Nokia to stay in the Med
The crew of the Reichel Pugh designed 76ft (25m) 'sled', originally built for the 2001 Transpac and now modified for the European circuit, is already in training at the yacht's St Tropez base before arriving at the 14 May start of the Regate Trofeo Zegna in Portofino.
Dunstone himself will be taking the helm and will be joined by a crew of one-design title holders and America's Cup sailors including David Bedford (multiple European and match racing champion) as tactician and Jules Salter (GBR Challenge) as navigator. Volvo and grand prix legend Neal McDonald will also be in the afterguard. Other crew will be sail coordinator Chris Mason, crew coordinator James Stagg, campaign manager/pit, Matt Cowpe and boat captain/bow Abby Seager.
Dunstone and his team will be trying to better their impressive 2003 record which included first overall in both the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Once again Enigma will be supported by mobile phone giant Nokia, in their fifth year as corporate partner in Dunstone's sailing campaigns.
"Despite the success we achieved last year, the team have not stood still over the winter. We have concentrated on key areas for improvement and the boat and crew are in great shape. We are looking forward to some close competition again this year" says Dunstone.
As well as the Regate Trofeo Zegna (14th - 16th May), Enigma will also be participating in the Giraglia Rolex Cup (13-18 June), the Rolex Maxi Cup (6-11 Sept) and the Voiles on 4-9 Oct)
Enigma expects to be joined for some racing by her sistership, the former Pegasus, to be renamed this month by her new owner. The sight of the two 76ft maxis sparring as a pair will be one to look forward to.
Enigma's campaign continues to include its successful partnership with Nokia, now in its fifth year. Nokia has supported a number of Charles Dunstone's sailing campaigns. These include victories in two of his previous yachts, a Bashford 40 and Corby 42, both named Nokia, in several events including Skandia Cowes Week and the IRC National Championships. Dunstone currently also owns a Swan 86, Hamilton, which has captured a few trophies of her own. While partnered by Nokia she scored top Swan in the 1999 Fastnet race.
Enigma is expecting to be joined this year by her 76' sistership, formerly Pegasus and now under new ownership, which came from the same mould at McConaghy Boats in 2001. The sight of the two yachts racing side by side will present a real spectacle at the Mediterranean events.
The Enigma/Nokia team will also be participating at Skandia Cowes Week from 7th to 14th August on a chartered race boat, most likely to be a Corel 45.