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13 September 2009, 05:17 pm
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2009 Concludes
Alfa Romeo of New Zealand's Neville Crichton
Alfa Romeo of New Zealand's Neville Crichton, winner of the Mini Maxi Racing (Owner/Driver) class

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2009
Porto Cervo, Italy

After five splendid racing days with stable conditions featuring north to northeasterly winds, sunshine, blue skies and choppy seas, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2009 has drawn to a close.
Organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in conjunction with the International Maxi Association, the event which is now in its 20th edition, saw 42 maxis competing and between five to seven races held for each of the various divisions over the course of the series.

Niklas Zennstrom's Judel Vrolijk designed 72' Bermudian sloop Ran (GBR), launched this year and already winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2009, took victory in the Mini Maxi Racing 00 group. Four of the Mini Maxi Racing yachts qualified as owner-driven and among these Neville Crichton's Alfa Romeo (NZL) took victory and a Rolex Yachtmaster timepiece. In the Mini Maxi Racing Cruising division Michael Cotter's Reichel and Pugh designed 78 foot sloop Whisper (IRL) took first place in all but one of the five races to win her division by a 10-point margin. Claus Peter Offen's Y3K (GER) dominated the Wally division with three bullets in six races, while in the Racing and Cruising division Roma - Aniene (ITA) led from day one and brought home an impressive four bullets over five races. It was in the Cruising and Spirit of Tradition division, however, that the J Class Velsheda (GBR) displayed the most impressive score sheet with a home run of five victories out of five races.

"This victory has come after a challenging week but I am really pleased because our team is not made up of professional sailors," said Vasco Vascotto, tactician onboard Roma - Aniene. "We have put together a winning group all the same and we have achieved a great result." He went on to explain that the team was put together by the C.C. Aniene - a sporting association based in Rome which has just created a new section to promote sailing. "This is the first step for C.C. Aniene in the world of sailing. My team's enthusiasm is more than reward for what we went through this summer to get the boat in the water."

Neville Crichton was pleased with his result and already thinking about his next race. "The boat is really fast and has fully lived up to our expectations. It is agile and speedy as a mini maxi racing boat must be. I am going to savour this victory for a while and then I will be concentrating on the Rolex Sydney Hobart."

Winner's of today's races, held in 10 to 12 knots of breeze from 25 degrees, were Ran for the Mini Maxi racing 00 group, Whisper in the Mini Maxi Racing Cruising division, Y3K in the Wally division, Roma - Aniene in e Racing and Cruising division and Velsheda in the Cruising and Spirit of Tradition Division.

The final prize giving was held on the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's Piazza Azzurra and the winners were awarded prizes by His Highness the Aga Khan, President of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, and Bruno Meyer, President of Rolex.

The YCCS racing season continues next week with the Audi Melges 20 Series and the Audi Melges 30 World Championship starting on 18 and 21 September respectively.

For results, news from the regatta course and live tracking please visit www.yccsmaxi.com.

Jill Campbell
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