Rosebud Team DYT (Photo by Clemens Van Der Werf)

Rosebud Team DYT (Photo by Clemens Van Der Werf)

Rosebud/Team DYT, the Farr-designed STP65, sailed by owner Roger Sturgeon of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has won the 2009 US-IRC Gulf Stream Series (GSS) Trophy.  The award will be presented next summer at the New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex, which will also host the 2010 Rolex US-IRC National Championship from July 21-24.

 “The US-IRC Gulf Stream Series is a fantastic way to judge sailboats on a level playing field,” said Sturgeon. “There were plenty of different inshore and offshore races that we could enter to qualify for the series, and the comprehensive ratings system allowed for boats to be ranked against each other in an extremely fair manner.  Rosebud/Team DYT is optimized for all-around racing, not just downwind or upwind, and this series is a true test of all racing conditions.  The GSS scoring formula is complicated enough that we didn’t know if we actually won the series.  It is an honor we proudly accept, and we challenge others to campaign their way to the top next year.”

 On the way to winning the fourth annual US-IRC GSS, Rosebud/Team DYT logged some impressive finishes.  It finished first in the Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race, Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race, Ft. Lauderdale to Charleston Race and Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex.  It also finished second in the Acura Key West Race Week and the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex before going to Europe where its successful season there ended with a fallen rig in rough conditions at the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

 Finishing second overall for the 2009 US-IRC GSS series was Privateer, a Cookson 50 owned and skippered by Ron O’Hanley (Ipswich, Mass.).  The boat finished first at the Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race and Block Island Race Week, second in the Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race, Acura Key West Race Week and New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, and third at the Ida Lewis Distance Race.

 “US-IRC is delighted to have had two excellent programs at the top of this year’s GSS,” said US-IRC President John Brim, who won the series in 2008. “The wide range of events these two boats entered in 2009 show the great diversity of the Gulf Stream Series, and we are looking forward to an exciting and expanded series for 2010.”

 Brim explained that 19 events will make up the 2010 GSS (an increase of three events over last year), with events running  as far north as Newport, R.I., and this year stretching deeper into the Caribbean to include the second running of the RORC’s Caribbean 600.

Privateer, Sail Number USA 50009 (

Privateer, Sail Number USA 50009 Taken During The 2009 International Rolex Regatta( Photo by St. Thomas Yacht Club/Ingrid Abery).


2010 US-IRC Gulf Stream Series Announced


The US-IRC Gulf Stream Series (GSS), America’s only year-long racing series that spans the entire East Coast of the U.S.A. and Caribbean islands, returns for its fifth annual running in 2010 with an expanded list of events that starts with the 2009 Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race (January 13) and ends with the Storm Trysail Club IRC East Coast Championship (October  29-31).


The 2010 series will follow the format of the 2009 series with a few minor differences.


• Yachts will be entered in the series automatically when they compete in their first series event.  All yachts that qualify by sailing the required number of long distance, medium distance and regatta events will be scored for the series.


• The races and regattas will be divided into three groups as they have been in the past.  To qualify for the series a boat must participate in the required number of events from Group 1 – Buoy Races (5 required), Group 2- Medium Distance Races (2 required) and Group 3 – Long Distance Races (1 required).


• The Groups are:


Group 1 – Buoy Races (5 events required)


Key West Race Week, January 13, 2010

Miami Grand Prix, March 4-7, 2010

International Rolex Regatta, March 26-28, 2010

Charleston Race Week, April 8-11, 2010

American Yacht Club Spring Series, April/May 2010

New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex, June 11-13, 2010

New York Yacht Club Race Week by at Newport presented Rolex/Rolex US-IRC National Championship, July 21-24, 2010

US-IRC Long Island Sound Championship, September 18-19, 2010

American Yacht Club Fall Series, September, 2010

Storm Trysail Club IRC East Coast Championship, October 29-31, 2010


Group 2 – Medium Distance Races (2 events required)


Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race, January 13, 2010

Miami to Nassau Race, November, 2010

Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race, May 21, 2010

Around Long Island Regatta, July 29, 2010

Ida Lewis Distance Race, August 20, 2010

Stamford Vineyard Race, September 3, 2010


Group 3 – Long Distance Races (1 event required)


Ft. Lauderdale to Charleston Race, March 31, 2010

Newport to Bermuda Race, June 18, 2010

Royal Ocean Racing Club Caribbean 600, February 2, 2010

HETAIROS In Maxi Yacht Rolex Race 2008 (Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo)

Hetairos In Maxi Yacht Rolex Race 2008 (Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo)


When the 20th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup gets underway in two weeks, expect nothing less than a medieval scrap between various latter day warlords and their trusted retainers. The mightiest contest is expected in the Mini Maxi division where eight of the latest exponents of this growing class will be brushing up on Sun Tzu’s Art of War ahead of the season’s highlight Maxi yacht event, which begins on 6 September and is organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Equally, compelling contests will unfold elsewhere in the forty-four boat fleet, which features some battlefield goliaths including Albert Buell’s 45.19 metre (148 foot) Saudade (MLT), only marginally outstripped on the size front by Hasso Plattner’s 45.52 metre (149 foot) Visione (GER).

Only one division champion from 2008 is returning to the scene of their triumph. Lindsay Owen Jones’ 28.8 metre (94 foot) Magic Carpet 2 (GBR) will be defending her Wally Yachts’ title. Owen Jones has won his division at this event on four occasions with two different yachts, but even he will be anticipating a tough few days. Jean Charles Decaux and the 24.4 metre (80 foot) J One (FRA) (the former two-time winning steed of Owen Jones) vanquished all opposition in 2007, whilst Claus Peter Offen, a victor in 2005, is returning with a brand new 30.5 metre (100 foot) Y3K (GER). This latest Y3K features a trim-tab fixed keel, PBO rigging, a high modulus carbon-fibre mast and a three-metre bowsprit. Weighing in at 57 tonnes she incorporates a luxurious interior and is no stripped-out flyer, but Offen is a competitive yachtsman and looked to the America’s Cup Class design world when selecting the keel and rudder combination.

Y3K will not be the only yacht making its Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup debut. There are a host of Mini Maxis getting ready to engage in battle on the waters off Porto Cervo for the first time. Niklas Zennstrom’s 21.9 metre (72 foot) Rán 2 (GBR), flush with success from the 2009 Rolex Fastnet where she took the overall win, is heading into the fray. Zennstrom will expect no quarter from Patrizio Bertelli’s all-star cast on the STP 65 Luna Rossa (ITA) or Udo Schütz’s STP 65 Container (GER) – both newcomers too. Schütz is a former Admiral’s Cup winner and is unlikely to be fazed by any of the other formidable weaponry on display. Hap Fauth’s 21 metre (69 foot) Bella Mente (USA) is another freshman hoping to prove her mettle along with Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou (GBR). At 18.3 metres (60 foot), Jethou is the smallest combatant amongst the IRC oriented Mini Maxis and the crew will have their work cut out to keep pace on the water with some of their competitors. However, first home is not first on the podium. Corrected time is the all-important determinant of who receives the spoils.

Whilst the newest Mini Maxis are expected to replicate an on-water cavalry charge around the courses, a 2006 division winner will be taking the contest at a more leisurely pace. The 38.25 metre (125 foot) Hetairos (CAY) was built in 1993, but is absolutely classic in appearance. Often, at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, she appears to adopt a field-marshal’s role observing the mêlée from afar and then delivering the crushing blow come results time. Another expected to follow this model is the 39.92 metre (131 foot) Maria Cattiva (MLT). Launched in 2003 by the Dutch yard Royal Huisman, Maria Cattiva is a Bruce King design, just like Hetairos, and is also a modern interpretation of a bygone era.

This year’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup also forms the final showdown in the Swan Maxi Class. The 2008 circuit winner, Roel Pieper’s Swan 80 Favonius (NED) (winner of the Rolex Swan Cup in the same year), comes to the arena with a solid track record on the Costa Smeralda. Pieper will expect no quarter from the Swan 90s Solleone (ITA) or DSK Pioneer Investments (ITA), the Swan 82FD Grey Goose (GER) or the Swan 601 @robas (FRA) all of whom will be looking to unseat him.

RANGER In Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2008 (Photo by Rolex/ Daniel Forster)

Ranger In Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2008 (Photo by Rolex/ Daniel Forster)

Leaving aside the warlike analogies for the moment, the event is shaping up to be memorable one particularly if the wind plays its part and allows organisers the chance to put on a full-week of competition. With competing yachts from 16 different nations, including Karl Kwok with Beau Geste from Hong Kong and Neville Crichton with Alfa Romeo 3 from New Zealand, it will be an international occasion. One other thing for certain, the intensity of activity on the water will be matched by the intensity of the social schedule ashore, as owners and crews mix together to trade war stories each evening.

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2009, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda takes place from 6 to 12 September. Racing commences on Monday, 7 September and concludes with the final prizegiving on Saturday, 12 September. From the most luxurious, through the most traditional, to the most advanced monohulls afloat today, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is nothing if not an astonishing line up of sailing power.

ALFA ROMEO 3 and ROSEBUD In Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup 2008 (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Alfa Romeo 3 and Rosebud In Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup 2008 (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

 Entry List For Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup 2009

Alfa Romeo
Beau Geste
Dark Shadow
DK Pioneer Investments
Good Job Guys
Grande Orazio
Grey Goose

Hamilton II
J One

Luna Rossa
Magie Carpet 2
Maria Cattuva
Open Season
Rosebud / Tean DYT