The first day of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2010 saw 47 sailing giants competing on the seas off the north-eastern coast of Sardinia accompanied by 7 to 8 knots of north north-westerly breeze.
The event is organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda from 5 - 11 September and the 24 competitors that belong to the Mini Maxi division (ranging from 18.29 to 24.08 metres in length) are competing for their inaugural World Championship.
At the conclusion of today's racing the leaders of the various divisions were Hamilton II (Super Maxi), Esimit Europa 2 (Racing & Racing/Cruising) and J One (Wally). In the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship Andy Soriano's Alegre dominated while Ranger won the battle among the J-Class boats.
The Mini Maxis completed two windward-leeward races, the first saw Alegre - whose crew is a mix of nationalities ranging from the UK, to Spain, New Zealand and South Africa - take victory over Neville Crichton's Shockwave (NZL). Titan 15 with Bill Koch at the helm and Gavin Brady
on tactics came in third.
The second race saw Alegre win again ahead of Niklas Zennstrom's Ran in second and Shockwave in third. In the overall classification with two races run Alegre leads ahead of Shockwave in second place and Ran in third.
With the possibility of nine races being held and a range of wind and sea conditions predicted over the course of the week, the fight for the title of World Champion will be an interesting and hard-fought one.
The remaining divisions completed a coastal race of 30 nautical miles which took them on a beat to the north of the La Maddalena archipelago to round Barrettinelli di Fuori before heading back down along the coast past Capo Ferro and onwards past Porto Cervo to the finish line in the Gulf of Pevero.
The Super Maxi division hosts the largest sailing yachts in the fleet such as the 45.2 metre Saudade and the 45 metre Salperton. Hamilton II, with America's Cup Veteran Ray Davies on tactics, took victory on corrected time over Albert Buell's Saudade and Marco Vogele's Gliss.
Esimet Europa 2, skippered by Flavio Favini
, stormed around the course today in the Racing & Racing/Cruising Division and placed first ahead of Irvine Laidlaw's Highland Fling and Danilo Salsi's DSK Pioneer. ''I'm extremely satisfied with today's performance,''
commented Favini after racing, ''despite a few small maneuvering mistakes we made during the race, we took the line honors and won in handicap time, which clearly shows what this boat is capable of. It was quite a demanding race through the reefs at the La Maddalena archipelago, but the crew has once again proven themselves in the most critical situations. I'm looking forward to the races still ahead of us.''
Jean-Charles Decaux's J One took first place in the Wally division and was followed by Claus Peter Offen's Y3K and Andrè Auberton's Dark Shadow.
Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, 7th September at 11.30 hrs local time. South-easterly winds which could build to 25 knots in the afternoon are forecast.
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or contact the press office.