Dun Laoghaire's Mick Cotter leads the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2009 in Porto Cervo, Italy. His 80–foot yacht Whisper took her second bullet in the Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising division followed by Brian Benjamin’s Aegir (GBR) yesterday.
The leaders of the five classifications remain unchanged after two days racing: Jean Charles’ Decaux’s J One (GBR) in the Wally division; Patrizio Bertelli’s Luna Rossa (ITA) in the Mini Maxi Racing; Michael Cotter’s Whisper (IRL) in Mini Maxi Cruising/Racing; Filippo Faruffini’s Roma – Aniene (ITA) in Racing/Cruising; and Velsheda (GBR) in the Cruising/Spirit of Tradition division. The various divisions in the 42 boat fleet were assigned two different courses of 39 and 47 miles in approximately 15 to 20 knots of north-easterly wind and choppy seas today.
Organizers the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda decided on a course for the Cruising/Spirit of Tradition, Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising and Racing/Cruising divisions which took them from the start off the Gulf of Pevero through the strait between the Isola delle Bisce island and Capo Ferro head. The fleet then sailed past the island of Caprera and Spargi before heading as far north as the Corsican island of Lavezzi and turning east to leave Razzoli and Santa Maria to starboard. The last leg of the course brought the three divisions south around the outskirts of the archipelago, past Monaci island and to the finish off Porto Cervo.
The Mini Maxi Racing and Wally divisions followed almost the same course but continued south from Monaci to round Mortoriotto before heading back north to the same finish line off Porto Cervo for a total of 47 nautical miles.
Claus Peter Offen’s Y3K (GER) took corrected time victory in the Wally division in today’s race and was followed by J One and Thomas Bscher’s Open Season (GER). Luna Rossa, who took her second bullet today and has VOR veteran Torben Grael (BRA) aboard, was followed in the Mini Maxi Racing division by Niklas Zennstrom’s Ran (GBR) and the American team aboard Bella Mente, owned by Hap Fauth (Newport, R.I.). Whisper also took her second bullet in the Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising division followed by Brian Benjamin’s Aegir (GBR) and H20, owned by Riccardo De Michele (ITA). The Racing/Cruising division saw both Roma – Aniene, with Vasco Vascotto calling tactics, and Danilo Salsi’s DSK (ITA) repeat yesterday’s performances, arriving first and second, respectively, with Varsovie (CAY) in third. The Spirit of Tradition division saw the classic J Class yacht Velsheda (GBR) continue her domination, finishing ahead of Hetairos (CAY) and Visione (GER). Karl Kwok’s Beau Geste (HKG), a true racing yacht, was the fastest yacht around the 39 mile course with a time of 2 hours and 55 minutes.
Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, 9th September at 11.30 a.m. with windward-leeward races scheduled for the Mini Maxi Racing division and a long Islands Race scheduled for the remaining classes. The weather forecast predicts continuing north easterly winds of 18 to 20 knots.