Maxi yacht Alfa Romeo wins Giraglia Rolex Cup's top 245-mile race 15/6/07

Maxi yacht Alfa Romeo has won the Giraglia Rolex Cup for fourth time, and in real time, after her successes in 2003, 2004 and 2006 (in 2005 she didn’t take part) covering the 245 mile course (St Tropez, the Rock of Giraglia, Genoa) in 22 hours and 45 minutes, 32 minutes slower than the record established by Alfa Romeo in 2003. The boat led by owner and skipper Neville Crichton adds this new victory to her earlier wins in the offshore maxi events at Saint Tropez where she saw off Magic Carpet and Wild Oats.

The race, which had an entry of 180 boats, started in a moderate wind of between 8 and 12 knots, which slowed overnight to about 6 knots before picking up again – after the Rock of Giraglia had been rounded at 5.45 – allowing Alfa Romeo to accelerate to reach a speed of 16 knots, slowing down again before reaching Genoa.

And so maxi Alfa Romeo continues her long winning streak, which after the Giraglia Rolex Cup events includes 110 Line Honours confirming her as the ‘defender’ among the maxi yachts.

The 23 crew aboard Alfa Romeo put every effort into securing a title as renowned as this Giraglia Rolex Cup and got the best out of the 1,000 square metres of sail which allowed the 25 tons of the craft to move fast through the water. All aboard were however, very confident in the overhauled craft’s capabilities: nobody planned on supper aboard and many among them had already booked evening flights.

At the end of the race owner and skipper of the ‘defender’ Alfa Romeo, Neville Crichton, stated: “Four is a really nice number, specially when it underlines the number of victories we’ve achieved at such a prestigious event. We had good racing conditions, light wind but calm sea, and if we’d only had a slightly stronger puff of wind, we’d have left for Palma de Mallorca with the speed record in our pockets too. In Palma we’ll be competing in the Superyacht Cup and Millenium Cup on Sunday. We tried out a new sail, a big Code Zero, which allowed us to be even faster than we had been at Saint Tropez, and I think that after the Palmavela and the Giraglia Rolex Cup events we can really say that the season has got off to a very positive start.”

There’s no rest for Maxi yacht Alfa Romeo. After crossing the line there were first celebrations at the Italian Yacht Club, a quick visit to catering, then straight away the boat was cleaned up and provisioned for departure before nightfall for Palma de Mallorca. Another two days of sailing to be able to challenge another 56 maxi yachts at the Superyacht Cup, from Sunday 16 June to Wednesday 19 June. Furthermore, favourable weather conditions allowing, Alfa Romeo will try to beat the speed record for circumnavigation of the Island of Palma, about 150 miles in all.

After the Giraglia Rolex Cup and the SuperYacht Cup Alfa Romeo will take part in the Rolex Fastnet Race (Cowes/Plymouth, UK, starting 12 August) and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup (Porto Cervo, 2-8 September).