In breeze ranging from 5 to 12 knots from the northeast and under clear skies, the fleet of 31 boats headed out for the third day of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.
The day's courses took the Racing and Wally Divisions up past the Island Monaci to the island of Barettinelli di Fuoro where the yachts turned back to Porto Cervo inside the islands of La Maddalena, San Stefano and Caprera. The Cruising Division sailed a slightly shorter course turning at Monaci towards Secca Tre Monti, before heading down the coast to Pevero Bay. All three divisions finished off Porto Cervo.
The recently launched Genuine Risk, a 90 foot boat with a canting keel designed by Ed DUBOIS, held the lead throughout the entire day in the competitive Racing Division. It was not easy going with two technically demanding beats preceding the remainder of the coastal course. It was during these initial windward legs that tactician Francesco DE ANGELIS and the crew secured the vital time advantage over Pyewacket that enabled them to claim victory by less than a minute on corrected time.
The crew of the Reichel-Pugh 77 Black Dragon have cause to feel disappointment after sailing an excellent initial stage and rounding the second windward mark in third place. On the long reach to Barettinelli she was overhauled in turn by Alfa Romeo, Wild Oats and finally Idea, finishing sixth on handicap.
Following upon yesterday's win, Alexia again won the Wally Division. Mister A took first in the Cruising Division repeating their victory from the day before. Overall division leaders include Roy DISNEY'S Pyewacket in Racing, Alexia in the Wally division and Inspiration, a traditionally designed Jongert built in 1985, in Cruising.
Pyewacket has shown the strongest consistency in performance in the Racing Division closely followed by the newly launched Wild Oats, owned by Robert OATLEY from Australia. Both boats have canting keels and clearly have an edge on the other yachts in the division. Another similar performance from Genuine Risk, also with canting ballast, will confirm her potency.
"Our performance was certainly better than yesterday,"
said Randall PITTMAN, owner of Genuine Risk. "We got a jump at the start and were the first boat around the first windward mark by about two minutes, leading Pyewacket. With smart tactics and strong crew work, we were able to stretch our lead."
In the Wally division, there is a wide variety of technology at work including canting keels, as well as boats with water ballast and traditional keels. The regatta's overall race results show no particular technology is providing a clear advantage.
"Today, we sailed an excellent race,"
said Marco TRONCHETTI PROVERA, owner of Kauris III, who finished second today in the Wally Division. "Our Code Zero sail worked well, especially in today's light air. We are a heavy boat, twice the weight of Magic Carpet, but we were able to out perform her today."
"For a 19-year old boat, we are doing quite well,"
said Herbert DAHM, owner of Cruising Division leader Inspiration. "It has been a long time since we have performed at this level. This can be attributed to work from a dedicated crew including three German sailing champions."
With three races sailed, the possibility of five being completed has increased bringing the possibility of a discard into the equation. There remains plenty to sail for. None of the Division leaders are secure and it is in the Cruising Division where seven points separates the top seven boats that competition is the tightest.
Thursday is a lay day with racing set to continue on Friday, September 10, 2004 at noon.
For Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2004 entry lists, results and other event information visit the event website via the link below.