Clear skies and a fresh mistral breeze marked the start of the second race day in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014. After yesterday's coastal race for the entire fleet, the Race Committee decided to shake things up, setting windward-leeward courses for the Mini Maxi Racing, Wally and J-Class yachts while the remainder of the fleet sailed two slightly different coastal courses.
In the fiercely competitive Mini Maxi fleet, battling for their annual World Championship, Andres Soriano's Alegre remains in the top spot as do Firefly (Supermaxi), Highland Fling (Maxi) and Lupa of London (Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising) in their respective divisions. Among the classic J Class boats the 40-metre Rainbow moves up the overall classification to claim first place and Y3K takes command of the nine- boat Wally fleet.
While the Mini Maxi Racing, Wally and J Class divisions completed two windward-leeward races just off Porto Cervo, the rest of the fleet completed a 29 mile coastal course which was adjusted to 24 miles for the Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising boats. The route visited many of the famous “natural buoys” of the Costa Smeralda regatta course – Monaci Island, the Secca Tre Monti rock, the strait off Capo Ferro and the island of Mortoriotto to the south – and provided spectators and photographers with some stunning images.
Thanks to top-rate performances in both of today's races – producing a second place and a bullet – YCCS Member Roberto Tommasini's Judel-Vrolijk 72 Robertissima climbed from fourth place to second overall. Alegre, with John Kostecki calling tactics, holds on to first place and Niklas Zennstrom's Rán 5 with tactician Adrian Stead remains in third.
Robertissima's tactician, Vasco Vascotto had mixed feelings about the day's performance: “It was a great day even if we weren't too pleased with the first race, we didn't sail brilliantly, we can do better than that. Everything went right for us in the second race though, we were a bit worried about the wind shift on the final upwind leg but we were able to control the boat well and get the result. We are happy today but we know that this week will be a real battle.”
The spectacular battle among the J-Class yachts continues with the giant of the fleet, the 43-metre Lionheart, posting a 1-2 scoreline in today's windward-leewards. It wasn't enough to put them at the top of the classification, however, as Rainbow claimed a convincing win in the final race of the day despite blowing a spinnaker on the first downwind leg. Rainbow now leads the division by just one point ahead of Lionheart and Ranger who both sit on 7 points ahead of Velsheda.
The results in the Supermaxi division were an exact replica of yesterday's and leave Firefly heading up the classification ahead of the Swiss yacht Inoui and Italy's Viriella with Mauro Pelaschier at the helm.
In the Wally division IMA President Claus Peter Offen's Y3K took a second place and a bullet in the windward-leewards to move up to first place overall ahead of J One while the Wally Cento Magic Carpet 3 slipped back to third place after coming fifth in the second race of the day.
The Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising division saw Jeremy Pilkington's Lupa of London dominate for the second consecutive day, taking victory in real and corrected time. Russia's Bronenosec in took second place in today's coastal race and climbed to second place overall in the overall classification ahead of French yacht Arobas.
Vladimir Liubomirov , at the helm of Bronenosec, was cautiously oprimistic for tomorrow: “The wind was a bit shifty today, but we got a race in which was good and it was a really tight finish on the course. The same type of conditions are forecast for tomorrow, we will try to hold our position and if we were able to beat Lupa of London we would be happy, but we will see. This regatta is very important for us but we are also working as a team and adjusting the boat as we'll be here next week as well for Rolex Swan Cup.”
No change in the Maxi division as Sir Irvine Laidlaw's 25-metre Highland Fling claimed another bullet ahead of the Swan 90 Odin.
– YCCS Media