A difficult start to the third day as storms brought winds of up to 40 knots

The third day of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup got off to a difficult start as a violent storm approached Porto Cervo from the north bringing thunder, pounding rain and winds of up to 40 knots during the starting sequence.

The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s Race Committee was forced to send the entire fleet back to the docks but the weather front quickly passed and as the ensuing calm began to give way to a building westerly breeze the Maxis were back out on the water sailing a 25 mile course around the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago.

Division leaders with two more race days to go are Esimit Europa 2 (Racing & Racing/Cruising), Y3K (Wally), Ranger (J Boats) and Visione (Super Maxi). Alegre continues to lead in the Mini Maxi fleet competing for the Rolex World Championship.

For the Mini Maxi class, consisting of 24 boats ranging from approximately18 to 24 metres, yesterday was their first coastal race after completing 5 windward-leeward races on the first two days. Conditions were close to ideal with approximately 20 knots of westerly wind and Hap Fauth’s Bellamente (USA) took her first bullet of the week in real and corrected time. Second place in corrected time went to Niklas Zennstrom’s Ran (GBR) and Neville Crichton’s Shockwave (NZL) came in third.

Bill Koch’s Titan 15 (USA), which had a hard-fought battle with Ran for much of the race and crossed the finish line fourth, slipped back to sixth on corrected time. The overall classification after six races – and with a maximum of three more scheduled – sees Alegre lead Ran by just one point while Shockwave sits a further six points back.

“Just a great day, really fun!” commented Hap Fauth. “We had a good start, in the top three at the first mark. We had a little sail that really worked for us, a fractional code zero. We threw that boat on the plane and we were gone…gone…shot out of the cannon. It was a fun day.”

In the Racing & Racing Cruising division Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), owned by Igor Simcic, once again flew round the course reaching speeds of 25 knots at times and crossing the finish line in just 1 hour and 41 minutes. She retained her lead in corrected time ahead of Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling (GBR) with just three minutes separating the two. Singularity (GBR) took third place. Today’s result allowed Esimit to reclaim her place at the top of the overall classification, just one point ahead of Highland Fling.

Hasso Plattner’s 44-metre Visione took line honours and corrected time victory in the Super Maxi division. Hetairos took second place and Peter Harrison’s Sojana came in third. The overall classification for the division now has Visione in first place ahead of Hetairos and Hamilton II but with only 2 points separating these top three boats, the field is still wide open.

Gibian (GBR) claimed her first victory of the series in the Wally division ahead of Peter Offen’s Y3K (GER) and Magic Carpet2(GBR). Offen’s scoreline of 2,2,2 leaves him in first place overall ahead of Magic Carpet and Indio (ITA).

Today is a lay day for the competing owners and crews and racing is scheduled to recommence tomorrow (Friday 10 September).

For all results, CLICK HERE.

PLUS, live tracking of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is available on www.yccs.it.

For further information on the event including entry lists, NOR and photos please visit www.yccs.it or www.regattanews.com.