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.

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