Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - day 1

by Event media on 3 Sep 2008
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2008 - Neville Crichton’s ALFA ROMEO, 1st in Race 1 in the Racing Division © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo http://www.regattanews.com

The 19th Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup kicked off Tuesday in a building breeze from the north-west and clear blue skies in the waters off Porto Cervo, Sardinia.

Top spots in the fleets went to the Ernesto Bertarelli-chartered Numbers in the Mini Maxis, Ranger in Cruising, Alfa Romeo in Racing and Lindsay Owen-Jones Magic Carpet 2 in Wally.

The Cruising Division raced nine miles less than the other three, which all undertook a 39 nautical mile course that must have been strength sapping in the burning sun.

All yachts took on a windward leg from the start off Porto Cervo towards the Island of Caprera. A hard left turn took the fleet into the passage between mainland Sardina and the Maddelena Archipelago. The shorter course for the Cruising Division saw them turn North at Punta Sardegna to Isola Baretinelli, where they turned south-east for a spinnaker run to a final mark in Golfo Pevero and on to the finish off Porto Cervo.

The other three divisions continued northwest at Punta Sardegna and made their turn back towards the East at Ecueil de Lavezzi of the southern tip of Corsica.

We'll let Ed Baird - AC winning helm and ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year on the Mini Maxi Numbers - sum up the day's proceedings: 'It was a classic Porto Cervo race, it just was beautiful: 12-20 knots from the west, up through the straits and around the islands. We had good close racing, lots of boats in the hunt, short tacking up the rocks, followed by a run and a reach with gennakers back to the mark and then to the finish. A fabulous day, there wasn't a cloud anywhere!'

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Day 1 Leading positions

Racing
1. ALFA ROMEO Neville Crichton NZL, 1-1.0
2. RAMBLER George David USA, 2-2.0

Cruising
1. RANGER, RSV Ltd USA, 1-1.0
2. SALPERTON, Primero Maritime Ltd CAY, 2-2.0
3. VELSHEDA, Tarbat Inv. Ltd GBR, 3-3.0

Mini Maxi
1. NUMBERS, Meyers/Bertarelli USA, 1-1.0
2. MONEYPENNY, Jim Swartz USA, 2-2.0
3. ROSEBUD/TEAM DYT, Roger Sturgeon USA, 3-3.0

Wally
1. MAGIC CARPET, 2 Lindsay Owen-Jones GBR, 1-1.0
2. HIGHLAND FLING X, Irvine Laidlaw GBR, 2-2.0
3. GENIE, Charles de Bourbon MON, 3-3.0

The Racing Report - Day 1

Without doubt one of the best views in the house at the 19th Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is that of the helicopter pilot tasked with positioning the film and photographic teams recording events unfolding. It is an enviable job and an addictive one too.

Forty of the biggest, fastest, best-looking yachts on the planet and you get to see them from a perspective most only dream about. As the racing got underway today in a building breeze from the north-west and clear blue skies, the eye in the sky had the perfect view.

The Racing Division

The Racing Division comprising Alfa Romeo and Rambler was scheduled to start at 11:40, but a broken runner on Rambler saw the gentlemanly conduct of the day award go to Neville Crichton as he agreed to a delayed start for these two boats that put them to the back of the list. That was the last merciful act from the canting-keeled Alfa as she scorched around the course in 3 hours 26 minutes to correct out over a minute ahead of Rambler.

Wally division

The 8-boat Wally division witnessed the racing debut of the 143-foot Esense. She is quite a sight. The crew's day-glow green shirts are a striking contrast to the dark hull and teak deck. She is 40 feet longer than the next largest in the class, Dark Shadow, which at 100-feet is impressive enough, but from above looks like a dinghy compared to her big sister.

Just as David showed Goliath a thing or two about speed and agility versus size and power, the relatively smaller Wallys: Magic Carpet, Y3K and Open Season (all between 95 and the 100-foot mark) slipped away from Esense on the first windward leg and led her around the course. Irvine Laidlaw's Highland Fling X is one of the smallest in the class, but did well enough to finish second on handicap, ahead of Genie.

Royal Ocean Racing Club CEO, Eddie Warden Owen is on board Highland Fling X as tactician this week and described the race today as one as the best day's racing he has had in Porto Cervo,

'it was just great going up between the islands today. We were close with some of the others all the way, just wonderful'. Warden Owen admitted to taking advantage of being behind the leading boats at the top mark of the course, 'we knew as we turned the corner at the top that the wind would follow us around. Just to make sure we looked through the binoculars at the boats ahead and could see those that had taken a high line were having to gybe to keep on course. So we stayed low, took a longer route but with more speed.'

Cruising Division

A similar story unfolded in the Cruising Division, where the Ed Dubois designed, 144-foot, Salperton was making her competitive debut in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. Another Briton, Andy Green, is on the helm and thoroughly enjoyed his day steering the biggest yacht in the fleet around the 30-mile course. Green, too, took a lower route at their top turning mark, 'we did really well today. We held our time up between the islands and really took it out of the fleet on the way back.'

Salperton finished second on the water and on handicap, barely a minute behind the J Class, Ranger. 'Ranger is so well sailed it's hard to get close. But we did well,' commented Green, who is clearly in awe of the machine he has control of this week, 'it's as big as it gets' he added. And it is.

From the dock, Salperton is impressively long, the bow stretching away into the distance. It must look that way from the helm. From the water, in a small RIB, she is enormous, spreading her huge shadow across the water. From the air she is something else, words failing to adequately describe the magnificent sight of her in full flight.

It takes nerves of steel to stand at the helm of one of these maxis on the start line. Millions of dollars of boat and equipment at stake. Not to mention the egos. Spare a thought for Tom Burnham at the helm of the 125-foot Ghost. For the first time.

Burnham is an experienced yachtsman, an America's Cup sailor and full-time pro on the grand-prix circuit. When he signed up to race on Ghost it was as tactician and crew boss. Tom Whidden normally drives the silver wraith. But Whidden was unexpectedly unable to attend this week's event and Burnham was asked to step up to the plate.

'It was a little nerve-wracking out there. But it was also very exciting and a lot of fun to be helming such a fantastic boat. We had a great start which owed a lot to the teamwork. The guys had me in the right position, which made it easy.' By all accounts, Ghost did have great start. Andy Green (on Salperton) certainly felt they had the best start of the fleet.

Unfortunately, despite leading the Cruising Division around the course on the water, Ghost lost ground on the run towards home. The tack line on the spinnaker broke as they reached down the back of the islands and although the crew had the replacement spinnaker up and drawing in a couple of minutes she was relegated to eighth on corrected time. The second J Class Velsheda rounded out the top three on handicap.

Mini Maxi division

The anticipated dogfight in the Mini Maxi division duly came. Torben Grael, skippering the brand-new, Reichel-Pugh 69 Alfa Romeo 3 in its first competitive outing brought her home first on the water finishing 14 seconds ahead of Numbers. The lead could have been more but for problems with some sail changes towards the finish, which Grael felt had slowed them up. And although Alfa 3 finished fifth on corrected, Grael was very pleased with the day.

The start was best seen from the air as Numbers, Alfa 3 and the two STP 65s Rosebud/Team DYT and Moneypenny seemed to hit the line in a bunch at the Committee Boat end

NaiadNorth Technology - Southern SparsPredictWind.com 2014

Related Articles

RORC Caribbean 600 coming of age
RORC Caribbean 600 - Day 4: The RORC Caribbean 600 has been a special event for all of the competitors. RORC Caribbean 600 - Day 4: The RORC Caribbean 600 has been a special event for all of the competitors. Last night the closest battle in any class was decided and the two remaining yachts racing showed great fighting spirit. This provided a fitting finale to racing in the beautiful, but sometimes brutal waters of the central Caribbean.
Posted on 26 Feb 2011
Rolex Middle Sea warm up Race
2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race - 23 yachts took part in a 15 nautical-mile warm-up race. 2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race - 23 yachts took part in a 15 nautical-mile warm-up race. For a variety of reasons, not least of them the weather, this short race proved a good shakedown ahead of the main-event.
Posted on 15 Oct 2009
Spain's Calima - Javier Pujol winner of the Giraglia Race
Javier Pujol, owner/skipper of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed 43-foot Calima (ESP) confirmed as winner of the Giraglia Javier Pujol, owner/skipper of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed 43-foot Calima (ESP), was confirmed as winner of the Giraglia Race today at the prizegiving ceremony for the 57th edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, held at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa. Alegre (GBR) won the elapsed time Rolex trophy
Posted on 21 Jun 2009
JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race
Britain’s favourite yacht race - Saturday 20 June 2009: Cowes, Isle of Wight The JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, takes place on Saturday 20 June with a total entry of 1,779 boats this year. True to the ethos of the event, competitors come from all walks of life. Professional and Olympic sailors line up with family cruisers, sportsboats, classic yachts and one designs
Posted on 19 Jun 2009
Portimao Global Ocean Race leaders face confusing conditions
Michel Kleinjans on Roaring Forty crossed the Portimão Global Ocean Race Leg 5 Scoring Gate south-east of Newfoundland Portimao Global Ocean Race - Michel Kleinjans on Roaring Forty crossed the Portimão Global Ocean Race Leg 5 Scoring Gate south-east of Newfoundland. Felipe Cubillos and José Muñoz are currently 120 miles north of Flores in the Azores Archipelago and in the 0620 UTC position poll on Monday morning (15/06), their red Class 40 Desafio Cabo de Hornos is 71 miles ahead of second placed Beluga Racer.
Posted on 15 Jun 2009
Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009
Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Wednesday 10th June at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009. Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Wednesday 10 June at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2009. Both modern and classic designs are present with Andrea Recordati’s Wally 101, launched less than one month ago, lining up against the Royal Huisman-built Meteor, a reproduction gaff rigged Gloucester Schooner launched in 2007
Posted on 10 Jun 2009
La Promesse closing in on Newport - OSTAR 2009
Katie Miller's EPIRBS activated - The OSTAR Race Office is set up in Newport The OSTAR Race Office is set up in Newport. On the 16:00 report La Promesse had only 657 miles to go and looks to have a lead of some 200 miles over JBellino based on her 0800 tracker report. At 06:00 EST today 7 June the Race Office in Newport was alerted by Katie Miller’s father that one of her EPIRBS had been activated
Posted on 8 Jun 2009
Admiral's Cup - Could it be sailed around the World?
Geelong Week, is preparing to expand its horizons with plans for an international IRC event Australia’s largest sailing regatta, Geelong Week, is preparing to expand its horizons with plans for an international IRC event. Today the Chairman of Geelong Week Andrew Neilson announced the Geelong Week dates for 2010 and explained the earlier than expected parting with the long term title sponsor Skandia, who had contracted to their title sponsorship until 2011
Posted on 5 Jun 2009
OSTAR - King of Shaves losses all instruments
Very difficult morning on the water for King of Shaves. I am sorry to report that at 08:30 we lost all our instruments A very difficult morning on the water for 'King of Shaves'. I am sorry to report that at 08:30 we lost all our instruments and for 30 minutes we were struggling to go anywhere at all. I used the wheel lock and tried to balance the sails so that we could sail on but it was at reduced speed
Posted on 5 Jun 2009
Spanish sailor's accidental adventure - more photos to believe or not
This sailor was caught trying to return to the harbour in Zumaia, in the Basque country of northern Spain. If you thought that the Southport skipper had a difficult time trying to cross the Southport bar last week, spare a thought for the Spanish sailor who was caught trying to return to the harbour in Zumaia, in the Basque country of northern Spain
Posted on 4 Jun 2009