0
Aegir GBR Brian Benjamin 3 2 2 3 7.0
Kora 5 ITA Paolo Scerni 2 4 3DNF 8DNC 17.0

 

Maxi Racing

BOAT NAME COUNTRY BOAT OWNER R1 R2 R3 R4 TOTAL
Highland Fling  MON Irvine Laidlaw 1 2 2 1 6.0
Esimit Europa 2 SLO Igor Simcic 2 1 1 2 5.0

 

Wally

BOAT NAME COUNTRY BOAT OWNER R1 R2 R3 R4 TOTAL
Y3K GER Claus Peter Offen 1 1 3 6 11.0
Indio ITA Andrea Recordati 4 5 2 2 13.0
Magic Carpet 2 GBR Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones 2 3 5 4 14.0

 

SuperMaxi

BOAT NAME COUNTRY BOAT OWNER R1 R2 R3 R4 TOTAL
Nilaya GBR Ficaya Ltd 1/1 2/4 2/2 1/1 14.0
Visione GER Hasso Plattner 3/2 3/1 4/4 6/5 28.0
Hetairos CAY Rockport Ltd. 2/4 1/2 5/6 3/6 29.0

*The Supermaxi class is being dual scored in each race under IRC & ORC. The combined scores determine the leaderboard. Individual race scores show IRC race position/ORC race position.



Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship

BOAT NAME COUNTRY BOAT OWNER R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 TOTAL
Rán 2 GBR Niklas Zennström 1.5 1 1 (4) 2 1 6.5
Alegre   GBR Andres Soriano 4.5 2 2 (3) 3 2 13.5
Shockwave  USA George Sakellaris 6 (4) 4 1 1 4 16.0

 

Massimo Violati's OPS 5 turning at the mark Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

Provisional Line Honours Winner WILD OATS XI at the Organ Pipes, off Cape Raoul ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster )

Provisional Line Honours Winner WILD OATS XI at the Organ Pipes, off Cape Raoul ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster )

What has been touted as one of the toughest Rolex Sydney Hobart Races in recent years, saw the first finisher arrive in Hobart early this evening. The 100-foot super maxi Wild Oats XI blazed up the Derwent River and crossed the finish line off Constitution Wharf at 2037 AEDT with an elapsed time of two days, seven hours, 37 minutes, 20 seconds — since leaving Sydney Harbour at 1300 on 26 December, Boxing Day.

This year’s 66th edition was one of Wild Oats Xl physically most difficult but also one of her more hard fought finishes, with sustained periods of headwinds along the way and crushing gale-force conditions through the notorious Bass Strait. In an interview as he stepped off the winning vessel, skipper Mark Richards said,” “It was a tough race, no doubt about that. The boat Wild Oats, the boys, and the team did a fantastic job.”

Wild Oats xi ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster )

Wild Oats xi ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster )

The Reichel-Pugh design was the provisional line honours winner pending the decision of the International Jury over a protest by the Race Committee regarding the use of her HF radio. The jury will convene Tuesday afternoon at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania to arrive at a decision.

After sailing a near perfect tactical race in extremely difficult conditions, with extremes ranging from a hair-removing 25-40 knot southerly and a mountainous seaway during the first night, race favourite Wild Oats XI didn’t disappoint followers. This was Wild Oats XI fifth win after participating in six Rolex Sydney Hobart Races.

Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards was happy with the race and said, “We couldn’t have asked for a better result. To arrive here, first, in Hobart, is the most amazing feeling.” Referring to Oats’ second place finish of last year, Richards said, “First is hell of a lot better than second. We’re back and we’re just very happy to be here.”

Dockside after the race finish, Adrienne Cahalan co-navigator aboard Wild Oats XI and a veteran of now her 19th Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, commented on the extreme sea and wind, “I do think it’s one of the toughest races I’ve ever done. We did our best to make sure we didn’t break anything.”

A seasoned offshore sailor, Cahalan told of encountering 20 – 30 knot headwinds across the Bass Strait. As to how the boat managed, she said, “The boat held together really well…it was a technically sound race for us.” She continued, “To get there in one piece and in first place — it’s one of the greatest victories we’ve had.”

The remaining 70 boats in the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet are spread across from the southeast corner of the NSW coast, across the Bass Strait down towards the finish in Hobart — pushed along by a 20-knot north-northeasterly. The fleet includes six international entries from the USA, UK, Italy, France, as well as two partly crewed Russian boats, and entries from seven of the eight Australian states and territories.

JAZZ, Sail n: 5299, Owner: Chris Bull, State: VIC, Division: IRC & ORCi, Design: Cookson 50 ( Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi )

JAZZ, Sail n: 5299, Owner: Chris Bull, State: VIC, Division: IRC & ORCi, Design: Cookson 50 ( Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi )

Next boat expected across the finish line is Sean Langman’s 100-foot Investec Loyal at approximately 2230 tonight. However, breeze looks to be shutting down in the Derwent River, so their exact arrival is now anyone’s guess.

INVESTEC LOYAL, Sail No: 99999, Owner: Sean Langman, State: NSW, Division: IRC, Design: Elliott, LOA (m) : 30.5, Draft (m): 6.2 (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

INVESTEC LOYAL, Sail No: 99999, Owner: Sean Langman, State: NSW, Division: IRC, Design: Elliott, LOA (m) : 30.5, Draft (m): 6.2 (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

In a phone interview earlier today, Investec Loyal’s Sean Langman explained about his boats’ troubles during the last two days, “The damage we sustained was to the reef lines earlier and some tack lines on the headsail which, running without a headsail, put us an hour back. Also, a fuel tank broke lose. These tanks carry so much fuel that you’ve got a quarter of a ton to manhandle which is difficult.”

On the final race day, Langman and crew discovered flooding in a forward hold, “We didn’t realize that we had a substantial leak in the bow and carried on with a ton and a half of water, which we only detected this morning. We have a watertight bulkhead up there and when we opened it, water came pouring out.” Langman believed that the leak was not a puncture in the hull but due to loose deck fittings.

The 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart race may well go down as one of the roughest in recent years and has certainly lived up to its reputation as one of the world’s toughest ocean going races.

To date, 16 yachts have been forced to retire due to issues including a broken mast, damaged booms, rigging and engine problems. Almost all racers have their share of minor injuries due to the high seas and associated gale force winds.

LIMIT, Sail n: 98888, Owner: Alan Brierty, State: WA, Division: IRC & ORCi, Design: Reichel-Pugh 62 ( Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi )

LIMIT, Sail n: 98888, Owner: Alan Brierty, State: WA, Division: IRC & ORCi, Design: Reichel-Pugh 62 ( Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi )

One Of The Classes Starting In Newport Bermuda Race 2008 (Photo by George Bekris)

One Of The Classes Starting In Newport Bermuda Race 2008 (Photo by George Bekris)

 

 There are many ways to watch the Friday afternoon start in Newport. The shore-side view is spectacular and comfortable.  Many people watch the start from Castle Hill, right at the start of Ocean Drive.  Others watch from the Jamestown shore, where the best viewing is at Fort Wetherill State Park.  Beavertail State Park in Jamestown is also an option, but a little further away from the line.
 
A variety of vessels are available for charter in Newport.  If you visit the various Newport web sites dedicated to tourism and business, you will find many listed. Numerous tourist vessels take visitors out on the water for tours, and a number of these may have special trips available specifically to watch the start of the race.  Again, check the many tourist web sites for Newport.
 
Hundreds of private yachts spend the afternoon watching the start.  Joining a friend or family member who has a boat in Newport and plans to be on the water for the day is a great way to see the race.
 
During the race, digital spectators can watch the progress of the race on their computers by logging on to iBoattrack through the Newport Bermuda Race web site www.bermudarace.com/ or through iBoat’s own web http://www.iboattrack.com/

Down in Bermuda, the best spot to watch the yachts finish in Bermuda is from the grounds of St. David’s Lighthouse. Visitors will find that the Finish Line Committee is very hospitable and depending on the finishing traffic, they may be invited up into the tower for a tour. It is a straight up climb and not for people afraid of heights. The view from the lawn is almost as good and worth the trip to St. David’s.

The HD Gateway Finish Line Cam is new for 2010.  From the high definition camera mounted on the St. David’s Lighthouse tower, finish line action will be streamed worldwide 24/7. Spectators can use iBoattrack to follow their boat of interest to the finish, then actually watch them cross the line when they arrive.

In Bermuda, digital spectators can watch boats finish from the comfort of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. A Gateway ‘SMART Board’ will be available for viewing in the Calabash Lounge and a smaller HD TV monitor will be available over the Terrace Bar.

 by Talbot Wilson

New Bermuda Race Entrants

Yacht  Yacht Type  Division  Captain 
ANGEL  Ctm 84  CD  Edward T. Anderson 
ATALANTA  Little Harbor 54  CD  James F. Volkwein 
ATTITUDE  Beneteau 423  CD  Shawn Dahlen 
AVATAR  Ranger 37  CD  Janusz Kedzierski 
BERMUDA OYSTER  Oyster 435  CD  Paul B. Hubbard 
BLE U C&C 51xl  CD  Dan Epstein 
BLUEBIRD  Migrant 45 Ketch  CD  Harry Bird 
BONSPIEL  Nordic 44  CD  James J. Richter 
CADENCE  Apogee 50  CD  R. David Warters 
CETACEA  Hinckley 59  CD  Christopher J. Culver 
CHECKMATE  Alden44  CD  Frank J. Flores 
CLOVER III  Swan 56  CD  Neal F. Finnegan 
CONVERGENCE  Jeanneau 43 DS  CD  James Linsley 
EAGLE  J-40  CD  Dana Oviatt 
ECLIPSE  Hinckley 59  CD  Barbara & Robert Cavanagh 
FOX  Swan 53  CD  Ruth M. Pecherek 
FREEDOM  Sabre 452  CD  Cary W. Thomson 
HAERLEM  Swan 55  CD  Hendrikus (Henk) P L Wisker 
I’LL THINK ABOUT IT  Beneteau 523  CD  Marc Tandourjian 
ISOLA  Baltic 52  CD  Howard M. Eisenberg 
KALUE  Wooden Ketch  CD  Rudy Schreiber 
LAURA B  Island Packet 45  CD  Joseph R. Triggs, Jr. 
LIBERTY CALL  HR 43  CD  Matthew G. Pilon 
LILLA  CNB 76  CD  Simon M. De Pietro 
MANANA  Swan 48  CD  Michhael V. Johnson 
MISTY  Little Harbor 54  CD  Eric G. Thorkilsen 
NIRVANA  Maxi 80  CD  Charles F Kiefer III 
NOSTOS  Alden 44  CD  Lorenzo D. Weisman 
NOVA  Swan 56  CD  Mark DiStefano 
PILGRIM  Alden 44  CD  Mark Rice 
POESKE  First 42  CD  Richard Donn 
RESTIVE  Alden48 Ctm  CD  George P Denny III 
RUTAINE  C&C 37/40+  CD  David P. McLoughlin 
SCEPTRED ISLE  Ctm 63  CD  Rex G. Herbert 
SHEARWATER  Morris 40  CD  Conrad Hall 
SHINDIG  Pearson 39-2  CD  Kevin G. Flannery 
TEMPTRESS  IMX-45  CD  Arent H Kits van Heyningen 
WHISKEY GIRL  Hinckley 70  CD  Michael McAllister 
WINDWALKER II  Lyman Morse 60  CD  Daniel Levangie 
ALIBI  J-120  DH  Gardner L. Grant, Jr. 
BOLANDS MILL  Class 40  DH  John Ryan 
CHOUCAS  Jeanneau SF36  DH  Frederic Cosandey 
CORDELIA  Valiant 42  DH  Roy F. Greenwald 
CUTLASS  Class 40  DH  Alex / Nick Mehran / Halmos 
DAWN TREADER  Swan 48 MK II  DH  Lawrence G. Cohen 
DELAWANA  Swan 51  DH  Hans F. Himmelman 
DIRIGO  C&C 41  DH  Eric M. Johnson 
DRAGON  Class 40  DH  Michael S. Hennessy 
ESMERALDE  Sabre 386  DH  Bruce R. Beard, Jr. 
GREAT SCOT  J-35  DH  Darren T Garnier 
HERON  J-120  DH  Greg R. Leonard 
KAMOA’E  Class 40  DH  Eric Lecoq 
KILLUA  Aphrodite 101  DH  James G. Binch 
KIVA  Hinkley SW51CB  DH  Mark Stevens 
LORA ANN  Express 37  DH  Richard T. du Moulin 
MIREILLE  J-120  DH  Edwin Gaynor 
NEXT BOAT  Morris 45  DH  Mark Ellman 
OCEAN WANDERER1  Montivideo 43  DH  Erwin Wanderer 
PALADIN  J-35  DH  Jason A Richter 
PLUM CRAZY  Sabre MK II  DH  Michael R. Berg 
RESOLUTE  J/122  DH  D. Scott Miller 
SEABISCUIT  J-46  DH  Nathan C. Owen 
SIR EDMUND  Ctm 49  DH  Fredrick R. Holt 
TOOTHFACE  Akilaria Class40  DH  Michael W. Dreese 
WHISPER  Hinckley 48  DH  Thomas J. Vander Salm 
BEAU GESTE  Farr 80  GHL  Karl Kwok 
BELLA MENTE  Mini Maxi  GHL  Hap Fauth 
CAPTIVITY  Farr 60  GHL  Samuel T. Byrne 
CATAPULT RACING  SouthernCross 52  GHL  Marc Glimcher 
HOI AN  Custom 50  GHL  Heilner Marc 
NATALIE J  TP52  GHL  Philip D. O’Niel III, D.D.S. 
NOONMARK VI  Swan 56  GHL  Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy 
RAMBLER  Ctm 90  GHL  George David 
RAN  JV 72  GHL  Niklas Zennstrom 
RIMA2  R/P 55  GHL  John Brim 
SNOW LION  Ker 50  GHL  Lawrence S. Huntington 
TITAN 15  ctm75  GHL  Tom Hill, Mr. 
VELA VELOCE  Southern Cross  GHL  Richard H Oland 
GENUINE RISK  Dubois 90  Open  Mark E / USMMA Watson III 
ILMOSTRO  VOR70  Open  Ken Read 
SPEEDBOAT  Maxi  Open  Alex Jackson 
ACTAEA  Hinckley B40  SDL  Michael M. Cone 
AKELA III  Swan 43  SDL  Djoerd Hoekstra 
AKUBRA  J44  SDL  Reginald H. Goodday Dr. 
AMADEUS  IMX-40  SDL  Jack R. Yaissle 
AMERICAN GIRL  King 40  SDL  Daniel Galyon 
AMIGO VI  J-42  SDL  Bernie P. Coyne 
APSARA  J-109  SDL  Mike Sleightholme 
ARBELLA  First 44.7  SDL  James P. Shaughnesy 
AURORA  Tartan 41  SDL  Andrew F. Kallfelz 
AURORA  Reichel/Pugh 66  SDL  Gus Carlson 
AVENIR  C&C 41  SDL  Joseph T. Murray 
AVRA  J/120 Mod  SDL  George Petrides 
BABE  Swan 46  SDL  Colin E. Couper MD 
BACCI  Swan 53  SDL  Lorenzo Vascotto 
BARLEYCORN  NYYC Swan 42  SDL  Brendan J. Brownyard 
BEAGLE  J-44  SDL  Philip H. Gutin 
BEAUSOLEIL  Beneteau 456SD  SDL  Richard A Parent 
BELLE AURORE  Cal 40  SDL  R Douglas Jurrius 
BIG BOOTY  Lutra 42  SDL  Patrick Eudy 
BOMBARDINO  Santa Cruz 52  SDL  James W. Sykes 
BRAND NEW DAY  J-65  SDL  James C. Madden 
BUZZ  Sydney 38  SDL  Richard E. Stevenson, Jr 
CARINA  CTM 48  SDL  Rives Potts 
CHARLIE V  J-44  SDL  Norman H. Schulman MD 
CILISTA  J-130  SDL  Jeffrey L. Eberle 
CONVICTUS MAXIMUS  Farr IRC 42  SDL  Donald W. Nicholson 
CYBELE  IMX-45  SDL  Richard M. Burnes, Jr 
CYGNETTE  Swan 441  SDL  William J. Mayer 
DENALI  Nelson Marek 70  SDL  Michael A. D’Amelio 
DOGSLED  Kaufman 47  SDL  Todd F. Barnard 
DOLPHIN  J-42  SDL  Henry S. Morgan 
DONNYBROOK  Ctm Sloop  SDL  James P. Muldoon 
FEARLESS  Farr 395 OD  SDL  Shaun J. Ensor 
FINESSE  J-42  SDL  Newton P.S. Merrill 
FLIRT  Navy 44 MK1  SDL  US NAVAL ACADEMY 
FLYING GOOSE  Ctm 56  SDL  Daniel C. van Starrenburg 
FROLIC  Sabre 362  SDL  Peter G. Brown 
GLORY  J-44  SDL  Jack Neades/ USCGA 
GOLD DIGGER  J-44  SDL  James D. Bishop 
GONE WITH THE WIND  Cal 40  SDL  William M. LeRoy 
GRACIE  Ctm 69  SDL  Stephan A. & Simon W Frank 
GREY MATTER  Hanse 470e  SDL  Brian R. Parselle 
GREYGHOST  Zaal 38  SDL  Philip W. Parish 
HAKUNA MATATA  Cal 39  SDL  Christopher J. Andrews 
HIGH NOON  Tripp 41  SDL  Colin Rath 
HIRO MARU  Swan 43 Classic  SDL  Hiroshi Nakajima 
HOUND  Ctm 60  SDL  Eberhart Frank 
INVICTUS  TP52  SDL  US Naval Academy 
JACKNIFE  J-133  SDL  Andrew Hall 
JACQUELINE IV  Hinckley SW42  SDL  Robert S. Forman, Jr 
JADE  J-42  SDL  Robert W. Thuss, Jr. 
KALEVALA II  Grand Soleil 37  SDL  Tapio O. Saavalainen 
KODIAK  Swan 601  SDL  E. Llwyd Ecclestone 
LAPIN  Benn Frst 40.7  SDL  Christopher Clark 
LINDY  Peterson 38  SDL  David G. Dickerson 
MAGIC  Santa Cruz 52  SDL  Kenneth Laudon 
MERLIN  Swan57  SDL  John H Duerden 
MISCHIEVOUS  Ctm 65  SDL  Albert J. Fitzgibbons 
MISTY  J-40 WK  SDL  Fred A. Allardyce 
MOJOE  Peterson 43  SDL  Joseph M. Naroski 
MORGAN OF MARIETTA  Centurion 42  SDL  Colin G Golder 
NASTY MEDICINE  Corby 41.5  SDL  Stephen J. Sherwin MD 
RAGANA  Cape Fear 38R  SDL  Darius Peleda 
RAINMAKER  Swan40  SDL  Kenneth P. Hylwa Mr. 
REGATTA  CARTER41  SDL  Constantine G. Koste 
REINDEER  Morris 47  SDL  Peter/Tony Driscoll/Parker 
RELATIVITY  Beneteau 53F5  SDL  Hall Palmer 
RESOLUTE  J-44 WK  SDL  Fred Madeira 
RICOCHET  J-120  SDL  USCGA 
ROCKET SCIENCE  J-120  SDL  Rick F. Oricchio 
RUNAWAY  J-44  SDL  Lawrence R. Glenn 
SAILOR BANDIDO  Quest 33  SDL  Christopher A. Palabrica 
SARAH  X-41  SDL  Gregory B. Manning 
SFORZANDO  Ker 55  SDL  Clayton G. Deutsch 
SHINNECOCK  J-120  SDL  James C. Praley 
SINN FEIN  Cal 40  SDL  Peter S. Rebovich, Sr. 
SIRENA BELLA  J44  SDL  Joe Murli 
SIRENSONG  J-133  SDL  Thomas J Carroll 
SLIDE RULE  First 44.7  SDL  Scott Bearse 
SPIRIT  Baltic 38DP  SDL  A. John Gregg 
STAR CHASER  Swan 51  SDL  Wijnand (Boogie) van den Boogaard 
STARLIGHT  Simonis Voogd 56  SDL  Michael Dybvik 
SWIFT  Navy 44 MK1  SDL  US Naval Academy 
TEMPTATION  Taylor 45  SDL  Arthur & Peter Santry 
TERRAPIN  Beneteau 40.7  SDL  Jonathan Litt 
THEJACKAL  Beneteau 40.7  SDL  John DeFilippo 
THREEBEANS  Santa Cruz 37  SDL  Christopher Rosow 
TIGER  Swan 46  SDL  Thomas & Nancy Grieb 
TRIPLE LINDY  Swan 44 MK II  SDL  Joseph Mele 
TRUE  J-42 (mod)  SDL  Howard B. Hodgson, Jr. 
UPGRADE  Farr 395  SDL  Peter Gibbons-Neff 
VALKYRIE  First 44.7  SDL  David Andril 
VAMP  J-44  SDL  Leonard J. Sitar 
VANQUISH  STP 65  SDL  Rego / Riker Lucas / USMMA 
VORTICES  J 145  SDL  Christopher L Saxton 
WAZIMO  Aerodyne 38  SDL  W. Barrett Holby, Jr. 
WESTRAY  Concordia 39  SDL  John D. Melvin 
WHISPER  Canning 48  SDL  Sheldon Brotman 
WHITE RHINO  Swan 56  SDL  Todd Stuart 
WINDBORN  J-120  SDL  Richard W. Born 
XCELSIOR  IMX-45  SDL  Alice O. Martin 
XENOPHON  Swan 44 MKII  SDL  Jeffrey V. Rabuffo, MD 
ZEST  Hinckley SW42  SDL  Brian E. Swiggett 
ZWERVER  S&S 57′ Berm Cut  SDL  Frans van Schaik 

The above list subject to change.

 

For More Photos of the Newport bermuda Race 2008 by George Bekris click  HERE

Newport Bermuda Race 2008 (Photo by George Bekris )

Newport Bermuda Race 2008 (Photo by George Bekris )

 From the June 18th start in Newport to finish in Bermuda 635 miles later, this classic ocean race is almost a spectator sport.

 

Magie Carpet (Photo by Carlo Borlenghi)

Magie Carpet 2 (Photo by Carlo Borlenghi)

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2009 heads into its final day with the division leaders poised to take their place on the victory podium. Velsheda (GBR) in Cruising/Spirit of Tradition has locked out the opposition and is unbeatable. Whisper (IRL) in Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising put one foot wrong today, but still looks to be secure. Y3K (GER) in Wally is another looking purposefully forward rather than nervously behind, while Alfa Romeo (NZL) and Bella Mente (USA) in Mini Maxi Racing (Owner/Driver) know there is all to play for. Roma (ITA) in Racing/Cruising approached the precipice of despair today and will have to have better luck tomorrow if she is not to topple over.

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup fleet were divided into two main groups today. One batch undertook a coastal course, whilst the other some short course racing. Most of the overnight leaders put in good or reasonable performances and even those that had difficult days did enough to maintain their positions at the head of their standings. Only in Mini Maxi Racing 00 do we have a new leader in the form of Ràn (GBR).

Cruising/Spirit of Tradition, Racing & Racing Cruising and Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising embarked on a 25-mile lap that took the yachts to a windward mark, before bearing off towards Monaci. A spinnaker run down into the channel and the turn at Secca di tre Monti was followed by a reach through Passo delle Bisce, which widened as the yachts headed on to the bottom mark of the course at Mortoriotto allowing the adventurous to set their spinnakers a second time. The final leg was a fetch back to the finish off Porto Cervo with the usual hitch into Pevero just before the line. Conditions were blissful. Bright sun, reasonable breeze that held through the majority of the course; all sailed on a chop that kept the foredeck crews nimble on their toes.

There were a number of vantage points to catch the fleet engaged on the coastal course. One of the best was certainly the rocky outcrop that is Isola dei Monaci just as the Cruising/Spirit of Tradition Class thundered past trying hard to avoid flattening the Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising, which had the fortune or misfortune, depending upon one’s viewpoint, to arrive at the same time. From a spectator’s standpoint it was just a wonderful spectacle, well worth the hassle of a flying leap from a bucking rib onto the abrasive granite piercing through the waves. Given it was lunchtime too; the timing was perfect for twenty minutes or so of entertainment.

Possibly, though, the next location was the best. At first all you see is the house pennant poking above the rock, moving as if some child is running across the uneven cliff top with a flag in hand. Slowly at first, but with gathering pace an expanse of khaki Kevlar starts to appear. Then you sense the noise, initially just the groaning strain of an easing sheet followed the sound of water being pushed dismissively aside. This is the approach of the J Class Velsheda to Capo Faro, the southern edge of the Passo delle Bisce. The highest point of Capo Ferro is 46 metres; Velsheda’s mast is 56 metres, so no contest on the height front. Except from a rib it takes a while to assimilate the information rushing towards you and to register the size of yacht involved.

Luna Rossa and Bella Mente (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

Luna Rossa and Bella Mente (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

In Racing & Racing/Cruising, Karl Kwok’s 80-foot Beau Geste (HKG) was first to round Monaci. She ate the course to day as if it were no more filling than an antipasti. This is a boat that flies, completing the 25 nautical mile course in 10 minutes under the two-hour mark. Beau Geste is an awe-inspiring sight from the water. On the boat it has the feeling of a powerboat, and the sensation of speed is real and enjoyable, as Francesco de Angelis, tactician onboard, explains; “I’ve sailed for many years on different, heavier boats. This is a lot of fun. She is a big boat but you sail like it’s a small one because you need the weight in the proper place and you need to manoeuvre well. But she is user-friendly and speed is your friend with this yacht. She is as surefooted as an all-wheel drive. You permanently feel under control.” Interestingly, de Angelis says the crew are still getting accustomed to her ways and how hard to push her. He does not think we have seen all of Beau Geste’s potential just yet.

Amongst the Racing/Cruising yachts, Roma-Aniene still leads the standings, after a day that saw her lose her mainsail immediately after the start. Sailing the course under storm trysail might be different, but it relegated her to the role of walking wounded and into last place in the day’s race results. DSK Pioneer Investments (ITA) took the bullet and is now level on points with Roma, but with a discard coming into play tomorrow it will take another disastrous day on Roma to deny her the title. Andrea Casale, the tactician on DSK, acknowledges the unlikelihood of securing victory, but is pleased to be putting up a fight, “we’ve had our best, cleanest and steadiest day. We had an easy life because of the problem to Roma’s mainsail just after the starting line. It’s good to go into the last race with a little chance. It is good motivation for the crew to think they could win.” In his closing remarks, Casale revealed the sporting nature of the contest this week commenting that if results do not go their way tomorrow he would be happy to see the crew of Roma win.

Maxi Fleet Rounding Monaci Island (Photo by Carlo Borlenghi)

Maxi Fleet Rounding Monaci Island (Photo by Carlo Borlenghi)

In the Cruising/Spirit of Tradition it was Ronald de Waal and Velsheda’s day yet again. They have wrapped up this division and have no need to sail tomorrow to win. But they will and we will be treated to another enthralling chance to watch a historic yacht charge at full tilt around the Porto Cervo racing grounds. Charles Dunstone’s Hamilton II (GBR) took second on handicap, and lies in second overnight on equal points with Hasso Plattner’s Visione (GER), which finished third. Bouwe Bekking, a six-times round the world racer in the Whitbread and Volvo is onboard Visione for the week and gave a brief insight to the differences racing a boat over twice the length of his usual steed, “first and foremost it’s a beautiful boat below and on-deck, so we have to be very careful with the sail-handling. In general, because it’s bigger we take a lot longer with manoeuvres. The biggest spinnaker is 1500 square metres and takes two-minutes to hoist and then you have to get the sock off. Dropping the spinnaker can take three-minutes. Otherwise, the boat has seven metres draft so with all the rocks it is a little nerve-racking. You do not cut any corners and take a wide berth of every rock around the course.”

Mick Cotter’s Whisper has all but sewn up Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising despite a fifth place today. Her closets rival Aegir (GBR) is five points behind and when the throw out comes into play tomorrow it will take a bigger implosion on the part of Cotter and his crew to lose their hard fought lead. Brian Benjamin, owner of Aegir, is more than satisfied though, “we’ve been coming here for four years and had our first second-place in a race on Tuesday and today bettered that with our first first-place finish. Our best overall result has been fourth, so being in second at this stage is fantastic.” Aegir will have to sail smart tomorrow. She is locked on 13-points with OPS 5 (ITA) going into the last race.

The Mini Maxi Racing Division took on two more windward/leeward courses of 10.8 miles each. The wind was northerly and around 12 knots for the first race, dropping as low as 8 knots for the second. It was a tricky day, complicated by a 1.5 metre choppy sea-state. With the breeze favouring the right side of the course and a significant current influencing the left, the strategic-planning departments at the back of each boat were on a heightened state of alert for opportunities to gain and possibilities to lose. Keeping two steps ahead was a necessary part of the game. Ràn ran away with the ball in the Overall Mini Maxi 00 Division posting two wins to Alfa Romeo’s 2, 6 score line and Niklas Zennstrom holds a three-point advantage, with a discard already in play. Robert Scheidt, Torben Grael and Nacho Postigo on Luna Rossa (ITA) made amends for yesterday’s car-crash, scoring 5, 2 to lock themselves in third place. Hap Fauth and Bella Mente lie in fourth place in 00, but in second in the all-important Owner/Driver Classification, only one-point adrift of Alfa Romeo, which had a run in with Andres Soriano’s Alegre (GBR) during the second of today’s races.

Maxi Fleet (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

Maxi Fleet (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

The Wally division twice took on the same windward/leeward course. Lindsay Owen Jones’ Magic Carpet (GBR) with an afterguard triumvirate of Tony Rey, Tom Whidden and Marcel van Triest put in a commanding performance to take two victories. Not enough to put her in contention for the overall prize, where Y3K’s dominance remains. Claus Peter Offen’s latest yacht looks to be as competitive as his previous and holds a five-point lead over Thomas Bscher’s Open Season (GER). Rey admitted they were turning it around a little late, but the crew were pleased with the effort, “today played to our strengths and we had two really nice results. I had a lot of confidence in the crew to get the sails up and down, so we could sail the boat assertively. We’re always looking for podium finish every time we go racing and could make the top three. Magic carpet has always had a bit of magic to it when she comes racing here and guys are all pumped to go racing tomorrow.” So watch out J One.

Whatever the conditions tomorrow and whatever the results, there will definitely be a little bit of magic on the water. Whenever a group of maxis go racing anywhere in the world it is a spectacular sight. There is just something about Porto Cervo and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup that lifts it into a different league.

The final race takes place tomorrow, Saturday, with the first start scheduled for 11.30 CEST. The prize giving takes place tomorrow evening at 18.30 CEST on the Piazza Azzurra.

IDEA and Good Job Guys (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

IDEA and Good Job Guys (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

CURRENT PROVISIONAL STANDINGS Place, Boat Name, Owner, Nation, R1-R2, R3, R4, (R5, R6)*, Points (w/discard after 5 races)

Mini Maxi Racing (owner/driver)*
1. Alfa Romeo, Neville Crichton, NZL, 2-2-1-1-1-3, 7.0 points
2. Bella Mente, Hap Fauth, USA, 1-1-4-2-2-2, 8.0
3. Jethou, Peter Ogden, GBR, 3-3-2-4-4-1, 13.0

Mini Maxi (00 Class)*
1. Ran, Niklas Zennstrom, GBR, 4-2-3-2-1-1, 9.0 points
2. Alfa Romeo, Neville Crichton, NZL, 3-4-2-1-2-6, 12.0
3. Bella Mente, Hap Fauth, USA, 2- 3-7-4-4-5, 18.0

Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising
1. Whisper, Michael Cotter, IRL, 1-1-1-5, 8.0 points
2. Aegir, Brian Benjamin, GBR, 6-2-4-1, 13.0
3. Ops 5, Massimo Violati, ITA, 3-6-2-3, 14.0

Racing – Racing/Cruising
1. Beau Geste, Karl Kwok, HKG, 1-1-1-1, 4.0 points
2. Roma – Aniene, C.C. Aniene/F. Faruffini, ITA, 2-2-2-5, 11.0
3. DSK Pioneer Investments, Danilo Salsi, ITA, 3-3-3-2, 11.0

Racing/Cruising
1. Roma – Aniene, C.C. Aniene/F. Faruffini, ITA, 1-1-1-4, 7.0 points
2. DSK Pioneer Investments, Danilo Salsi, ITA, 2-2-2-1, 7.0
3. Sagamore Enigma, Nicola Paoleschi, ITA, 3-4-3-2, 12.0

Wally*
1. Y3K, Claus-Peter Offen, GER, 3-1-1-2-3, 10.0 points
2. Open Season, Thomas Bscher, GER, 2-3-2-6-2, 15.0
3. J One, Jean-Charles Decaux, FRA, 1-2-5-4-5, 17.0

Cruising/Spirit of Tradition
1. Velsheda, Tarbat Investment Ltd, GBR, 1-1-1-1, 4.0 points
2. Hamilton II, Lockstock Ltd, GBR, 2-4-5-2, 13.0
3. Visione, Hasso Plattner, GER, 5-3-2-3, 13.0