Friday, May 17, 2013

Rolex Capri Sailing Week Volcano Race - Capri Challenges: An Alluring Combination

The final preparations are underway for tomorrow’s race start at the 2013 Rolex Capri Sailing Week Volcano Race. Running until 24 May, the event welcomes an international fleet of Maxi yachts to the Tyrrhenian Sea for nine days of challenging racing, complemented by an impressive social programme.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Composed of four segments, the Rolex Capri Sailing Week Volcano Race promises challenging conditions for the 14 participating Maxi yachts. Representing Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, the fleet eagerly awaits the alluring combination of inshore and offshore racing, set against some of Italy’s most iconic destinations.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
“Capri is one of the most beautiful places in the world,” said Sir Peter Ogden, owner of the Mini Maxi Jethou, overall winner of the 2012 event.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
“For sailors it combines onshore glamour and Rolex hospitality with challenging sailing conditions. In particular, the offshore Volcano Race presents a host of tactical issues, depending on wind speed and variability in direction,” Ogden said.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Thomas Jungblut, permanent tactician aboard Y3K, agreed with Ogden that capricious wind conditions in the area are known to upset the formbook. In 2012, Y3K was the second fastest boat on the water, a result the crew is aiming to better in 2013. “Due to varied winds and sailing conditions, sometimes the smaller or bigger yachts will have a big advantage or disadvantage,” said Jungblut. “Certainly there is no lack of tension among the fleet.”

In an effort to outperform this season’s competition, Y3K was optimised over the winter, configured with a more powerful mainsail, and, a deeper keel for increased stability and speed on the water. The crew has also undergone a four-day training session in La Ciotat, France to prepare for the challenges ahead. “The mix of races requires a variety of tasks, especially extremely good crew handling,” added Jungblut, emphasising the spirited contest expected within the fleet.

Ogden also confirmed the race’s reputation as being competitive and capable of surprises: “You can never prepare for everything and you have to adapt as the race develops.” He does offer some useful advice to newcomers; “The winning formula is easy: you just have to sail better than everybody else.”

Organised by the International Maxi Association, in collaboration with the Yacht Club Gaeta EVS and the Yacht Club Capri, racing officially begins tomorrow, Saturday 18 May, with a 100 nautical-mile offshore circuit that leads participants from Gaeta, past Ponza and Ventotene, to a finish on the iconic island of Capri. Two days of inshore racing will follow off Capri before the start of the fourth and final race, the Rolex Volcano Race, on 22 May. The Rolex Volcano Race is composed of a 300 nautical-mile journey around the UNESCO-protected Aeolian islands north of Sicily, with a start and finish in Capri.

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