Having two successful regattas in its wake, Bella Mente Racing moves full steam ahead toward the next seven events on its 2014 calendar. First on the horizon for the sailing team of 22, led by owner/driver Hap Fauth (Minneapolis, Minn./Naples, Fla.), is Les Voiles de St. Barth later this month (April 14-19).
'In order to stay on top of the competition we need to be constantly improving our game,' said Fauth who earlier this year raced his 72-foot Judel/Vrolijk Bella Mente to a mini maxi class win at Quantum Key West Race Week and then outran expected frontrunner, the 90-foot Rambler, to claim line honors at the RORC Caribbean 600. 'We are currently experimenting with different elements to get faster from both a crew and boat standpoint.'
This will be Fauth’s first time competing at Les Voiles de St. Barth, and although Bella Mente Racing has already proven its skill in buoy-to-buoy and distance racing this year, the six-day event will put the team’s coastal racing skills to the test.
'We use the phrase ‘sailing with ourselves,’ and that applies tactically and strategically on a coastal racecourse,' added Fauth. 'If we sail well and don’t make any mistakes the outcome will take care of itself. But, like any regatta, you’ve got to practice to get everyone back in sync.'
When he’s not racing, Fauth is at the helm of numerous business ventures covering a spectrum of industries – from agriculture to aerospace – and applies the same mentality on the water that he does in the boardroom: 'There is no such thing as status quo. If you’re not going forward you are going backwards.
'Onboard Bella Mente, we always choose to go forward and as a result we are in a constant state of motion, trying to get better: better speed, better chemistry, better execution, better focus and better commitment to winning.'
After Les Voiles de St. Barth, Bella Mente will head north to Newport, R.I. for the month of June to race at the 160th New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta presented by Rolex and start the 635-mile Newport Bermuda Race. Later that month, the team will race in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Annual Regatta before shipping Bella Mente to Europe for the 33rd Copa del Rey Mapfre in August, the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship in September and the Rolex Middle Sea Race in October. Bella Mente Racing