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Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Day of surprises

Racing began Monday at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship in Porto Cervo. Most delighted by his team’s performance was winner of the Wally Class, Toni Cacace, owner of the Wally 94 Magic Blue.Toni Cacace's Magic Blue -

Magic Blue was first Wally despite being the sole boat in the 11-strong class not to have competed at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup before, under her present ownership.

The building breeze today favoured smaller boats while the start was very stressful with these glamorous sailing giants all stacked up at the committee boat.

While the smaller Wally 77 Lyra and Wally 80 Nahita filled the podium on IRC corrected time, among the big Wallys, the Wallycento Galateia won.

In the Maxi 72s, defending Rolex World Champion Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente won.

“We were last in the last two regattas so we’ve made some changes below the water,” said Fauth. This involved enlarging the keel fin.

Filip Balcaen's Nilaya leads Salvatore Trifiro's Ribelle - Click image for a larger image

Elsewhere Lord Irvine Laidlaw's Reichel Pugh 82 Highland Fling 11 won the Maxi class from the Juan Ball's Swan 90 Nefertiti.

In the Super Maxis, International Maxi Association member Filip Balcaen came ashore assuming his Baltic 112 Nilaya had scored a deep result. In fact, she had won ahead of Salvatore Trifiro's new 32.6m long Malcolm McKeon design, Ribelle.

In the Mini Maxi Racing class, Sir Peter Ogden's Vrolijk 72 Jethou was the clear winner ahead of American Bryon Ehrhart's Reichel Pugh 63, Lucky, recent winner of the Palermo-Montecarlo Race.

Mini Maxi RC1 saw Gérard Logel's @Robas finish just ahead of favourite Roberto Lacorte's 2015 winner SuperNikka.

While in Mini Maxi RC2, Giuseppe Puttini's Swan 65 Shirlaf, one of the oldest boats competing here, won by just 48 seconds from Riccardo de Michele's H20.

Alex Schaerer's Caol Ila ahead of Dario Ferrari's new Cannonball - Click image for a larger image

For Gérard Logel, Monday’s result was a surprise as this was the first occasion he has sailed his Swan 601 this year. He believes that his yacht prefers the light conditions.

“Even lighter conditions would have been better! Today the wind was a bit shifty between the islands but that was the game. We are having a tough fight with the other Swans - having three boats on the same rating is fantastic.”

Racing at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship takes place from 4 until 9 September with a layday scheduled for Thursday 7 September.

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