Kurt Arrigo / Rolex

Overall honours for Jethou in the Rolex Volcano Race

Sir Peter Ogden's team win their first offshore event

Thursday May 24th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: Italy

Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou has been announced as the overall winner of the 2012 Rolex Volcano Race. The British 60ft Mini Maxi was the third boat to finish Leg Two of the offshore race which concluded yesterday evening following a 300 mile round trip from Capri through the Aeolian Islands. She ousted the two titans, the 112ft Nilaya (BEL) and 100ft Wally Y3K (GER) - to win on corrected time by just under an hour and a half.

It has been a fantastic week for Jethou which performed impressively in winning Saturday’s windward-leeward race in Gaeta, before finishing second overall on Leg One of the offshore race, which ran some 100 miles from Gaeta to Capri. These two races served as the prelude to the main event – the 300 nm leg two of the offshore race.

Ogden was ecstatic his crew coming good in an offshore event for the first time: “It was a good race, great fun. I knew we were going to be competitive and we had a bit of luck. This was probably the strongest Rolex event we’ve done in terms of the speed we reached. My abiding memory will be doing 26 knots, an unbelievable speed, as we passed Nilaya. However, the boat felt very secure. At one stage when we were reaching the boat became an aeroplane!”

For Ogden the success was an early birthday present ahead of Saturday: “I’ve done a lot of yacht racing and never won a Rolex race so after many attempts we are very happy!” Both Ogden and the crew’s professional tactician Brad Butterworth believe the significant changes made to the yacht over the winter have rendered her faster (more about those here). “We got it about right, the boat is a lot more powerful, it is a surprise why she was underpowered before as she was designed as a Rán 2 scaled down. But when you looked at her sail area to waterline length, Rán had a lot more power. Now we’re about the same,” explains Ogden.

“It was very exciting,” agreed America’s Cup legend Brad Butterworth. “At the back end of the race and during the start we noticed a difference when it was quite light as we’ve put a lot more power in the boat. She is a lot more responsive.” The acid test for the revised Jethou will come when she faces her Mini Maxi rivals in September at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

Ogden paid tribute to the knowledge Butterworth brings: “We are mostly an amateur crew. Brad has tremendous experience. He is one of the guys and really encourages everybody. He sees things in 3D that nobody else does.”

The crew also count on the expertise of navigator Mike Broughton, who added: “It was exciting beating into Capri as we had some wind which is not always the case here. It was a great decision by the race organisers not to send us into 30-35 knots of wind that would have seen hideous conditions. The event was exciting, particularly around the volcanoes.”

Filip Balcaen’s Supermaxi Nilaya claimed line honours yesterday evening, completing the course in one day, two hours and five minutes. A reward for the crew’s impressive team work, explored in further detail in a dedicated feature story.

Jethou will be awarded the Rolex Trophy and timepiece during the traditional Rolex party at the La Canzone del Mare, held on Friday evening. Nilaya will receive a Rolex timepiece as winners of line honours.


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