Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2011 - 24.-28.Mai 2011
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April 26, 2011
Rolex Capri Sailing Week
Rolex Volcano Race http://www.regattanews.com/event.asp?f=email&id=262
Capri, Italy, L'AVVENTURA APPROACHES
The year 2011 marks the seventh anniversary of the Rolex Capri Sailing Week although with a significant break from tradition due to the inception of the Rolex Volcano Race, scheduled from Tuesday 24 to Saturday 28 May.
Capri is the striking epicentre of this inaugural 400-nautical mile race. Competitors will pass the celebrated Mediterranean island on their way from the start at Gaeta towards the remote and rugged Aeolian islands including Stromboli, home of one of Italy’s three active volcanoes. After negotiating potentially fickle and unfriendly winds and at least one long, gruelling night at sea, the crews will head gallantly back to a warm and passionate Caprese welcome. The heart of this benvenuto being the traditional party hosted on Friday 27 May by Rolex at La Canzone del Mare, one of the island’s most glamorous venues.
The Rolex Volcano Race is an offshore challenge open to all maxi yachts upwards of 18-metres (60-feet). An enthralling contest is therefore guaranteed between some of the most impressive yachts in the Mediterranean. Competitors are already lined up from several countries including Spain, the UK, Malta, Portugal, France, and, of course, Italy.
Alegre (GBR), who dominated the Mini-Maxi Class at the 2010 Rolex Capri Sailing Week, is currently one of a number of yachts signed up to compete both at the Rolex Volcano Race and the Giraglia Rolex Cup, two endurance races taking place in the space of a month. Owner and skipper Andres Soriano is prepared for a busy six weeks of sailing and explains the approach to these two prestigious events: “I think the main difference is that one race is half the length of the other. In any event lasting more than twelve hours we go into a watch system, we most probably will have a different watch system for the shorter event versus the longer one.” Whilst the Giraglia Rolex Cup is competed over 243 nautical miles, the Rolex Volcano Race is an epic 400-mile adventure.
Alegre won all six inshore races in Capri last year, and Soriano believes in continuity. “The crew will remain essentially the same though we race with three to four less crew members on offshores than we have for inshore events,” explains Soriano, who is looking forward to putting Alegre’s winning experience at the Giraglia Rolex Cup and the Rolex Middle Sea Race to test. “The experience gained over the last three seasons and having the same crew over this period is comforting, but both the Giraglia and Middle Sea are difficult races and no two have been the same. They each have their own character and different moods,” continues Soriano. “To do well we will have to be alert and adapt to the conditions that present themselves. I am sure that both events will be very competitive in their own way. The Rolex-sponsored events assure competitors of the highest race standards in terms of organisation, social schedule and race management and this ensures that these events will be well attended by very accomplished yachts and crews in the respective divisions.”
One of the most eagerly anticipated entries is the Aegir II (ESP), a brand new yacht and at the same time an upgrade on Aegir, last year’s Mini-Maxi Cruising winner at the Giraglia Rolex Cup. Aegir II is a significant advancement on the previous model; technologically state-of-the-art, constructed using cutting-edge aerospace technologies and entirely in carbon. She has been carefully designed both for calm leisure cruises and intense competitive racing. Following its launch last November, Aegir II’s first voyage was as the bridal carriage for owner Brian Benjamin’s daughter. In fact, the homely interior of the boat is a stark contrast to the dark carbon fibre insides of some of Aegir II’ s competitors. When the yacht is transformed into competition mode, much of the interior is removed to lighten the load and replaced by racing equipment.
Other confirmed competitors include Stig (ITA), another recent launch, who competed in 2010 at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, finishing second in the Mini Maxi Racer-Cruiser standings behind Aegir. Like the pioneering Aegir II, it was built with both racing and cruising intentions in mind. Wild Joe (MLT) featured regularly on the regatta circuit in 2010 and the crew are looking forward to putting that experience into practice, having debuted at last year’s Giraglia Rolex Cup.
Meanwhile, another frequent competitor in the waters of the Mediterranean is DSK Pioneer Investment (ITA). Danilo Salsi and his crew are ready to hone their regatta pedigree. “The experience of competing in the 2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race and several offshore regattas is a big bonus for the DSK Pioneer Investment crew. Knowing the passage around the Aeolian islands is a big advantage. Most importantly, we are pushing the same boat, and now we know much more about this Swan 90 compared to the beginning. Hopefully we will be able to sail her more closely to 100% of the possible performance.”
The allure and strategic significance of Capri is not lost on the crew of DSK Pioneer Investment. “It is a new course and race, so very exciting,” continues Danilo Salsi. “We don’t imagine big weather issues like storms or big gradients at this time of year. For sure sailing through Capri and Punta Campanella on the way down might be a key point of the race since there is lots of wind shadow from Capri. It will be crucial to go through quickly and not to get stuck.”
The offshore course promises to be a veritable treat and contrast for the crews as they will glide past the glitterati chic of Capri, complete with its fascinating natural treasures, before passing islands that time forgot. Crossing the region of the eight Aeolian islands the yachts will sail past volcanic formations that marry sparse populations and a wild, almost lost in time, natural fascination. It is very much a journey and fitting, therefore, that L’Avventura by Michelangelo Antonioni was filmed in these parts.
The traditional and extremely popular inshore races of the Rolex Capri Sailing Weekwill take place between 25-28 May for a variety of yachts: Swans, Oysters, Mylius, Comets and X-41s across four days of competition. Set under the watchful eye of Capri the racing will permit an early sense of competition in the Mediterranean waters. And whilst the British crews dominated the Mini-Maxi Class last year, the Italians took the spoils in the reminder of the disciplines and the historical rivalry between many of the teams looks set to continue.
Fotos: © ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi|
In the Comet class, Libertine (ITA), who triumphed at Capri in both 2007 and 2008 and claimed the overall prize at the Giraglia Rolex Cup in 2007, will have the chance to avenge last year’s slender defeat to Fral 2 (ITA). Alessandro Nespega and his Fral 2 will be there to defend their title.
Fra Diavolo (ITA), runners-up to Libertine in 2008’s Comet class, will compete in the Mylius class as defending champions having taken the trophy in 2010. Other confirmed entrants include Twin Soul 5 (ITA), third last year, Phitecusa (ITA) and Zenhea Takesha (ITA), both entrants in the 2010 edition.
The Rolex Capri Sailing Week is organised by the Yacht Club Capri in conjunction with the International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club Gaeta for the Rolex Volcano Race.
How to Follow Event
Further information on the Rolex Capri Sailing Week / Rolex Volcano Race may be found at www.yccapri.com http://www.yccapri.com http://www.yccapri.com and www.internationalmaxiassociation.com http://www.internationalmaxiassociation.com
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