Photo: Billy Black

Full 2013 season for Bella Mente

Hap Fauth's Mini Maxi to take on Rolex Fastnet and Sydney Hobart races

Wednesday December 19th 2012, Author: Kirsten Ferguson, Location: none selected

Hap Fauth's Mini Maxi Bella Mente is revving up for an ambitious 2013 sailing schedule and a second season. Their 72ft Judel/Vrolijk design was launched in April 2012 and with a team comprising 26 sailors and shore crew from  six countries this season won the Mini Maxi World Championship in Port Cervo in September and most recently has warmed up winning line honours in the Wirth M. Munroe Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach Yacht Race followed by a second-place in the 2012 Sailfish Club Ocean Challenge in Palm Beach, Florida.

The team plans to move on to Quantum Key West Race Week in January which will be followed by the RORC Caribbean 600 in February before Bella Mente is shipped to Europe for a program that will include PalmaVela, Giraglia Rolex Cup, Rolex Fastnet Race, Aberdeen AssetManagement Cowes Week and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. The grand finale for their 2013 campaign will come when they ship Bella Mente down under for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

“You are only as good as the team that surrounds you,” said Fauth, who purchased his first Bella Mente (a Judel/Vrolijk 66) in late 2005 and still has many members of the original team with him today. “We won the Newport Bermuda Race in 2006 on the original Bella Mente and the 2011 Transpac on the second Bella Mente (a modified Reichel/Pugh 69 built in 2009). This year we captured the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship with the current Bella Mente, and in 2013 we plan to defend that title at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in September and also go after the Rolex Fastnet and the Rolex Sydney Hobart with a vengeance. They are on my bucket list of ‘man-beater’ races. If you have the machinery and heart, then you are in the game!”

When he is not competing on the water, Fauth runs a number of businesses that span many industries – from agriculture to aerospace – and brings many of the same principles and tactics that he uses in the boardroom to the development of his sailing campaign. Bella Mente Racing is constantly changing and adapting in an attempt to rise above its competition on the water. Because of this, some have even given Bella Mente the nickname Experimenté

“Technology is what affects us every day, probably every minute of every day, so the idea is to get ahead of that curve instead of being behind it. I do not accept status quo. That is a principle under which I’ve always run this program,” said Fauth, adding that he was convinced the boat could be engineered to be successful around the buoys with one setup, and with a few configuration changes, it could transform into an “offshore machine.”

“The team has spent 2012 racing and practicing to work out any potential issues, and now we are very confident; we look forward to getting out on the starting line,” said Fauth, who has high hopes that in years to come the team will compete not only in the U.S., Europe and Australia but also in Asia and South Africa. “We want to take this boat farther than any of the other Bella Mente yachts that have gone before it. We look forward to what the new year will bring.”

Read our full article about Bella Mente here

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