News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : Day 4 in Costa Smeralda Maxi Paradise

Day 4 in Costa Smeralda Maxi Paradise

'Open Season and Highland Fling (Wally Division) Rolex Maxi Cup 2008'    © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo

Day four of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup started late, but did not come up short on excitement or entertainment, especially in the Cruising Division. Today was another day for the holiday-makers in this vacation paradise to witness the impressive array of the big, the beautiful and the fast in the sailing world.

Principal Race Officer Peter Craig and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda Race Committee faced an awkward moment as ten minutes ahead of the scheduled start time the wind swung wildly right and dropped about 5 knots. It is credit to the team's swift work that they got the four starts off without delay, despite the need to adjust the pin more than once.

The Wallys and Mini Maxis sailed a 27 nautical mile course upwind to Mortoriotto, followed by a long run to Monaci, a fetch to Secca Tre Monti before a beat through Bomb Alley, past Capo Ferro, and up to the mark in Golfo Pevero, before reaching the finish line off the entrance to Porto Cervo.

The Cruising Division went somewhere different, using the islands of Mortorio and Soffi as its upwind turning mark, before rounding the rocks of Mortoriotto and running back to the finish off Porto Cervo, with the now familiar hitch into Golfo Pevero - a 21 nm course. Despite unpromising winds at the start, breeze built quickly peaking out in the high teens. Happy boats today were Rambler (Racing), Highland Fling (Wally), Ranger (Cruising) and Numbers (Mini Maxi).

Rambler (Racing Division) Rolex Maxi Cup 2008 -  © Rolex-Daniel Forster?nid=48566  

In the Racing Division, the 90-foot Rambler (USA) and her uber-maxi competition, the 100-foot Alfa Romeo (NZL), were given a day off their usual whistle-stop tour of the islands and undertook a windward/leeward course of six legs totalling 17.3 miles.

The start was not straightforward with both yachts over early and George David's Rambler not realizing until she was some way down the track. Neville Crichton's Alfa meanwhile stole a march by going back quickly and it looked game over at this point. But it wouldn't be yacht racing if it were simple. Halfway up the third beat Alfa appeared to encounter real problems with her rig and Rambler was able to close right up to finish only three minutes behind on the water and 10 minutes ahead on handicap.

With honours wholly even in this Division, both having posted two firsts and two seconds, tomorrow is 'Super Saturday' with everything to play for despite a discard coming into the equation.

Moneypenny (Mini Maxi Division) Rolex Maxi Cup 2008 -  © Rolex- Kurt?nid=48566 Arrigo  

All week the Mini Maxis have been having a tussle on the line. Hardly surprising with eighteen yachts of 60 feet and over, all charged up and raring to go.

As the class approached the start line today, it was clear that a bunch towards the middle was going to find it difficult to avoid being course side when the gun went. The key question for the onlookers was whether this group comprised also-rans or favourites. As the sail numbers were called out by the Race Committee, the stomachs on Rosebud/Team DYT (USA) must have felt the proverbial lump forming as the crew realized they were the only front-runner in the class to be caught.

By the time Roger Sturgeon's crew had cleared the penalty it looked game over here too. But you don't win the Rolex Sydney Hobart by giving up at the first difficult hurdle. Rosebud took the initiative, stormed the first leg and got herself back into the race. In the end it was too much to make total amends and although she finished fifth on the water less than eight minutes behind Numbers (USA), she was fifth on handicap.

Numbers cruised to victory one minute ahead of the Torben Grael-led Alfa Romeo 3 (NZL), having forced the pace in the race from start to finish. Irrespective of whether past performance is any indicator, she looks to have an unassailable lead in the Mini Maxi Division. With a discard coming into play today with five races now completed, the Ernesto Bertarelli-chartered master-blaster has a total points score of four, compared to Rosebud's nine. With her worst score a second, Numbers cannot be beaten even if she self-destructs before the start. Not bad, given she started the week by nudging the rocks.

In the Wally Division the 143-foot Esense came of age and took her first line honours of the week, beating Claus Peter Offen's Y3K (GER) home by six minutes.

Esense clearly enjoyed the long course legs on offer today. Minimum of manoeuvres, maximum straight-line speed - easy. Irvine Laidlaw and Highland Fling X (GBR) posted an excellent first place and Lindsay Owen-Jones' Magic Carpet 2 (GBR) which finished 10 seconds adrift of Y3K took second on handicap. With owner Jean-Charles Decaux unable to take the helm today, J One incurred a 2% time penalty, plus one place under the class rules, which saw them finish a painful sixth on handicap. As a result, it could not be tighter at the top of this division, with the top four boats separated by two points. Trying to work out the discard permutations is a job for a mathematician.

Ranger (Cruiser Division) Rolex maxi Cup 2008 -  © Rolex-Daniel Forster?nid=48566  

The Cruising Division chose today to put on a great performance. The course looked pretty tame to start with, but held plenty of opportunities for those tacticians in tune with the variations in wind direction and strength present today, not to mention the depth of water available around the rocks.

Viriella put on her best show of the week to lead the fleet around the course from start to finish, despite the best efforts of Charles Dunstone's Hamilton II (GBR) which came in second on the water. Once again the two J Class sloops did their best to steal the show finishing one - two on handicap after a ferocious scrap in the final phases. They finished 21 seconds apart on the water, with Ranger squeezing past just before the turn into Golfo Pevero.

Gerry Dykstra, yacht designer and the man charged with the restoration of Velsheda, was elated coming off the water, 'our start was okay, but we were not helped by a wind shift afterwards, that made the start look different than it really was. After that, things became more lively and I think we raised the shares of the J boats quite a bit today!'

Having been behind Ranger for much of the race, Velsheda (GBR) took advantage of an uncharacteristic error on Ranger to slip past at Soffi. Hamilton II hailed water at Ranger fearful of an unscheduled rendezvous with submerged rocks. Ranger had to overstand the turn and Velsheda managed to squeeze in. Ranger came back at Velsheda and the two fought tooth and nail to the finish.

Although Viriella ended up fourth on handicap Gigio Russo, the helmsman thoroughly enjoyed the day after a difficult start, 'We took the start on the wrong end of the line, but we saw some boats up the course that got a quite an intense right hand shift. We tacked and crossed the fleet between the leaders and the losers and we got the shift. We managed to round the first mark ahead of Ranger and then we stretched away.

We made the right call to round the island of Soffi without using the gennaker for a little bit and that paid off because although we lost some distance to the guys following us, we managed to get around the island under control with just the main and jib.'

The overall standings in the Division see Ranger on top with just 4 points, and discarding a 1 tomorrow. Hetairos (CAY IS) is in second on 15 and Velsheda in third on 19.

On a happily upbeat note, reports from the crew of Andres Soriano's Alegre advise that crewmember Led Pritchard is expected to make a full-recovery from his traumatic lower right-leg fracture suffered during yesterday's racing. The crew are indebted to all those who helped in the transfer of Pritchard from the boat to Olbia Hospital and would like to express their appreciation. It is anticipated that Pritchard will spend a few more days in hospital in Sardinia before returning home to continue his recovery.


by Event media


Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

6:41 AM Sat 6 Sep 2008 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on

Related News Stories:

18 Jun 2013  Sail the Northwest Passage on your iPad
17 Jun 2012  IRC National Championship - Ballistic conditions on Day 2 + Video
28 Mar 2012  Solo Offshore Racing - Truant wins first race
19 Jun 2011  Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series overall
08 Apr 2011  Audi Sydney to Newcastle images by Andrea Francolini
06 Apr 2011  RORC Easter Challenge ­- A golden opportunity for sailors
26 Feb 2011  RORC Caribbean 600 coming of age
14 Nov 2010  OPA Offshore Racing Series 2010 - Versus to broadcast series
15 Oct 2009  Rolex Middle Sea warm up Race
21 Jun 2009  Spain's Calima - Javier Pujol winner of the Giraglia Race

News - USA and the World

A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,

ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video by Luissa Smith, International 470 Class Association,

2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 4 by William Wagner, San Francisco

Santander 49ers: Olympic Gold Medallist says two into 90 does not go!! *Feature
GBR aiming for first ever Nacra 17 Games berth at Santander Worlds
Volvo Ocean Race: Man and sail overboard as Leg 0 serves up drama
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 – Images by Dan Ibsen
Santander Worlds – already a spectator success
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 - Day 3 morning report
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Tales from the extreme
Volvo Ocean Race: Latest starter wins opening race
2014 J/70 World Championship - Healy, Abdullah, Becker and Borges win
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Full-blown, once again
ISAF Worlds - Americans jump up Laser and Laser Radial leaderboard
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 3
America's Cup: Luna Rossa sailing with two foiling AC45's + Video
Extreme Sailing: Emirates Team NZ retain second overall
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio Olympic Laser spots snapped up
Rolex Swan Cup - All set for final showdown
Upper Midwest sailors need help to take it to the next level
ISAF Sailing World Championships - RS:X action begins in Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans rise in Laser and Radial
Extreme Sailing Series - A remarkable penultimate day’s racing + Video
Marseille One Design - GC32 GDF Suez unstoppable in the light   
Rolex Swan Cup - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Images of the leaders in Santander   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Good day for Double Trouble   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2 images by Erik Simonson   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - TP52 fleet ready for tricky race tracks   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Plenty maintains lead   
2014 Asia Pacific Student Cup - Count down begins   
Extreme Sailing Series: Live coverage of Day 3 - view here   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Going away   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Practice makes perfect   
2014 J/70 World Championship - Contrasting conditions on Day 4   
Rolex Big Boat Series - 50 years of big boat racing: a retrospective   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2   
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Champ: Rios takes the Championship   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg Zero signals start of the significant racing   
Extreme Sailing Series: Physically demanding racing for BAR on Day 2   
Emirates Team NZ: Holding second overall after Day 2 in Istanbul   
Extreme Sailing Series: A force to be reckoned with in Istanbul +Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Day 1 images by Jesus Renedo and Pedro Martinez   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT