The Rolex Capri Sailing Week attracted a truly international fleet of 21 boats from 11 different countries and despite two days lost due to lack of wind there was high quality racing.
The Rolex Capri Sailing Week attracted a truly international fleet of 21 boats from 11 different countries set against the backdrop of the Italian island of Capri. Robertissima III (GBR) took Mini Maxi Racing, Good Job Guys (ITA) headed the podium in Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising and Azzurra (ITA) took the overall victory in TP52.
The assembled Maxis and Mini Maxis started their week with the Volcano Race, a 230 nautical-miles offshore course from Capri to Stromboli and back. The fleet found light to moderate wind conditions and Roberto Tomasini Grinover's JV72 Robertissima III outperformed her opponenets to win out overall. Fastest on the water was Slovenian 100 foot Maxi Esimit Europa 2, which finished the course in 27 hours, 16 minutes and 44 seconds to secure the line honours victory.
According to Robertissima III tactician and Rolex Testimonee, Paul Cayard, "It seemed like we were a little bit faster (than Jethou) in upwind conditions. Maybe we have a little more stability.
"Esimit was in front and sailed into a hole behind Stromboli, so we went wide. Jethou tried to cut the corner on us and parked also."
Robertissima used this opportunity to build an all-important lead and was declared the overall winner of the race, when it became clear her corrected time could not be bettered. At this point, the Maxis changed their mode or set-up for the scheduled three days of coastal racing.
Unfortunately both Thursday and Friday were written off due to lack of any breeze.
As frustration built for all concerned, the situation for the final day was studied intently. The predictions were good, and hopes were high for a final bout of spirited competition across all classes.
In the Mini Maxi class, Giuseppe Puttini's Swan 65 Shirlaf from Italy won the coastal race, held over a racecourse of 20 nautical miles, in tricky, shifting wind conditions. Second was British entrant Lupa of London followed by Hungary's representaive, Wild Joe.
The combination of the Volcano Race and coastal race results gave the overall win in Mini Maxi Racing division to Robertissima III.
"Capri is a fantastic place"
, said owner Roberto Tomasini Grinover.
"I never found such a hospitality like in Capri in no other club in the world. All my crew was really delighted to be here and to be treated to the hospitality of the Yacht Club Capri and Rolex, and of course the result is absolutely positive."
In the Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising division, Enrico Gorziglia's Italian entry Good Job Guys performed best across the two races to secure top spot.
Away from the Maxi racing, attention was firmly on the debut of the TP52 class at Rolex Capri Sailing Week. Nine teams from seven different countries took part.
Newcomer, Phoenix, won the first race of the championship and its first-ever race. Eduardo de Souza Ramos owner and helmsman of the Brazilian TP52, was enthralled with his debut, "It was such a fantastic experience. I never thought it would ever be like that. It is an experience I am never going to forget."
In the end, the TP52 fleet sailed six out of the 10 races scheduled. Five different teams took bullets to confirm the competitiveness of the class: Phoenix, Quantum Racing (USA), Vesper (USA), Azzurra (ITA) and Rán (SWE).
Overall victory went to Alberto Roemmer's team after a final day were they came close to perfection, scoring a second and a first place.
"It is a great feeling",
Azzurra helmsman Guillermo Parada emphasised.
"Capri is a unique place to sail, and is known for light conditions. We made some changes in the mast, the sails, the trimming, we changed some members of the crew to improve the performance in these conditions, and it allowed us to be competitive. I'm happy, because we made a plan and it worked out. We would be delighted to come back here next year."
Second overall was Jim Swartz's Vesper, followed by Doug DeVos' Quantum Racing.
Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2014 drew to a close with a prize giving ceremony held at the Yacht Club Capri, where class winners received their trophies and Rolex timepieces.
2014 ROLEX CAPRI SAILING WEEK WINNERS
Mini Maxi Racing
Robertissima (GBR), Roberto Tomasini
Mini Maxi Racing-Cruising
Good job guys (ITA), Enrico Gorziglia
Azzura (ITA), Alberto Roemmers
Complete results may be found at www.imaresults.com/rcsw2014/rcsw_results.html