OCS for Grant Wharington's Skandia Wild Thing on day three of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Sardinia

For the second day in a row, competitors and boats were tested to the limit at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup yesterday. The weather system that produced the previous day’s 20-25kt winds had blown through, and yedsterday morning, a light south-easterly greeted the fleet, which has been reduced to 36 boats after Maximus was dismasted. Heavy wind and rain moved in just before the start, and the breeze shifted to the north-east, building to 20 knots by the time the five divisions set out on a 29-mile course.

After three days of racing, two US yachts are leading their divisions: New York real estate developer Harry Macklowe’s Unfurled won her third straight race today in Cruising A, while US self-made billionaire George Lindemann’s 180ft schooner Adela’s first-place finish yesterday moved her into first place overall in the Spirit of Tradition class.

The Wally Division leader, Alexia, owned by Alberto Roemmers of Argentina, sailed another impressive race to take line honours and finish first on corrected time. In Cruising B, Italian Filippo Faruffini’s Roma held onto her overall lead with a second-place finish today, and Black Dragon, a UK entry owned by Performance Yachting, also finished second in today’s race to hold a narrow one-point lead in the Racing Division.

According to Black Dragon mainsheet trimmer Chris Mason, yesterday was a matter of perseverance. “A slightly frustrating course for us as it was not suited to the boat,” said Mason. “We only had the spinnaker up for about nine minutes in the whole race due to the strength of the winds. We enjoyed the race though, it was especially interesting at the bottom mark (at Cala di Volpe) when the wind was going from 6 knots to 20.”

Five boats raced in the Racing Division, as Maximus remained in port after losing her rig in Tuesday’s high winds. The mast was recovered from 138ft of water yesterday morning, and her return to the regatta is uncertain at this time. The current Racing Division standings had further upset yesterday, when Grant Wharington’s Skandia was OCS at the start of the race and failed to restart. Skandia had been in second place going into the race, but was overtaken on the scoreboard by Roland Pieper’s Favonius after the BVI entry finished first. Skandia is now in third, but has lodged a protest against the Race Committee’s decision, with the hearing scheduled for this morning. Today, the Racing Division is scheduled to resail race one which had been discarded the first day of the regatta.

In the Cruising Division A, American Arne Glimcher’s Ghost took line honours for the second day in a row, finishing nearly 10 minutes ahead of Macklowe’s Unfurled. Corrected time put Macklowe in first for the race, while Ghost’s corrected time placed her in third, to maintain her position in second overall.

In the Cruising B Division, Italian Fabio Magifesta’s Charis’s first-place finish t moved her into second overall, overtaking Gunter Hertz’s Allsmoke in the standings after the British yacht broke a steering cable and had to retire. Italian Filippo Faruffini’s Roma second-place finish was enough to hold onto the overall lead, four points ahead of Charis. Allsmoke is in third overall.

Competition is tight in the Spirit of Tradition class as the top three boats are separated by one point. Adela’s win gave her the lead over Italian Alfredo Canessa’s Whitefin. Both have five points, but, currently, Adela’s two first-place finishes break the tie. Annagine, owned by C.E. Van Asbeck of the Netherlands, is in third place overall with six points.

Results (day 3 provisional)

Racing Division (6 Boats)

1. Black Dragon, Performance Yachting, GBR 1, 2 (3)

2. Favonius, Roland Pieper BVI 3, 1 (4)

3. Skandia, Grant Wharington, AUS 2, OCS 7(9)

Wally Class (12 boats)

1. Alexia, Alberto Roemmers, ARG, 1, 2, 1 (4)

2. Y3K,Claus Peter Offen, GER, 3, 1, 4 (8)

3. Open Season, Thomas Bscher, GBR, 5, 5, 7 (17)

Cruising Class A (6 boats)

1. Unfurled, Harry Macklowe, USA, 1, 1, 1 (3)

2. Ghost, Arne Glimcher, USA, 2, 2, 3 (7)

3. Kokomo of London, Salvatore Trifiro, ITA, 4, 5, 2 (11)

Cruising Class B (9 boats)

1. Roma, Filippo Farufini, ITA, 1, 1, 2 (4)

2. Charis, Fabio Magifesta, ITA , 3, 4, 1 (8)

3. Allsmoke, Gunter Hertz, GBR, 2, 3, DNF 10 (15)

Spirit of Tradition (4 boats)

1. Adela, George Lindemann, USA 3, 1, 1 (5)

2. Whitefin, Alfredo Canessa, ITA 1, 2, 2 (5)

3. Annagine, C.E. Van Asbeck, NED 2, 3, 3 (8)