The Sardinia Rolex Cup 2004, hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, culminated yesterday with Spain claiming victory in the stunning waters off Porto Cervo.
The final day's race was a battle between the USA and Spain for the title of ISAF Offshore Team World Champion while the remaining five teams competed for third place.
Before the final and conclusive regatta, Spain, on 41 points, held a fine lead over the US with 42 points. The 13 mile deciding windward/leeward race took place in 330 degree winds which had dropped to 10-12 knots.
The Spanish and United States teams dropped back in the fleet for a game of cat and mouse which saw the Spanish Bribon Telefonica, with H.M. King Juan Carlos frequently at the helm, coming in fourth in the IMS class and Talisman for the US in sixth.
In the Swan 45 class the USA's Mascalzone Latino claimed fourth, just ahead of the Spanish Meridiana Telefonica in fifth. Spain got the better of the USA once again in the Farr 40 Class with Nerone Meridiana arriving fifth, ahead of the American team on Bambakou.
The results of today's hard-fought regatta mean that the title of ISAF Offshore Team World Champion goes to the Spanish team, with Bribon Telefonica, Meridiana Telefonica and Nerone Meridiana on 55 points. The United States team takes second with 58 points and Italy Blue comes in third with 67 points.
"Today, we had the honour of sailing with King Juan Carlos, an avid competitor who brought us good luck,"
noted Pedro CAMPOS, helmsman of Bribon Telefonica MoviStar.
"We saw every kind of wind condition this week which put our entire team to test. My congratulations go to our team members Meridiana Telefonica and Nerone Meridiana who were a key part of Spain's success. We thank the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, the International Jury and the Race Committee for hosting a spectacular week of racing."
"I would like to thank all of the competitors this week who showed first class sportsmanship," said Commodore Alberini of the YCCS. "We are especially pleased to be celebrating our twenty year partnership with Rolex, who has worked side by side with us to put on first class regattas complete with a full social calendar."
H.H. the Aga Khan along with H.M. King Juan Carlos of Spain attended yesterday evening's prize giving on the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's Piazza Azzurra.
In September, the YCCS, together with Rolex, will host two of the most respected worldwide yachting events, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 5-11 September and the Rolex Swan Cup 12-19 September, where over 100 Swan boats are expected to compete.