Saturday, September 10, 2011

Maxi's Make The Final Day Count In Port Cervo

Porto Cervo, Italy. 10th September 2011.
OPS 5 Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2011 concluded today with the victory of Claus Peter Offen's Y3K (GER) in the Wally division, Danilo Salsi's DSK Pioneer Investments (ITA) in the Racing/Cruising division, Nilaya (GBR) in the Supermaxi division and Sir Irvine Laidlaw's Highland Fling (GBR) in the Maxi Racing fleet. The winner of the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship, for the second year running, was Niklas Zennstrom with his 72 foot Ràn 2 (GBR).
A tanned and very happy Niklas Zennstrom Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
Despite another day of shift light winds, the YCCS Race Committee managed to squeeze in two windward-leeward races for the Mini Maxi and Wally divisions and a 24 nautical mile coastal race for the remaining divisions once the north-easterly breeze stabilized in the early afternoon.
Shockwave leads Ràn 2 Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
George Sakellaris' Shockwave scored their second bullet of the series in the first Mini Maxi race of the day but Ràn 2 were on top their game in the second and final race to take their fourth victory of the series. Niklas Zennstrom's boat led the overall classification from day one and finished with a comfortable lead while Alegre (GBR), Shockwave (USA) and Jethou (GBR) fought it out for the rest of the silverware. A second and a third place today assured second place overall for Alegre ahead of Shockwave.
Ràn 2 Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
"This venue is fantastic and the Race Committee did a really good job organizing the races with the challenging conditions and the varying winds. We came here this week to defend our World Championship title and we were very focused on that. These boats are very very close and we have been sailing against each other for quite some time so there is always rivalry but you have to think about the whole fleet when racing. Today we knew we had to go out and not make any stupid mistakes but sail the way we always sail." said Ràn 2's owner, Niklas Zennstrom.
Y3K Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
Elsewhere in the fleet, J One (GBR), owned by Jean Charles Decaux, scored their first bullet of the week in the first windward-leeward for the Wally division while Thomas Bscher's (GER) Open Season claimed their first victory in today's final race. Thanks to two bullets at the start of the week Claus Peter Offen's Y3K claimed the top spot overall.
Itacentodue Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
The remaining divisions sailed their fourth coastal course around the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago.

In the Maxi Racing division everything came down to today's final confrontation between the two competing yachts. Highland Fling just managed to squeeze past Igor Simcic's Esimit Europa 2 on corrected time today to claim first place overall and the Rolex trophy.
Esimit Europa 2 Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
In the Maxi Racing/Cruising division too, the final head-to-head between DSK and Aegir saw the Italian boat triumph today to climb back into the overall lead by just one point.

"It's been a thrilling week and I have to say we didn't expect this victory. We improved during the week and a few days ago we realized we'd be fighting it out with Aegir. When we were second yesterday we got a bit worried but today we were determined and we stayed right behind Aegir downwind and we won in the end, even if just by a few seconds. Today's performance was the decisive one," said DSK's tactician Andrea Casale.
Visione and Nilaya Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
The Supermaxi division saw Albert Bull's 45.2 metre Saudade (GER) complete the course in the fastest time today but overall victory went to the 2010 custom sloop Nilaya which dominated the division from day one.

Division winners were awarded Rolex Yachtmaster timepieces and trophies during the prize giving ceremony held on the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's Piazza Azzurra.

Lulu Roseman

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