The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2011 concluded today with the victory of Claus Peter Offen's Y3K (GER) in the Wally division, Danilo Salsi's DSK Pioneer Investments (ITA) in the Racing/Cruising division, Nilaya (GBR) in the Supermaxi division and Sir Irvine Laidlaw's Highland Fling (GBR) in the Maxi Racing fleet. The winner of the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship, for the second year running, was Niklas Zennstrom with his 72 foot Ràn 2 (GBR).
by Jill Campbell
Despite a second day of light and shifty winds, the YCCS Race Committee was able to fit in two windward-leeward races for the Mini Maxi and Wally divisions and a coastal race of 24 miles for the remaining divisions once the north-easterly breeze stabilized in the early afternoon.
George Sakellaris' Shockwave gained their second bullet of the series in the first Mini Maxi race of the day but Ràn 2 was right back on form in the second and final race to take their fourth victory of the series. Zennstrom's boat led the overall classification from day one and finished with a comfortable lead while Alegre (GBR), Shockwave (USA) and Jethou (GBR) fought it out for the rest of the silverware. A second and a third place today assured second place overall for Alegre ahead of Shockwave.
Niklas Zennstrom, owner of Ràn 2: 'This venue is fantastic and the Race Committee did a really good job organizing the races with the challenging conditions and the varying winds. We came here this week to defend our World Championship title and we were very focused on that. These boats are very very close and we have been sailing against each other for quite some time so there is always rivalry but you have to think about the whole fleet when racing. Today we knew we had to go out and not make any stupid mistakes but sail the way we always sail.'
Elsewhere in the fleet, J One (GBR), owned by Jean Charles Decaux, took their first bullet of the week in the first windward-leeward for the Wally division while Thomas Bscher's (GER) Open season claimed their first victory in today's final race. Thanks to two bullets at the start of the week Claus Peter Offen's Y3K took the top spot overall.
The remaining divisions sailed their fourth coastal course around the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago.
In the Maxi Racing division everything came down to today's final confrontation between the two competing yachts. Highland Fling just managed to squeeze past Igor Simcic's Esimit Europa 2 on corrected time today to claim first place overall and the Rolex trophy.
In the Maxi Racing/Cruising division too, the final head-to-head between DSK and Aegir saw the Italian boat triumph today to climb back into the overall lead by just one point.
DSK's tactician Andrea Casale: 'It's been a thrilling week and I have to say we didn't expect this victory. We improved during the week and a few days ago we realized we'd be fighting it out with Aegir. When we were second yesterday we got a bit worried but today we were determined and we stayed right behind Aegir downwind and we won in the end, even if just by a few seconds. Today's performance was the decisive one.'
The Supermaxi division saw Albert Bull's 45.2 metre Saudade (GER) complete the course in the fastest time today but overall victory went to the 2010 custom sloop Nilaya which dominated the division from day one.
Division winners were awarded Rolex Yachtmaster timepieces and trophies during the prize giving ceremony held on the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's Piazza Azzurra.
The YCCS regatta calendar continues with the Veteran Big Boat Rally from 12th to 15th September.
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda website
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6:50 PM Sat 10 Sep 2011 GMT
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