Please select your home edition
Edition
Rooster GETSEASMART 728x90

Vesper leads maxi fleet home on Rolex Capri Sailing Week’s penultimate day

by James Boyd 17 May 20:27 PDT 10-18 May 2019
Jim Swartz's Vesper jockeys her way around the top mark with Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou - Rolex Capri Sailing Week © Rolex / Studio Borlenghi

Rolex Capri Sailing Week is providing a complete test for its competitors. If yesterday was a lottery thanks to the intermittent breeze, in contrast today there was a steady 9-12 knot southeasterly. In this the race committee laid on a giant windward-leeward spanning the Gulf of Naples for the maxis, with the leeward mark off the island of Ischia for the maxi racers and two miles short of this for the racer-cruiser and cruiser-racer fleets. The finish line was located immediately off Capri's Marina Grande.

On the water it was the turn of American Jim Swartz's maxZ86 Vesper to take control, the US team, led by former America's Cup skipper Gavin Brady, still finding out about their new steed on what is just their third day racing her, against the highly refined Jethou and Caol Ila R boats and crews.

"Conditions were better with a nice steady breeze today and that makes a big difference," said Swartz. "Being heavier we don't adjust nearly as quickly as the 72s - shifty is fine, but a pulsing wind is more challenging. Anyhow - we are learning the boat more every day."

Strangely en route back to Capri, the maxi racer leaders all chose to take a long starboard tack deep into the Gulf of Naples, Vesper more than the others. Of her sightseeing trip towards Mount Vesuvius, Brady explained: "When you are on a big maxi you have to pick your side and go and get the shift. When we are over lay line, we can use that because we are so long you let the jib out and twist the main, like a multihull and you can use that extra speed."

While Vesper was first on the water, Alex Schaerer's modified Maxi 72 Caol Ila R won on IRC corrected time among the maxi racers. Schearer attributed this partly to their tactician, local hero Francesco de Angelis. "He called the shifts methodically that's how we could keep up with Jethou all the way down and were so close at the bottom mark. That helps because Jethou goes very fast upwind, especially when it is blowy."

De Angelis added: "The steady wind was really good for testing the skills of the teams and checking boat speed." However he added that on Caol Ila R they have to work hard to keep up with Jethou especially now that the black boat has grown five foot over the winter. It also came as little surprise Vesper being first home. "She is a bigger boat and on longer legs with no traffic, they can put the hammer down."

A second place today for Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou has launched her back into the lead with a 1.75 point lead over Caol Ila R in the maxi racer division.

In the maxi racer-cruisers it was the turn of Twin Soul B, the Mylius 76 of Luciano Gandini to claim a bullet, winning by almost two minutes under IRC corrected time ahead of Vincenzo Addessi's Mylius 1835 Fra Diavolo, with Jean-Pierre Barjon's Swan 601 Lorina 1895 third.

"Today it was finally Capri with stable wind," enthused Gandini, who is also President of Mylius Yachts. "Today we found our speed and we are finally learning how to handle the boat. I'm pleased to see all the other Mylius boats doing well too."

In fact Twin Soul B spent the day match racing the Spanish Swan 80 Plis Play, the largest yacht in the cruiser-racer division. "It was good for us to have such a 'rival' to race against," observed Gandini. "Twin Soul B is better in strong winds, but as soon as the winds get lighter Plis Play prevails."

Overall in the racer-cruisers it remains Lorina 1895 that leads, now by 1.25 points ahead of International Maxi Association President Benoît de Froidmont and his Wally 60 Wallyño. In the race for the Mylius Cup, Aldo Parisotto's Mylius 65 FD Oscar3 remains on top, her string of wins finally broken today with a third place.

Among the cruiser-racer maxis Riccardo de Michele's Vallicelli 78 H20 remains on the ascent. Yesterday's winner today finished second to Vicente Garcia Torres' Swan 80 Plis Play but still has some way to go tomorrow as she currently holds third overall, 2.5 points behind the Spanish Swan and tied on points with the Swan 651 Rosbeg, chartered to previous owner Ricardo Pavoncelli for this event.

De Michele felt H20's day was so-so. "We raced quite happily, but in our division we have a very strong competitor [in Plis Play] - and we only saw them at the start. Still, we finished second so we are satisfied." While H20 has proved herself a weapon at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, where last year she scored straight bullets in her class, this is her first time racing in Capri and De Michele says he would like to return next year with H20 better race-prepped.

Tomorrow is the final day of the Rolex Capri Sailing Week and given that Plis Play's 2.5 point advantage is the largest across any of the three maxi classes, there is still much work still to do for everyone in determining their final result.

Rolex Capri Sailing Week is organised by the Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia, Yacht Club Italiano and Yacht Club Capri, in co-operation with the International Maxi Association.

For more information on the International Maxi Association visit www.internationalmaxiassociation.com

For more information and full results from Rolex Capri Sailing Week visit www.rolexcaprisailingweek.com

Related Articles

2019 Rolex Capri Sailing Week overall
Ultra-close finish in the racer division on Saturday Rolex Capri Sailing Week concluded in ultra-close fashion in the racer division today. Alex Schaerer's modified Maxi72 Caol Ila R knocked Sir Peter Odgen's dominant Jethou off the top spot on the overall podium after she secured a second place Posted on 18 May
SuperNikka into lead at Rolex Capri Sailing Week
Conditions favour the smaller yachts For day two of inshore racing for the maxi boats at Rolex Capri Sailing Week it was extremely hard to decide one's wardrobe; both sails and clothes. The day started with an unfamiliar chilly 20 knot offshore northeasterly. Posted on 16 May
Two bullet opener at Rolex Capri Sailing Week
Two inshore races for the Maxi fleet Three days since the Regata dei Tre Golfi finished, Rolex Capri Sailing Week resumed on the Gulf of Naples today with two inshore races for the Maxi fleet. Posted on 15 May
Rolex Capri Sailing Week sets sail tomorrow
A record 22 maxi yachts taking part A record 22 maxi yachts will take to the water for the first day of racing at Rolex Capri Sailing Week. This is the second event in the International Maxi Association's new Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge and follows the Regata dei Tre Golfi. Posted on 14 May
65th Regata dei Tre Golfi 2019
Spectacular midnight start from off Naples' magnificent Castel dell'Ovo In addition to the usual spectacular midnight start from off Naples' magnificent Castel dell'Ovo, following Friday night's dinner at the Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia (CRV Italia) clubhouse in the Santa Lucia Marina Posted on 13 May
Record maxi fleet for Rolex Capri Sailing Week
At least 27 maxi yachts will take to the Bay of Naples Of course the Italian island with its dramatic precipices, sea level caves and azure waters remains as strongly attractive a holiday destination today as it was to Roman Emperors. Posted on 23 Apr
Rolex Capri Sailing Week Day 4
Runaway Cannonball After a long wait for wind on the Bay of Naples today, Rolex Capri Sailing Week concluded with a windward-leeward/coastal race for the Maxi and Mylius classes, competing here with the support of the International Maxi Association. Posted on 20 May 2018
Rolex Capri Sailing Week Day 3
Big breeze bewilderment at Rolex Capri Sailing Week Competitors got caught out on day three of Rolex Capri Sailing Week with forecasts indicating wind unlikely to even fill their sails. The Maxis and Mylius classes, racing here with support from the International Maxi Association Posted on 19 May 2018
Rolex Capri Sailing Week Day 2
Bay of Naples in "limoncello mood" In the International Maxi Association-supported big boat divisions at Rolex Capri Sailing Week, Dario Ferrari's Pepe Cannonball defied her IRC rating to score her third race win. Posted on 18 May 2018
Rolex Capri Sailing Week Day 1
Double bullets for Pepe Cannonball and SuperNikka Day one of the Rolex Capri Sailing Week was a maxi-only affair on the Bay of Naples, with the weather mark positioned close to the tip of the Sorrento Peninsula Posted on 17 May 2018
Melges 14 2019 FooterWindBot-COACH-660x82Marine Resources BOTTOM