Ingrid Abery Photography /

Maxi yacht crunch

Illusion T-bones Kora in the Maxi Racing Cruising class at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

Friday September 9th 2011, Author: Jill Campbell, Location: Italy

The penultimate day of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2011 was a mixed bag with light and shifty winds preventing the Mini Maxi and Wally classes from completing any windward-leeward races and the remaining divisions sailing a short coastal course.

Niklas Zennstrom's Ràn 2 (GBR), with Adrian Stead on tactics therefore remains in the lead in the Mini Maxi class as does Claus Peter Offen's Y3K (GER), with tactician Jochen Schuemann, in the Wally division. Brian Benjamin's Aegir (GBR) moves up to first place in the Maxi Racing/Cruising fleet and Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), owned by Igor Simcic, solidify their overall lead in the Maxi Racing division. In the Supermaxi division Nilaya (GBR) retains the lead she has held from day one. The event, now in its 22nd edition, is organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the International Maxi Association and this year hosts 45 maxi racing yachts.

The fleet headed out onto the water early this morning for the scheduled 10.30 start but due to the constantly shifting breeze was forced to wait until the early afternoon for the first warning signal.

The Racing division completed a 17 mile course which took them north to round Monaci island before heading back towards the coast, rounding the Secca Tre Monti rock and finishing off Porto Cervo. Esimit Europa 2, bearing the colours of the European Union, once again took line honours, beating Highland Fling's (GBR) time by exactly ten minutes. Esimit also led on corrected time and now sits one point ahead of Sir Irvine Laidlaw's Wally hybrid.

In the Maxi Racing Cruising division Aegir had the fastest elapsed and corrected time for the second consecutive day. DSK Pioneer Investments (ITA) took second place and Selene came in third. Today's victory allowed Benjamin's boat to leapfrog DSK in the overall results, however both boats now sit on 5 points and victory will be awarded to the winner of tomorrow's race. Berenice Bis (ITA) is in third place overall. However the drama of the day came when coming into the start the 30m Illusion misjudged the distance and ploughed right into Kora. The crew were thrown across the deck with a few damaged ribs counted, one person in the water and plenty of damage to both boats. See Ingrid Abery's collection of photos from this incident below.

Albert Bull's Saudade, the largest boat in the fleet at 45.2m, dominated the Supermaxi division today. The Tripp-designed Wally led the nine-strong Supermaxi fleet across the finish line and also triumphed in the combined IRC/ORC classification. Nilaya continues to lead the overall results by five points over Hetairos.

Racing is scheduled to conclude tomorrow, Saturday 10 September, at 11.30 with windward-leeward races in programme for the Mini Maxi and Wally fleets and a coastal course for all other divisions. A south-easterly breeze of approximately 10 knots is predicted.

Owners and crews will attend the Rolex Party at the Colonna Pevero Hotel this evening and the event will conclude after racing tomorrow with the final prize giving in the YCCS Piazza Azzurra.


Place, Boat Name, Owner, R1-R2-R3, Total Points

Maxi Racing/Cruising
1) Aegir (GBR), Brian Benjamin, 3-1-1, 5.0
2) DSK Pioneer Investments (ITA), Danilo Salsi, 1-2-2, 5.0
3) Berenice (ITA), Marco Rodolfi, 6-3-4, 13.0

Maxi Racing
1) Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), Igor Simcic, 2-1-1, 4.0
2) Highland Fling (MON), Irvine Laidlaw, 1-2-2, 5.0

1) Y3K (GER), Claus Peter Offen, 1-1, 2.0
2) Magic Carpet 2 (GBR), Sir Lindsay Owen Jones, 2-3, 5.0
3) Dark Shadow (MON), André Auberton, 5-2, 7.0

1) Nilaya (GBR), Ficaya Ltd, 1/1-2/4-2/2, 12.0
2) Visione (GER), Hasso Plattner 3/2-3/1-4-4, 17.0
3) Hetairos (CAY), Rockport Ltd, 2/4-1/2-5/6, 20.0

The Supermaxi Class is being dual scored in each race under IRC & ORC. The combined scores determine the leaderboard. Individual race scores show IRC race position/ORC race position.

Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship
1) Rán 2 (GBR), Niklas Zennström, 1.5-1-1-4, 7.5
2) Jethou (GBR), Peter Ogden, 3-3-3-2, 11.0
3) Alegre (GBR), Andres Soriano, 4.5-2-2-3, 11.5

Photos from Ingrid Abery/

From Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex



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