Magic Carpet on a charge
Light conditions continue to affect racing at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. For day two of racing there was a consistent 6-8 knot breeze, and the Race Committee organised two short but testing windward-leeward courses for the Mini Maxis and Wally classes while the remainder of the 37-strong fleet competed on a 25 mile coastal course.
Jean Charles Decaux’s J-One, a class winner in 2007, has stolen a march in the Wally Class having taken two bullets and a second place in the competition’s three races. It leaves the rest of the seven-strong fleet with much to ponder during tomorrow’s lay day.
Those in her wake include the two WallyCentos, Magic Carpet 3 and Hamilton. Magic Carpet 3 owner Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones has a proud record at the competition and is the defending champion. Following a disappointing sixth place in yesterday’s coastal race, a victory and a second place today has given Owen-Jones and his crew encouragement for the second half of the week. He has a target in reach: “We’ve written our name five times on the wall next to the door to the Yacht Club (Costa Smeralda), the idea of putting it there a sixth time, which I think would be a record for any name, is a terribly exciting idea.”
After claiming line honours at the Giraglia Rolex Cup in June, Owen-Jones is happy with the progress of his new boat, competing at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup for the first time. “Probably the biggest single difference is how much faster this generation of boats is,” explains Owen-Jones. “When you feel it accelerating it really is exciting. It feels like a racing boat and that’s what we wanted.”
Magic Carpet 3 has the original Wally Cento Hamilton to race against. Launched last year, Sir Charles Dunstone’s boat, a Judel-Vrolijk design compared to Magic Carpet's Reichel-Pugh, is further down the line in terms of miles at sea. Yesterday she finished ahead of Magic Carpet 3 but today’s third and fifth on the scoreboard were disappointing. “We struggled against Magic Carpet 3 in the light winds today. We’re hoping to be increasingly competitive across the week especially if the wind gets up,” said Hamilton tactician, Ian Walker. “The two races were similar today. We made nice starts, but Magic Carpet just had the edge and kept us back at the windward mark. They sailed a great race making very few mistakes.”
In the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship, Alegre showed signs of her impressive performance in yesterday’s coastal race, recording victory in the second windward/leeward race after a less welcome fifth in the first. Shockwave was the most consistent performer of the day, winning the first race and registering a third place in the second. Just two points separate three 72ft Mini Maxis Alegre, Shockwave and two-time champion Rán 2.
“Shockwave has always been the dark horse in this class,” explains Gordon Maguire, tactician on Caol Ila R (USA), which scored a steady third and fourth in the day’s races. “I have always been impressed with the way they sail. Particularly in light airs they are very competitive.” Caol Ila R currently lies in fourth place, hampered by a poor coastal race yesterday. “We need something extraordinary to happen on another coastal race for us to make the podium,” admits Maguire. Nestling behind Caol Ila R is defending champion Bella Mente (USA), already 13 points behind the leader and requiring a flawless second half of the week if she is to mount a realistic defence of her title.
In the other classes, yesterday’s winners became leaders by repeating their first day performances. Tomorrow is a lay day at the 2013 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. Racing resumes on Thursday 5 September.
Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship
1. ALEGRE (GBR), Andy Soriano, 1.5–5–1; 7.5
2. SHOCKWAVE (USA), George Sakellaris 4.5–1–3; 8.5
3. RAN 2 (GBR), Niklas Zennstrom 3-4-2; 9
1. HIGHLAND FLING (MON), Irvine Laidlaw, 1–1; 2
2. MORNING GLORY (GER), Hasso Plattner, 2-2; 4
3. AEGIR (GBR), Brian Benjamin, 5–3; 8
Maxi Racer / Cruiser
1. ALTAIR (ITA), Paolo Scerni / Roberto Tomasini, 1-1; 2
2. NEFERTITI (GBR), Anders Nordquist, 2-2; 4
3. WINDFALL (RSA), Southern Wind Shipyard, 4-3; 7
1. VELSHEDA (GBR), Tarbat Investment Ltd, 1-1; 2
2. RAINBOW (NED), Chris Gongriep, 2-2; 4
3. RANGER (CAY), RSV Ltd. ; 3–3; 6
1. NILAYA (GBR), Filip Balcaen, 1-1; 2
2. FIREFLY (NED), Eric Bijlsma, 2-2; 4
3. ONLY NOW (TUR), Chelsea Yachting Ltd., 3-3; 6
1. J ONE (GBR), Jean Charles Decaux, 1–2-1; 4
2. MAGIC CARPET 3, Sir Lindsey Owen Jones, 6–1–2; 9
3. INTI (ITA), Lauro Buoro, 3–6-3; 12
From Carlo Borlenghi / Rolex