Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring J-class

Big Day at Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

by Jill Campbell on 5 Sep 2008
ROSEBUD/TEAM DYT, Sail No: 60065, Country: USA, Division: mini maxi, Owner: Roger Sturgeon, LOA: 20,00 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2008 © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
If they ever invent a 4x4 RIB the photographers and film crews that covered today's proceedings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will be in the market for it.

A one-hour postponement saw the wind build from zip to 20 knots and more. With the wind came the sea - short, sharp and steep. Great in a Maxi, dreadful in a small motorboat. But the spectacle was spectacular.

And, whilst it was not all plain sailing, today was one of those days off Porto Cervo that sailors live for. Come results time, honours were even in the Mini Maxis with Numbers and Rosebud/Team both posting a first and second in their two races. J One collected a first bullet of the week in the Wally Division; the J-Class Ranger maintained her perfect record in Cruising and Racing went to the super-maxi Alfa Romeo.

Principal Race Officer Peter Craig and the race committee kept crews in the harbour for an extra hour, which would have done little to help anyone prepare for the afternoon ahead, because though the wind was expected to build no one had quite predicted what occurred. Today was the allotted day for the Mini Maxis to sail two windward/leeward races - one of 8.8nm and one of 10.8nm.

What a day for it. Meanwhile, Cruising, Racing and Wally Divisions took on a 24 nm coastal race that included a short leg to windward, a run downwind to the rocks at Monaci, a fetch down to Secca Tre Monti, before a long old beat to Mortoriotto and a run back to the finish off Porto Cervo, with a small hitch into Golfo Pevero, which kept everyone on their toes.

Neville Crichton's 30-metre lightening bolt, Alfa Romeo (NZL), blitzed the 24 miles in a shade over two hours. By all accounts the downwind legs were sights to behold as she lit up and took off to Monaci following the initial beat and then subsequently to the finish following the beat to Mortoriotto.

George David's Rambler (USA) clung on to her coat tails, but could do nothing against the raw power that Crichton has at his fingertips finishing 14 minutes behind on elapsed time and 4 minutes down on handicap. Still tomorrow is another day and as the crew on Rambler showed yesterday she is capable of making her time.

In the Wally Division, the day belonged to Jean-Charles Decaux's J One (FRA). She may be one of the smallest in the form, but J One has shown previously she is not prepared to be bullied by her bigger classmates. Decaux has an excellent afterguard comprising former around the world skipper Matt Humphries, Jens Christiansen and navigator Mike Broughton. But Decaux has to keep his hands on the wheel under class rules if he is not to incur a penalty.

Was a day like today difficult? 'It was a tough day. As usual here, we some very different wind speeds and a bit of swell so it was quite an interesting race,' he responds. Do you enjoy being on the helm in these conditions? 'Yes for sure, that is really a pleasure for me. I enjoy winning even more, but I enjoy being on the helm. It's hard, but when you like what you do you put in all the focus and concentration that you need.'

Decaux strikes one as supremely optimistic. He looks relaxed and talks in a relaxed manner. He clearly admires his crew, considers it important to maintain the same team and consequently enjoys the spirit on board, ' the crew has been doing a fantastic job. We've been trying to really have a good crew and keep the same fighting spirit and at the same time to have a very good environment for the people. People always make the difference, no? Innovation, people and risk make the difference.'

Navigator, Mike Broughton, was equally positive about the crew work. From the advice given to the helm, to the tactics, to the sail-handling, all went well. Throwing in a well-timed gybe quickly after the initial windward leg, cutting in close to Monaci (not for the faint hearted) and then again at Mortoriotto were all part of the process that brought J One home second from last on the water, but first on handicap by 50 seconds from Thomas Bscher's Open Season (GER) in second and over a minute ahead of Irvine Laidlaw's Highland Fling (GBR) in third.

The Mini Maxi Division took their medicine. It was a nasty day for windward/ leewards, especially after the two previous, relatively gentle days. In race one today, the first beat saw the top five boats in the division pull away quickly from the rest of the fleet and then make short work of the downwind leg. 'It was 4 and 4' according to Malcolm Park, trimmer and project manager for Rosebud/Team DYT, explaining to the bewildered that he was not referring to an off-road vehicle, but the minutes spent on each gybe.

Roger Sturgeon, owner of the STP 65, and winner of the 2007 Rolex Sydney Hobart made it sound like child's play. 'It was just like sailing in Santa Cruz, California, except when the waves hit you they're warm instead of cold,' he laughs. 'The seas were not as flat as the other days this week, so that made it a little bouncier. But everything was fast with a lot of tight racing. At the first weather mark we had one guy above us and one below, and we're trying to survive in between.'

Survive they did. Rosebud went on to pass the Ernesto Bertarelli-chartered Numbers (USA) on the downwind leg and maintain her lead to the finish, where three boats crossed the line within a space of 15 seconds. Rosebud took the win on handicap too.

It was not quite so good in the second of the day's races, where Numbers got away from Rosebud on the first run, to finish first on the water and handicap.

Despite Torben Grael and his ocean-racing crew on Alfa Romeo 3 (NZL) sneaking into second on elapsed time Rosebud/Team DYT did enough to place second on corrected time. Sturgeon is really enjoying the week, 'it's fabulous here. The racing's great, I love all the obstacles.the rocks. We cut a corner the other day and made a 100 yards, it's a lot of fun!'

Before anyone points out that cutting corners is a little foolhardy in these waters, Sturgeon goes on to explain that he and his crew did a lot of diving before racing began to check just what does lie beneath the waves. Time well spent, as a number of boats from previous events will attest.

In the Cruising Division the two J Class yachts renewed their private battle with a little too much vigour. A collision on the start saw Velsheda take a penalty turn, which meant their race was virtually over before it began. Worse was to befall this proud J, a standard bearer for yachts of a by-gone era, as she approached the turn at Mortoriotto and a series of mishaps led to her eventual retirement.

Ranger, meanwhile, did not allow her dented bow to dent her performance. With more water over her deck than some of the submerged rocks Ranger kept up their picture perfect performance to come home third on the water, and win by some 15-minutes on handicap from Charles Dunstones' Hamilton II.

Another of the spirit of tradition yachts here this week, Hetairos, added a fourth place to her scoreline to keep her in second overall in the standings. Jens Cornelson, the project manager for the boat described the day, 'we had a good day, we saw about 22 kts, but the boat loves it. Some things were overpowered a little, we had some technical problems: a little breakage from the hydraulic roller furler for the genoa. So we changed down to the inner forestaysail, and hopefully we'll have it fixed for tomorrow.'

Hetairos is one of those boats that never sits still, despite her elegant appearance. She spent the winter off East Africa, enjoying a busy cruising season. She races with a mix of amateurs and professionals, and with little opportunity to practice, her adeptness at the start and during other race manoeuvres is surprising, but down to the quality of the people on board according to Cornelson.

The Race Committee expects good winds again tomorrow, when racing is not scheduled to start before 1400 in order to accommodate the International
upffront 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Volvo Ocean Race - Enright and Towill ready to go again in 2017/18
Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put their experience to use. Team Alvimedica were the youngest team in the race last edition, and now skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put that experience to use. Volvo Ocean race's Jonno Turner caught up with Mark and Charlie to chat about everything from the transition back into 'real life', their reflections on the 2014-15 campaign - and the future.
Posted on 29 Aug
America's Cup - Oracle Team USA's AC50 well underway in Warkworth
Oracle Team USA’s new America’s Cup Class boat is taking shape at the team’s build facility in New Zealand Oracle Team USA’s new America’s Cup Class boat is taking shape at the team’s build facility in New Zealand, Core Builders Composites, Warkworth, 40 minutes north of Auckland. The major components for the 15-meter platform, including the hulls and cross beams, have now been built.
Posted on 28 Aug
America's Cup - Oracle Team USA play catch up with Softbank Team Japan
Back in April 2017, Softbank Team Japan mastered the foiling tack in their AC45 Surrogate boats Back in April 2017, Softbank Team Japan mastered the foiling tack in their AC45 Surrogate boats, claiming to be the first AC team to have achieved the move. Two days later Oracle Team USA claimed to have done the same.
Posted on 28 Aug
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Crew catch up - Meet Dhruv Boruah
After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations, some decide on a future in the marine industry, some take time out to assess their next move in life and others seek their next challenge.
Posted on 27 Aug
SoftBank Team Japan achieve first foiling tack
SoftBank Team Japan announced today that they cracked foiling tack earlier this year while training with their AC45 boat SoftBank Team Japan announced today that they cracked the foiling tack earlier this year while training with their AC45 Sport test boat in Bermuda.
Posted on 26 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
America's Cup - Architect of NZ Qualifier withdrawal steps down
The Commissioner for the America's Cup General Dr. Harvey Schiller has stepped down from the role The Commissioner for the America's Cup General Dr. Harvey Schiller has stepped down from the role and will finish at the end of the month. The move was confirmed today by America's Cup correspondent Bernie Wilson of the Associated Press.
Posted on 23 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
PredictWind - One stop shop
PredictWind have taken the bold step of adding government provided forecasts to their award winning forecasting software PredictWind the world leader in forecasting believe that more is better, and have taken the bold step of adding government provided forecasts to their award winning forecasting software.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Fresher breezes expected inside and outside on Day 3
Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Two of the fleet scheduled to race outside on the Atlantic Ocean course off Copacabana Beach, while the 470 Men and Women will race inside on Guananara Bay.
Posted on 10 Aug