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Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Penultimate day

Costa Smeralda served up near perfect conditions for the penultimate day of racing at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup with all classes sailing an anticlockwise loop of Caprera, La Maddalena and Spargi in northwesterly winds peaking in the mid-teensRolex Maxi 72 World Championship -

In the Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship, running in conjunction with the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Friday’s surprise winner was Alex Schaerer’s Caol Ila R.

Skipper Cameron Dunn explained: “The others have been racing all year. We haven’t, so we should be last, but the last two days we have sailed really well. We are over the moon.”

The Swiss Maxi 72 led from start to finish. However their lead was tenuous at times.

Caol Ila R finished first, but Cannonball was just 14 seconds behind and her two points lower IRC rating translated into victory for her by a mere four seconds.

Having trailed the boats around the race track, Dieter Schön’s Momo salvaged a third and leads by 2.75 points going into the final day.

There was also upset in the Wallys, where Galateia’s stranglehold on the class was finally released allowing in the smaller boats.

Wally 77 Lyra on her way to second place - Click image for a larger image

While the Wally 77s Lyra and Jean-Charles Decaux's J One finished second and third, the Wally 80 Nahita stole the show.

Turkish owner Ferit Sahenk was delighted. “It was very exciting today, but we are still correcting our handicap - me! When I got the boat four years ago it was only my seventh time sailing.”

Part of Nahita’s success is in having a crew of predominantly Croatian Olympic sailors, including Rio 2016 470 gold medallists Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic.

There was a dramatic finish between the Wallycentos where Open Season, the Wally 107 of International Maxi Association President Thomas Bscher, got stuck in traffic enabling Galateia and Magic Carpet³ to close.

Galeteia managed to get her nose inside at the final leeward mark, tack and come back with starboard advantage to win by a mere 12 seconds on the water.

The Super Maxi competition saw Kim Schindelhauer’s 33m long WinWin arriving home first, but Salvatore Trifiro's new 32.5m long Ribelle winning under IRC.

Ribelle benefitted from starting on the right, managing to control Filip Balcaen’s Baltic 112 Nilaya and WinWin for the most of the race.

Juan Ball's Swan 90 Nefertiti - Click image for a larger image

In the Maxis, Juan Ball's Swan 90 Nefertiti beat the speedsters, George David's Rambler 88 and Sir Irvine Laidlaw's Highland Fling 11, on corrected time. Highland Fling holds a two point lead over Rambler going into the final day.

Sir Peter Ogden’s Judel-Vrolijk 72 Jethou scored her fourth bullet in the Mini Maxi Racers, while Peter Dubens’ Spectre was second, after Bryon Ehrhart’s Lucky retired following a crew injury.

Robert Lauro's Swan 601 Wohpe scored her first victory in Mini Maxi Racer Cruiser 1, but the competition overall remains between Roberto Lacorte on his Vismara 62 SuperNikka and Benoît de Froidmont's Wally 60 Wallyño, just two points behind.

In Mini Maxi Racer Cruiser 2 it is even closer with Riccardo de Michele's Vallicelli 80 H2O tied on points with today's winner, Giuseppe Puttini’s Swan 65 Shirlaf.

Saturday will see the final races of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup followed by a prizegiving outside of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

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