Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fleet Grounded At Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Maxi Winners Announced

Porto Cervo, Italy. 8th September 2012.

The 34 crews participating in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2012 had a long wait before Principal Race Officer Peter Craig finally resigned himself to the fact that the seas off the north-east coast of Sardinia could not and would not host maxi racing today due to the almost total absence of wind. 
Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
Sailors and spectators alike were therefore denied what had promised to be a momentous final battle thanks to allocation of overall victory coming down to the last race of the series in several classes. Yesterday's leaders were therefore confirmed as the winners of the 23rd edition of the event organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the International Maxi Association and with the support of title sponsor Rolex. 
Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
Hap Fauth's Bella Mente, with Dee Smith calling tactics, took the title of Mini Maxi Rolex World Champion while Magic Carpet 2 (Wally), Aegir (Racing Cruising), Nilaya (Super Maxi) and Esimit Europa 2 (Racing) claimed the Rolex Trophy and timepiece in their respective divisions.
Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
In the Mini Maxi class the scene was set for a head to head between the 2012-launched Bella Mente and last year's winner Rán, as both entered the final day with 12 points. Zennstrom's Rán, with tactician Adrian Stead, had to make do with the runner-up spot gained yesterday however, while the US crew on Caol Ila R took third.
Bella Mente crew Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
"We would like to have sailed today and we were emotionally ready for the contest but the wind gods were not with us," said Hap Fauth. "It was a great week, we had tremendous sailing, and are delighted with the outcome. I've got a great crew and a new boat which we are still trying to figure out but the outcome is just wonderful."
Magic Carpet 2 crew Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
Magic Carpet 2, owned by Lindsay Owen Jones and with veteran US America's Cup sailor Tom Whidden on board, dominated the Wally Class throughout and finished ahead of Thomas Bscher's Open Season in second place and J One, owned by Jean Charles Decaux.
Aegir Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
Among the Racing yachts, Brian Benjamin's Aegir held the lead from day one ahead of two Swan 90s: Altair, and Berenice Bis, with Tiziano Nava calling tactics.
Brian Benjamin, centre Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
Benjamin, who came second in the division in 2011, was naturally delighted: "This was unfinished business after coming so close last year and this time it has been deeply satisfying to show what the Carbon Ocean 82 can do. Aegir had a tremendous battle with Altair and I have to say that their boat was exceptionally well sailed. I take a lot of satisfaction in winning against a highly experienced helmsman, especially as this is only my second year at the helm in the Maxis."
Nilaya Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
With a clear run of bullets, the 34-metre Nilaya, owned by Filip Balcaen, was the victor in the Super Maxi division. The battle for silver, meanwhile, was won by the 45-metre Wally Saudade, owned by Albert Buell, ahead of Peter Harrison's Sojana.
Esimit Europa Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
In the Racing division the grand prix racer Esimit Europa 2, owned by Igor Simcic and skippered by Jochen Schuemann, fought an epic battle with the J class yacht Velsheda throughout the week as the two alternated in the top spot each day. Only a bullet in the final race of the series assured Esimit's victory over Ronald de Waal's classic sloop. Irvine Laidlaw's Highland Fling took third.
Highland Fling Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo commented on the standard and spirit of the event: "These are the most stunning boats in existence, and although this is a highly competitive fleet this is the first time in the history of the event that no protests were made at all which is quite an achievement. What makes the event is the owners and the boats and having such an exceptional fleet in these difficult times is incredibly rewarding. As the season closes here in Porto Cervo we hope to see all of these yachts at our Caribbean regattas in Virgin Gorda this winter."
Jethou Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex
The winners of each division received a Rolex Trophy and timepiece. Awards also went to Thomas Bscher of Open Season for the best placed YCCS member and to Peter Ogden - owner of the Mini Maxi Jethou - as IMA circuit winner. The Wally Record Trophy was also presented to Igor Simcic of Esimit Europa 2 for setting a new Monaco to Porto Cervo course record prior to the start of racing in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

Jill Campbell

Final Results

Position - Boat - R1/R2/R3/R4/R5/R6 - Total points (1 discard)
1.Bella Mente - 3/1/1/1/(2)/6=12
2.Ràn - 1,5/4/4/(5)/1/1,5=12
3.Caol Ila R - 6/5/2/(6)/5/3=21
4.Jethou - 4,5/(8)/6/2/3/7,5=23

Position - Boat - R1/R2/R3/R4/R5 - Total points (1 discard)
1.Magic Carpet 2 - 1/2/1/1/(5)=5
2.Open Season - (4)/1/2/2/3=8
3.J One - 2/3/4/(5)/4=13
4.Hamilton -(7)/4/6/3/1= 14

Position - Boat - R1/R2/R3/R4 - Total points
1.Esimit Europa2 - 3/1/3/1=8
2.Velsheda - 1/3/1/3=8
3.Highland Fling - 2/2/2/2=8
4.Firefly - 5/4/4/4=17

Position - Boat - R1/R2/R3/R4 - Total points
1.Aegir - 1/1/1/1=4
2.Altair - 4/2/2/3=11
3.Berenice Bis - 2/3/3/5=13
4.Plis Play - 3/4/5/2=14

Position - Boat - R1/R2/R3/R4 - Total points
1.Nilaya - 2/2/2/2=8
2.Saudade - 6/4/9/4=23
3.Sojana - 4/8/4/7=23
4.Viriella - 8/10/6/7=31

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