After five days of racing under blue skies and sunshine, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2004, ended with Pyewacket, Alexia and Mister A winning the Racing, Wally and Cruising Divisions respectively.
In yesterday's race, the same three boats won. All three divisions sailed a coastal courses with the Racing Division sailing 30 miles, the Wally Division 26 miles and the Cruising Division 23 miles.
The Racing Division provided some great action with the front three boats trading places during the coastal section. Genuine Risk eventually beat Pyewacket by 2 and half minutes, with Alfa Romeo a further two minutes behind. Preceding this, the windward-leeward-windward legs were some of the best of the week, with multiple boat roundings, immaculate sail handling and spot-on tactics contributing to the spectacle. The start was highly charged with Genuine Risk close to being squeezed out at the Committee Boat by Idea. Further down the line Drake Passage almost found herself over early for the second race in a row. The 66-foot Wild Oats fought another close battle with the bigger Idea. Idea finally establishing a lead she could hold during the long leg from Monaci to Mortoriotto, beating 'The Oats' (as she is affectionately known) by just over a minute.
"This has been a fantastic week of racing in a setting that is hard to match,"
noted Roy DISNEY, owner of Pyewacket. "We had three factors working in our favour: excellent crew work, smart tactics and a great boat. Today, we went out to sail clean and enjoy ourselves. Our win, combined with the warm hospitality provided by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Rolex marks this regatta as a highlight on the world yacht racing calendar."
"Even though we technically won the regatta yesterday, we love to race so we wanted to sail today with the same spirit,"
said Alberto ROEMMERS Jr., son of owner of Alexia. "We have raced here before with our IMS Maxi Alexia, but this is the first time we raced our new Wally, and truly enjoyed the week. While we had a strong performance, we faced a major challenge on day one. A shackle used to douse the spinnaker exploded just prior to a takedown. In the process, I was knocked into one wheel, breaking it and then the sheet hit the other wheel, damaging it too. For the rest of the race, we steered with the remaining spokes of both wheels."
Following this early hiccough, Alexia sailed a perfect remainder of series with four bullets.
In the Cruising Division, throughout the week the closest competition was between Mister A, the German yacht Inspiration, and the restored J-Class Velsheda. The range of racing experience was as varied as the designs of the boats themselves. In the end, Mister A made it look easy scoring 4 straight bullets. A creditable result given this was its debut Maxi racing event.
"Since we are so much smaller than the other boats in our division, our goal was to sail our own race, which is exactly what we did,"
said Aldo PAGANI, owner of Mister A. "This is our first real Maxi regatta and our first experience in the serious race circuit. We hope we will have the same luck in the future."
Thirty-one Maxi yachts from 13 nations competed during a week of light to moderate winds on courses that ranged from windward-leeward to longer, scenic coastal courses. The world-renowned regatta featured elegant classic yachts along side of modern-day boats featuring the latest racing technology. International CEOs such as Roy Disney and business leaders from established companies such as L'Oreal, Pirelli and The Carphone Warehouse sailed in addition to America's Cup and Olympic champions. Competitors attended social activities at the most beautiful of Sardinia's venues, including the five-star Hotel Cala di Volpe. This year celebrates the 20-year partnership between the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Rolex.
"We thank the competitors, many of whom have travelled a long distance, for their enthusiasm and commitment to the sport,"
said Commodore Gianfranco ALBERINI. "It has been our privilege to host this distinguished fleet and we are happy to have welcomed our guests to our beautiful home. We thank Rolex for its partnership during the past twenty years and look forward to continuing our friendship in the future."
Full results are available on the event website at the address below.