Bella Mente Racing prepares for next action-packed campaign
by Kirsten Ferguson on 13 Dec 2013
Launched in Spring 2012, the new Bella Mente is a 72-foot Mini Maxi designed by judel/vrolijk yacht design and built by New England Boatworks.
Bella Mente Racing, with owner and driver Hap Fauth at the helm, during the 2013 Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship © Jesus Renedo http://www.sailingstock.com
With all hands on deck during the 'off season', Bella Mente Racing is preparing for its next action-packed campaign in 2014. Under the leadership of owner/driver Hap Fauth (Minneapolis, Minn./ Naples, Fla.), Bella Mente’s team of 22 will take on eight of the year’s most exciting racing events in North America and Europe aboard Fauth’s 72-foot custom designed and built mini maxi.
'Over these last few months we’ve made a number of changes to the boat to improve its balance and speed in certain conditions,' said Fauth, adding that world-renowned sailor Terry Hutchinson will join the team as tactician for a majority of the events. 'We have enhanced our program this year in the hopes of gaining some boat speed as well as sustaining our growth curve in terms of the performance of the crew.'
Racing will kick off in Florida with Quantum Key West Race Week in January, followed by the RORC Caribbean 600 and Les Voiles de Saint Barth in February and April, respectively. In June, the team will transition to Rhode Island to compete in the New York Yacht Club 160th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex before starting the 635-mile Newport Bermuda Race. The remainder of the year will be spent in Europe where the team will race in the 33rd Copa del Rey MAPFRE in August and the Rolex Middle Sea Race in October. Between events, the team will race in the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship, which Bella Mente Racing considers its pinnacle event each year because of its strong turnout of yachts that also fit the mini maxi criteria. In 2012, Bella Mente Racing was crowned Mini Maxi Rolex World Champion, but in 2013 friendly rival Ran 2 took home the title. Next September, the team plans to return with a vengeance.
'The mini maxi fleet is a great one to sail in, because it is so competitive and filled with great sailors,' said Fauth. 'Each year the fleet grows, and it is close racing at each event where we are all competing against each other. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will prevail; however, there are not many mistakes made on the racecourse.'
As for the Bella Mente Racing team’s journey, Fauth says, 'It is a constant quest for perfection that we are on, and we look forward to pushing the envelope again next year.' Bella Menta Racing website