The latest yacht to carry the name ‘Alfa Romeo' has made a stunning debut in the Copa del Ray regatta (3-7 August 2009) in Spain with the New Zealand yacht dominating the event and winning the regatta with a comfortable nine point margin after winning six of the event's ten races.
“We could not have asked for a better debut for Alfa Romeo III, our first mini maxi, and the results show that the new yacht is well positioned to follow in the footsteps of the first two ‘Alfa Romeo' maxi yachts,” said Neville Crichton, the Kiwi owner and skipper of both the new ‘Alfa Romeo III' and the maxi ‘Alfa Romeo II' which won the TransPac in July. “We have learnt a great deal about the yacht during this week long event and we will be putting these into practice before the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in September!”
Alfa Romeo dominated the first six races of the ten race regatta during which the local sea breeze, known as the Embat, blew strongly, up to 20 knots, but towards the end of the week the wind dropped back below 10 knots, allowing Alfa Romeo's rivals to overtake her in the final races of the series, but although this narrowed Alfa Romeo's lead, it was not enough to threaten the New Zealand yacht's domination of the event.
“There is no doubt that the biggest lesson we have learnt from this event is that we must hone our light wind skills and develop new strategies for when there is little wind,” says Neville Crichton. “But, with a brand new yacht, we came to this event with our sights set on being in the top three, so to win six races and take the Copa del Rey Trophy is a tremendous result and bodes well for the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup!”
The next race for Alfa Romeo III is the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Sardinia's Costa Smeralda on 6-12 September. Alfa Romeo II, following her domination of the Los Angeles to Hawaii TransPac race, has now arrived back home in Auckland, New Zealand, where she is being prepared for events in Auckland, including the 2009 HSBC Premier Coastal Classic on 23 October 2009, before she crosses the Tasman for the Rolex Sydney Hobart.