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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Full Steam Ahead For America's Cup - US Coast Guard Issues Permit

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued the America’s Cup with the Marine Event Permit required to conduct America’s Cup racing on San Francisco Bay this summer.
Photo: © ACEA/Giles Martin-Raget
“This is an important and necessary step for the America’s Cup,” said Iain Murray, independent Regatta Director for the America’s Cup.
Photo: © ACEA/Giles Martin-Raget
“I’d like to thank the United States Coast Guard and all of the other organizations and agencies who have helped the America’s Cup get to this point where we are ready to conduct racing, starting with the fleet parade and time trials on July 5, and the first race of the Louis Vuitton Cup, America’s Cup Challenger Series, on July 7.”
Photo: © ACEA/Giles Martin-Raget
The Marine Event Permit (“MEP”) requires the implementation of a Safety Plan that incorporates the 37 Safety Recommendations made by the Regatta Director following the fatal capsize of Artemis Racing last month.
Photo: © ACEA/Giles Martin-Raget
After receiving the MEP on Friday, Murray issued a Regatta Notice to the Competitors advising them that the MEP had been issued, and giving effect to the 37 Safety Recommendations, which now rank as rules for the Regatta, and allowing the Regatta to commence on schedule.

“This Regatta Notice has not been made lightly, nor without due consideration of the impact on, and the possible consequences for, each Competitor and the organizer,” Murray writes in a comment to close the Regatta Notice.

“I have exercised my professional judgment to the best of my ability, and have weighed carefully the unfortunate circumstances thrust upon us including (as a paramount consideration) the need to increase the safety of our crews, the officials and other Bay users, as well as the investment made by Competitors and all other stakeholders in this event. Safety is not a multiple-choice selection from which Competitors pick and choose. I have issued this Regatta Notice as being in the best collective interests of the America’s Cup as a long-standing institution in and at the pinnacle of our sport.”

On Thursday, Emirates Team New Zealand filed a protest with the International Jury over three of the 37 Safety Recommendations. The protest is expected to be heard in San Francisco on Monday, July 8, after racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup starts, as scheduled, on July 7.

America's Cup Media

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Team Aqua Wins RC44 Sweden Cup

The breeze really kicked in on for the final day of racing at the RC44 Sweden Cup in Marstrand. Forecasters were predicting anything from 12-30 knots from the south, east or west and as the 12 competing RC44 teams headed out to the race course no one knew quite what to expect.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
Ironbound (USA) won the only race of the day before the breeze reached 30 knots and the fleet were sent ashore. Team Aqua’s (GBR) fourth place was easily enough for Chris Bake’s team to win their second event of the season, but the fight for the remaining podium positions went down to the wire.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
Racing got underway in a 20 knot southerly breeze with Peninsula Petroleum (GBR) and Katusha (RUS) both called over the start early. Synergy (RUS) looked like the early leader on the far left hand side of the course until the rain bucketed down and the wind shifted 20 degrees to the right halfway up the first beat, switching the standings. Ironbound came in from the middle right to lead at the top mark from Artemis Racing. The shift helped Katusha recover to fourth while early leaders Synergy rounded last with Team Aqua in ninth.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
With the wind increasing Artemis Racing were first to suffer a broach down the run that saw the Swedish team drop from second to twelfth by the leeward gate. Team Nika were the next to fall, after fishing with their gennaker Vladimir Prosikhin’s team retired with a ripped sail, two snapped battens and a broken hatch.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
By the finish Ironbound had extended their lead to take their second win of the event with Beijing Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison calling tactics for owner David Murphy. Katusha, with Andy Horton calling the shots for Steve Howe, finished second followed by Aegir Racing (GBR) in third.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
Cameron Appleton guided Team Aqua up through the fleet to finish fourth and claim the 2013 RC44 Sweden Cup. Synergy’s recovery to seventh place was just enough for the Russian team to take second place overall, their best ever fleet race result in three seasons of competing on the RC44 Tour.

“The team sailed phenomenally well this week, it’s interesting that there are so many boats that did really well at points this week and at other points they made mistakes, like being over early and blowing shoots out. I’m slightly in awe of all the other boats and how quickly they have come up to speed, with a little bit more work they’re going to be right there and it will be key for us to keep the pressure on ourselves,”  said Team Aqua’s Owner/Driver Chris Bake

With second to fourth places all tied on 48 points, the count back went to Synergy then Aegir Racing. Early leaders Peninsula Petroleum (John Bassadone /Vasco Vascotto) just missed out on a podium finish.

Aegir Racing’s third place was their first ever podium position at an RC44 event since purchasing the ex ORACLE Racing at the end of last year.

“What impressed me most this regatta was our consistency, I think our worst result was a eighth so we were very pleased with that. This is Ian’s [Williams] second regatta so he took on a bigger role here, we’re hopefully settling into our stride, my driving is getting better but I think the conditions suited us, it was pretty windy but the waves were manageable most of the time,” owner Brian Benjamin said.

After three events in the 2013 RC44 Championship Tour overall standing, Team Aqua lead from Katusha and Synergy. The Tour now moves to Cascais, Portugal for the penultimate round of the season from 2nd-6th October.

RC44 Sweden Cup Fleet Race Results (After ten races)

1. Team Aqua 11 3 1 3 2 2 2 2 1 4 – 31
2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 7 4 2 12 4 1 3 6 2 7 - 48
3. Aegir Racing 6 6 8 1 3 4 7 4 6 3 – 48
4. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 2 2 7 7 5 5 4 5 5 6 – 48
5. Ironbound 9 12 4 8 6 7 1 7 3 1 – 58
6. Artemis Racing 3 1 9 6 8 6 5 3 8 10 – 59
7. Katusha 12 5 5 4 9 9 13DNF 1 4 2 – 64
8. Team Italia 1 9 6 2 10 8 8 10 9 9 – 72
9. Aleph Racing 8 10 3 5 12 3 6 9 10 8 – 74
10. Team Nika 5 7 10 10 1 12 9 8 7 13DNF – 82
11. Bronenosec Sailing Team 4 8 12 9 11 10 13 DNF 12 12 5 – 96
12. RUS7 Sail Racing Team 10 11 11 11 7 11 13 DNS 11 11 11 – 107

RC44 Media

Friday, June 28, 2013

Team Aqua Looking The Goods at RC44 Sweden Cup

The penultimate day of the RC44 Sweden Cup challenged the 12 competing team’s crew work and punished small mistakes. Consistency has proved difficult in Marstrand with eight different winners coming from the first eight races. Only overall leaders Team Aqua have been able to win two races, helping them increase their lead over the chasing pack to 14-points.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
With the breeze touching 20 knots for the opening race, Team Nika was eager to get their day started and were called over the line early. Katusha looked to be leading the fleet up the first beat, when their runner block broke putting them out of the race. Hugues Lepic’s Aleph Racing took over the gauntlet and rounded the windward mark first, followed by Aqua and Ironbound.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
Aleph held onto their lead until the closing stages of the race when a broach resulted in a ripped kite, putting them back to sixth. David Murphy steering Ironbound had made a big gain staying hard left on the first run and took over the lead to take their first win of the event, Aqua crossed second and Synergy sailed another strong race to finish third.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
The breeze dropped slightly for the second race of the day. With the tide pushing the fleet down the line, Team Italia lined up to leeward of the fleet ended up below the pin end layline, Ironbound stacked up next to them were forced to tack out behind the fleet. With the left favoured again Brian Benjamin’s Aegir Racing had the best first beat, but a costly broach on the first downwind gave Team Aqua the lead at the leeward gate.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
Second placed Katusha opted to split with Aqua and take the left hand gate to snatch the lead from the overall leaders. Katusha proceeded to match race Aqua up the second half of the beat, ensuring Chris Bake’s team had no clean air. By the top mark Katusha had given themselves a 30m buffer. The team steered by Steve Howe this week stayed ahead to take their first win of the RC44 Sweden Cup. Aqua picked up another second place, with Artemis Racing staying in contention finishing third.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
The breeze moderated to 14-16 knots for the final race of the day, big gennakers were back up flying, Nika was called over early again along with Aleph. With the left side being so favoured, a clean lane off the start line and good boat speed up the first beat was imperative. Aqua nailed it and led from start to finish, only challenged for the lead by Synergy. Ironbound rounded off a good day finishing third.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
“I’m still trying to find out myself why the left hand side is favoured, it’s just a geographical line, there might be a little less current and it’s the way you lead into the shore. Today a couple of times there were opportunities for right shift that we hadn’t seen, but the left was still the favoured place to be, more pressure, less current and a geographical influence from the rocks and the land as it bends around the coast. There’s nothing really obviously showing it’s there but it’s happening every race,” said Team Aqua’s tactician Cameron Appleton

RC44 Sweden Cup Fleet Race Results (After nine races)

1. Team Aqua 11 3 1 3 2 2 2 2 1 – 27
2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 7 4 2 12 4 1 3 6 2 – 41
3. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 2 2 7 7 5 5 4 5 5 – 42
4. Aegir Racing 6 6 8 1 3 4 7 4 6 – 45
5. Artemis Racing 3 1 9 6 8 6 5 3 8 – 49
6. Ironbound 9 12 4 8 6 7 1 7 3 – 57
7. Katusha 12 5 5 4 9 9 13DNF 1 4 – 62
8. Team Italia 1 9 6 2 10 8 8 10 9 – 63
9. Aleph Racing 8 10 3 5 12 3 6 9 10 – 66
10. Team Nika 5 7 10 10 1 12 9 8 7 – 69
11. Bronenosec Sailing Team 4 8 12 9 11 10 13 DNF 12 12 – 91
12. RUS7 Sail Racing Team 10 11 11 11 7 11 13 DNS 11 11 – 96

RC44 Media

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Britannia Rules at RC44 Sweden Cup, Marstrand - Day 3

For the third day of racing at the RC44 Sweden Cup in Marstrand the wind kicked in and with conditions not dissimilar to The Solent the British boats reigned supreme. Aegir Racing, Nika and Synergy all won races and a consistent day by Team Aqua (GBR) has catapulted them to the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the regatta. Team Aegir’s (GBR) top performance moved them into second overall and day one leaders, Peninsula Petroleum (GBR), slipped back to third.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
After a general recall racing got underway in a building 14 knot southerly breeze. The 12 strong fleet split in two up the first beat, as they converged on the top mark, it was the boats favouring the left who had the advantage. 
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
Massimo Barranco and Flavio Favini onboard Team Italia, rounded first closely followed by Brian Benjamin’s Aegir Racing. With the breeze increasing the British team took the advantage, Team Italia gybed inside Aegir at the leeward gate but were unable to get the overlap. Aegir’s tactician Ian Williams, who knows these waters well having match raced in the Stena Cup on many occasions, defended well for the rest of the race to finish just ahead of the Italians. Team Aqua recovered from seventh to third and Artemis Racing slotted into sixth after trailing the fleet for much of the race.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
By the start of race two the breeze had steadily increased to 16-18 knots with gusts over 20. Katusha were called over early at the start. After another close beat the first three to round the windward mark were Team Nika, Aegir Racing and Team Aqua. Nika took advantage of some clear air and proved to have good boat speed by extending her lead to over 200 metres by the finish line.  Team Aqua passed Aegir to take second while Brian Benjamin’s team hung on to post their second top three result of the day.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
For the day's final race, conditions remained at16-18 knots of breeze with a big swell. At the top mark Aleph Racing led from Team Italia who rounded overlapped with Synergy. The Russian team gybed early and tactician Ed Baird chose the favoured leeward gate to head right up the next beat followed by Aqua hot on his heels. Synergy took control to win the race.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
Team Aqua proved the most consistent team of the day, scoring 3,2,2, to giving them a six-point lead over fellow Brits, Aegir Racing, whose 1,3,4 scoreline moves them up into second overall on equal points with day one leaders Peninsula Petroleum.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
“We knew it would be tricky with the breeze building and the waves confused. Chris [Bake] had a good day on the helm; the crew did an excellent job of keeping the boat consistent. We got away unscathed damage wise today considering the conditions, but for sure you have to push hard and if you make one small mistake it can be disastrous. I think a couple of boats blew up shoots because of that. We had a small wipe out on the last run of the last race and we were lucky not to blow our shoot, but you have to push and be on the edge, but if you cross the line it can go bad,” Team Aqua's tactician Cameron Appleton  said.

RC44 Sweden Cup Fleet Race Results (After six races)

1. Team Aqua 11 3 1 3 2 2 – 22
2. Aegir Racing 6 6 8 1 3 4 – 28
3. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 2 2 7 7 5 5 – 28
4. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 7 4 2 12 4 1 – 30
5. Artemis Racing 3 1 9 6 8 6 – 33
6. Team Italia 1 9 6 2 10 8 – 36
7. Aleph Racing 8 10 3 5 12 3 – 41
8. Katusha 12 5 5 4 9 9 – 44
9. Team Nika 5 7 10 10 1 12 – 45
10. Ironbound 9 12 4 8 6 7 – 46
11. Bronenosec Sailing Team 4 8 12 9 11 10 – 54
12. RUS7 Sail Racing Team 10 11 11 11 7 11 – 61

RC44 Media

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Vasco Riding High in Marstrand - RC44 Sweden Cup - Day 2

The RC44 Sweden Cup fleet were dealt tricky conditions for the first day of fleet racing where no team finished in the top half of the leaderboard across the three races. Team Italia, Artemis Racing and Team Aqua all scored bullets, but the most consistent performer of the day was John Bassadone and Vasco Vascotto on Peninsula Petroleum. The Gibraltar based team scored two seconds and a seventh to take a two point lead over Artemis Racing and top spot overall.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
Race one got underway in a seven knot Nor 'westly that built to 12 knots as the rain kicked in. In race one Aleph Racing, Katusha, Team Aqua and Ironbound all jumped the line and after restarting all struggled to get back into the race. Massimo Barranco’s Team Italia with Flavio Favini calling tactics lead the fleet around the first windward mark followed by Artemis Racing (SWE) and Bronenosec Sailing Team in third.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis Racing and Team Italia traded places during the race, but in the closing stages it was the Italian team who dominated. The Swede’s had to settle for a third place after allowing Peninsula Petroleum to sneak into second.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
In race two Aleph Racing started at the committee boat end of the line on port, while Team Nika and Synergy headed off to the right. A big lefthand shift halfway up the first beat  gave the boats on the opposite side of the course an advantage. Artemis Racing rounded ahead of Peninsula Petroleum and Aegir and the top two leaders hung onto their positions for the rest of the race. Team Aqua charged through the fleet to claw their way into third place after rounding the first mark in ninth.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
In the day's third and final race of the day Chris Bake’s Team Aqua led from start to finish after gettting a glamour start at the favoured pin end of the line. Behind them positions kept changing. Aleph Racing were smoked by Synergy on the final run and Ironbound finished fourth. Peninsula Petroleum’s seventh place was enough to grab the overall lead and be two points ahead of Artemis Racing. Synergy  are on equal points with Artemis Racing, finishing the day with a 7,4,2 score and while Team Aqua’s day did not start well it ended with a win.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
“I’m happy with how the team sailed today. The first race was very good for us. The fleet is very compact when racing, two boat lengths is the equivalent to six places which is really exciting. The crew is in good condition so it is now my job to get a feel for the boat and see what we can do for the rest of the regatta,” said Vladimir Liubomirov of Bronenosec Sailing Team.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
The fleet welcomed 12 young sailors from the Gothenburg Yacht Club’s (GKSS) youth squad to be guest racers onboard for the day's first race. The Laser Radial and 29er sailors aged between 13 –20 years old were joined by their coach, Olympic Finn sailor, Daniel Bergmark.

“It was a great opportunity that the young sailors from the club got the chance to come here and sail with the RC44’s, It was a big inspiration for them to join the professional teams here and see how they work onboard and how the big boats are sailed. Normally they are Laser and 29er sailors so hopefully this will be the future for these sailors," Bergmark said.

RC44 Sweden Cup Fleet Race Ranking
(After three races)

1. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 2 2 7 – 11
2. Artemis Racing 3 1 9 – 13
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 7 4 2 – 13
4. Team Aqua 11 3 1 – 15
5. Team Italia 1 9 6 – 16
6. Aegir Racing 6 6 8 – 20
7. Aleph Racing 8 10 3 – 21
8. Katusha 12 5 5 – 22
9. Team Nika 5 7 10 – 22
10. Bronenosec Sailing Team 4 8 12 – 24
11. Ironbound 9 12 4 – 25
12. RUS7 Sail Racing Team 10 11 11 – 32

Lulu Roseman/RC44 Media

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Team Aqua Dominates Match Racing In Marstrand But Katusha Holds The Cards

Light winds greeted the twelve competing teams on day one of the RC44 Sweden Cup in Marstrand, where owners and pro’s took to the helm for the only match racing day of the event. And with three match racing events out of five now completed Katusha still holds top spot on the match race leaderboard.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
The annual RC44 Match Racing Championship is a rolling round robin raced for on the first day of each event throughout the season. Russia’s Katusha (Andy Horton) led the match race standings heading into the RC44 Sweden Cup with a three-point buffer over second placed Team Aqua (Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton).
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
Despite the breeze never blowing over eight knots, eight flights and 44 matches were completed in Sweden. The tough level of competition meant no team managed to keep a clean sheet, on a day where the breeze continued to shift and you really needed to be in phase with the conditions.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
Team Aqua, with Cameron Appleton at the helm, won the day with a 6-1 scoreline, losing just one match to Katusha, who in turn finished their day on 4-2. Appleton poured praise on the race committee for providing such a great days racing. Team Aqua is now just one point behind Katusha on the overall match race leaderboard.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
“It was a fantastic day when you think about how many races were accomplished, the team headed by Peter “Luigi” Reggio probably had the best day. For us it was great, we had six wins, one loss in a really fickle breeze. We had a good race with Katusha that could have gone either way,” Appleton said.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
Torbjorn Tornqvist at the helm of Artemis Racing, was one of just two teams to finish the day with just one loss. The Swedish team’s 5-1 scoreline moves them up the leaderboard into fourth. Synergy Russian Sailing, helmed by Ed Baird, matched Team Aqua’s six wins but lost two matches to the French Aleph team and Artemis Racing. The Russian defending match race champions now move up to third overall.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
“It’s really nice to sail in in Marstrand. It’s actually one of the very few opportunities I have to come back to Sweden, so it’s nice to spend a few days here. We are well prepared after today for the fleet racing and the boat is going well. The crew work is excellent so it’s up to us, we are ready,” Tornqvist said.

A team making good progress in the match racing this season is Team Nika. Owner Vladimir Prosikhin took the helm in Sweden and won five out of their seven races to move up from eleventh to sixth overall. However the team is still trying to recover from the first match racing event of the season in Oman where they ended up with -1 point after two collisions.

Russian match race Olympian Ekaterina Skudina was at the helm of Bronenosec Sailing for the team’s debut today, even with experienced RC44 tactician Michele Ivaldi onboard, standing in for Tommaso Chieffi, the new team failed score a point. Tomorrow owner Vladimir Liubomirov will take the wheel for the start of four days of fleet racing.

RC44 Championship Tour Match Race Ranking (After three events)

1. Katusha – 14
2. Team Aqua – 13
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team – 12
4. Artemis Racing – 11
5. Aleph Racing – 10
6. Team Nika – 7
7. RUS7 Sail Racing Team – 7
8. Aegir Racing – 6
9. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team– 6
10. RC44 Team CEEREF – 5
11. Team Italia – 5
12. Bronenosec Sailing Team – 2
13. MAG Racing – 2
14. Ironbound – 2

RC44 Media

Monday, June 24, 2013

RC44’s Gearing Up For Some Swedish Action in Marstrand

The RC44 fleet returns for the third consecutive year to the sailing mecca of Marstrand, Sweden for round three of the 2013 RC44 Championship Tour. The fleet of 11 teams will be joined by the Bronenosec Sailing Team owned by Russian Vladimir Liubomirov ready for the first day of racing on Tuesday 25th May.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
The Championship is still wide open after tight racing in the final race of the RC44 Trapani Cup, Sicily in May. RC44 heavy weights Team Aqua eventually snatched the lead from Slovenian Team CEEREF to win the event and take their place at the top of the overall fleet racing leaderboard.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
“The class is in a fantastic place right now and it's some of the best sailing on offer in an international circuit. The last event in Trapani was really tough and while we were victorious in the end we really had to fight for it with close racing all week. For us it all finally came together in the last race when it really counted. The skill level in the fleet is really deep and we’ve seen the new teams put in some really good events,” said Team Aqua’s tactician Cameron Appleton.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
After dominating the start of the season Russian team Katusha were pushed aside by Team Aqua and just one point separates first and second place. With gun tactician Andy Horton (USA) calling the shots, Katusha holds a strong three-point lead at the top of the match racing leaderboard with Team Aqua in second and match racing experts, Aleph Racing in third.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
Racing on home waters will be Torbjorn Tornqvist, owner of Artemis Racing, who are currently in third place in the fleet race ranking. Tornqvist will be joined by tactician Morgan Larson and is looking for a win in Sweden to be in contention for this year's championship title having finished on the podium for the past four seasons.
Photo: MartinezStudio.es
This is the third year the class has raced in Marstrand, known for it's reliable and regular strong afternoon sea breezes.

RC44 Media

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Spindrift Capsizes in Dun Lagohaire, Ireland

The MOD70 Spindrift has capsized on the first leg of the Route des Princes inshore race in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.
Photo: Chris Schmid/Spindrift Racing
All crew are safe and sound, but Jacques Guichard, Yann's brother and a key member of the crew, was hurt in the accident. Both brothers were airlifted by helicopter to the hospital in Dublin, where Jacques was diagnosed with fractures to the pelvis.
Photo: Chris Schmid/Spindrift Racing
Yann Guichard, the skipper of Spindrift explained the circumstances of the capsize: "We had 22 to 24 knots of wind on the start line with gusts of up to 30 knots at the lower end of the course. We were at the limit of weather conditions for our boats and it was not great for racing. All the MODs had one reef in the main and staysail. We started a bit below and behind the fleet and found ourselves slightly in a wind shadow. When our rivals had moved away we had a sudden gust literally flattened us.

"I was unable to do anything at the helm, the boat was turned over with a single blow. We let out out the staysail immediately, but it was too late as it all happened in a split second. the boat was lifted onto the port float and went over. Jacques was with me in the cockpit and we found ourselves in the net ... we managed to get out and then were airlifted. The mast broke in two when Spindrift turned over. The frame of the trimaran was towed away to the port."

All the crew, with the help of the whole Spindrift racing team, immediately mobilised to secure the frame and make sure the towing operation went safely. The trimaran will be returned to base in port and the Spindrift racing team will quickly and expertly assess the damage. The team will then seek a solution from the boat's home base in Saint Philibert.

Virginie Bouchet

Friday, June 21, 2013

Alizée and Magic Carpet 3 Taste Giraglia Victory

Laurent Camprubi’s XP44 Alizée (FRA) has been confirmed as the overall winner of the 2013 Giraglia Rolex Cup while Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’s Wally Cento Magic Carpet 3 (GBR) secured line honours as the fleet’s fastest boat.
Alizée crew Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
The 61st Giraglia Rolex Cup will live long in the memory with 184 yachts from 14 countries taking part in a gripping contest that provided constant tactical challenges for the entire fleet.
Alizée crew Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
Completing the 243-nm course from Saint-Tropez, France to Genoa, Italy in 31 hours, 35 minutes and 48 seconds, Owen-Jones’s recent launch saw off spirited competition from the seven-strong fleet of Mini Maxis to claim line honours. In the process, Owen-Jones avenged the disappointment of another dramatic finish. At the 2005 Giraglia Rolex Cup, his former Magic Carpet narrowly lost to North Sails Sportswear having led with 300 metres to spare and the finish line in sight.
Magic Carpet 3 Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
“We didn’t do anything radical,” explained Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones on arrival at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa. "We knew which side of the course we wanted to be on and as the first boat we had to cover all our bets. We stayed pretty central and that played out well.”
Fleet at Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
Magic Carpet 3’s stubborn tactical approach forced the chasing Mini Maxis to gamble in their search for stronger breeze on the last leg from the Giraglia Rock. While one group – including Bella Mente (USA) and Stig (ITA) – sailed right of the rhumbline, Rán 2 (GBR) and Alegre (GBR) shifted left, a calculation which almost paid off. Niklas Zennström’s Rán 2 finished just four minutes shy of Magic Carpet 3 with Andres Soriano’s new Alegre arriving a mere two minutes later. Five boats arrived within 30 minutes of the leader, a demonstration of the tight competition at the front of the fleet.
Fleet at Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
Ultimately the finishing times of the leading boats – a long way shy of the race record set by Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) in 2012 of 14 hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds – were insufficient to mount a serious challenge for the overall prize on handicap. That honour went to the 11-strong French crew onboard Alizée. 
Fleet at Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
“It’s a great surprise. At the Giraglia Rock we knew we were well placed in as we rounded with Natalia,” Laurent Camprubi said. 
Fleet at Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
“After that we made the decision to go west and they went east and the conditions proved more favourable for our arrival into Genoa. We never thought about winning overall. We concentrated on the race and our direct competition. It is reward for our great team spirit. We are a really nice mix of ages with the team including my son and his friends,” he added.
Rolex Timepieces  Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
Magic Carpet 3 and Alizée were rewarded for their efforts with Rolex timepieces and Alizée the Giraglia Rolex Cup Trophy at the final prizegiving at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa held on Friday evening.

Regatta News

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Magic Carpet 3 Takes Line Honours In Giraglia Rolex Cup

June 20, 2013

By crossing the finish line in Genoa at 20:06.48 CEST on Thursday evening, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’s Wally Cento Magic Carpet 3 (GBR) has secured line honours in the 61st Giraglia Rolex Cup.
Magic Carpet 3 Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
Niklas Zennstrom’s Ran 2 (GBR) was second to finish some four minutes behind closely followed by Andres Soriano’s fellow Mini Maxi Alegre (GBR).
RAN Photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
The race record remains the time set by Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) in 2012: 14 hours, 56 minutes and 16 seconds. Further reports, including a full event wrap-up from the Giraglia Rolex Cup, will be available in due course.

Regatta News