Sunday, July 13, 2008

Near Miss is clear winner of the Trofeo Reina Rolex Cup; climbs to 2nd place in QUEBRAMAR Cup

Near Miss, the Swiss GP42 yacht flying the colors of the Société Nautique de Genève, dominated the 3rd event of the QUEBRAMAR GP42 Cup. After a total of 7 races the Swiss come first, followed by Roma GP42.2 and AIRIS. Desafío is still leading the QUEBRAMAR GP42 Cup but Near Miss grabs 2nd place from AIRIS

Valencia, 13 July 2008:
Early in the morning, the closing day of the Trofeo Reina Rolex Cup seemed to be dull and boring, given the light winds. Nevertheless, it turned out to be completely different and Valencia’s waters once again witnessed close and thrilling races, with the top 4 boats fighting ferociously for the podium spots.

After waiting for more than an hour for the breeze to build up and settle down, the first race started with a southeasterly wind of around 7-8 knots. The right side of the course was unquestionably the favored one and the whole fleet opted for it. A leading group of three boats was quickly formed, consisting of Roma GP42.2, Near Miss and Desafío, rounding the top mark in that order. In the first run, Near Miss overtook Roma GP42.2 who in their turn were holding a fierce fight with Desafío for third place in the Trophy.

Still, the race was far from over. In the second beat, Roma GP42.2 took the lead once again and watched Near Miss and Desafío staging a gybing duel. There was blood on Valencia’s waters, not only among the three leaders but also between Caser-Quum, Canarias Puerto Calero and AIRIS.

With the breeze climbing to 15 knots the show was guaranteed and the last leg was as thrilling as it could be. Roma GP42.2 finished first and Near Miss second, after resisting the attacks from Desafío.

Closing day of the Trofeo Reina Rolex Cup. Valencia, 13 July 2008. Photo copyright ROLEX / Kurt Arigo

The race committee didn’t waste any minute to fire the starting gun for the second race, given the breeze was stable and blowing at 13-14 knots. The 8-strong fleet had a clear start and once again the right side of the course was the favoured one.

Spanish newcomers Caser-Quum had an excellent start and led the fleet from the beginning, under a steadily increasing chop with waves up to 2 meters. Not only didn’t they feel threatened by the fleet, they were able to hold on to their healthy margin. Once again the tough battle was taking place between Roma GP42.2, Near Miss, Desafío and AIRIS. All these four boats were constantly alternating positions. After a thrilling last leg, Roma GP42.2 and Near Miss crossed the finish line ahead of Desafío.

There is no Spanish team in the Trofeo de la Reina Rolex Cup podium. Near Miss is now crowned winner and Roma GP42.2 finishes second, ahead of AIRIS


Tom Schnackenberg, Navigator on Near Miss, winner: There was no secret in our victory although some times you need some luck. You obviously have to sail well and take advantage of all opportunities. The boat is going better now and we had a good regatta. Consistency was not a feature of our sailing in the past, we had some wins but also some very low places. Here in Valencia we never finished worse than 4th and that is good. Now that we have passed the midpoint of the QUEBRAMAR GP42 Cup we feel we are in the top group, we just have to keep improving and see if we can win again. We have the potential to improve, as does the rest of the fleet. It’s amazing how the fleet is improving after every race. We see some boats improve and the ones that don’t do so well, in the next race they are better. I’m very impressed with the sailing skills of the whole crew, they are top level and I learn a lot each time I sail with them. It’s a top French-Swiss boat but I talk to them in English…

Closing day of the Trofeo Reina Rolex Cup. Valencia, 13 July 2008. Photo copyright ROLEX / Kurt Arigo

Paolo Cian, helmsman on Roma GP42.2, second-placed: The day began in a strange way with waves and light wind. The race committee correctly waited for an hour and half before giving the start but at the end we had two nice races. We sailed fast in both of them, continuing yesterday’s trend, being very fast upwind and defending ourselves downwind where we managed to hold on to our lead. We are satisfied but we still have to work. Our reference was Near Miss, they chose today to control AIRIS and as a result, we were given the opportunity to slip in between them a couple of times upwind. I know feel we are the fastest boat upwind and if we succeed in finetuning some remaining details, I hope next time we are the boat to beat. The modifications we carried out before the Trofeo de la Reina have bore their fruit beyond our expectations. We are now calmer on board and if the feeling is good, results come more naturally.

Roberto Benamati tactician on AIRIS, third-placed: Unfortunately and contrary to what happened in Saint-Tropez here in Valencia the last racing day was highly disappointing for us. We sailed cleanly there and we were a bit clumsy here. A sixth and a fifth place is results we can’t be happy of. We had some minor problems upwind with today’s stronger breeze and we paid for bad manoeuvres downwind. We end the Trofeo de la Reina Rolex Cup in third place but Roma GP42.2 overtaking us and finishing second leaves us a bit sad. They were good and we were bad. We now have to examine the situation closely, see what’s wrong with our sailing in fresh breeze and decide how to better tune the boat.

Closing day of the Trofeo Reina Rolex Cup. Valencia, 13 July 2008. Photo copyright ROLEX / Kurt Arigo

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