Photo Credit to Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi www.carloborlenghi.com
Last week, our Operations Manager Russ took part in one of the most exciting Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup ‘s to date. With an unprecedented number of entrants, the competition was fierce.
Russ Brown tells us how the team on Wally S/Y J One prevailed after a difficult Thursday and Friday, to take second overall!
”Thursday the 8th was the scheduled lay day but due to a lost day in ‘unsailable’ conditions the day before, the race committee planned two coastal races for Wally Class.
We started with a short upwind off the south towards Portisco. It was a tough race without many options or manoeuvres. The boat speed was key and we struggled at times but the crew kept on fighting through the long upwind to salvage a 6th. The second race of the day was abandoned due to lack of wind.
On the Friday we squeezed in two coastal races with variable 5-13kn breeze…Race 1 was a parking lot after the windward mark and J One took a risk on the left side coming up to Monachi. We looked golden for a while but then the breeze stayed outside and we got around the island in a solid last position. But, in the true S/Y J One spirit, the fight was on and we battled back to salvage what was possible, eventually finishing a frustrating 9th. Race 2 was more positive, we nailed the start and got to the windward mark leading the 80s but a tussle with S/Y Tango G on the gybe set lost a position. We struggled in the light stuff on the downwind but hung with the fleet to drop the spinnaker and round up inside Nahita. The long upwind was sailed very well by the team and we finished with the big boats still in our sights. The result was a solid 2nd place leaving us joint 3rd on points with Lyra going into the last day.
The final day of racing J One was always going to be a great day on the water: Open Season had pretty much sewn up the event but the other podium spots were up for grabs for the 5 boats in the class.
On J One we were lying 4th on points so the aim was to snatch a podium spot. The forecast was 10-12 knots and windward leeward courses to be sailed by the wally class… For race 1 we had set the boat up and looked at the first beat; we decided left, we decided where on the line we wanted to be and we set out and did exactly that. For the first few minutes we were looking really smart, however 1/2 way up the beat we realised the pressure was on the right. This was a huge disappointment coming into the top mark way behind the other 80’s. From then on it was a fight to get back into the points, we sailed clean with great manoeuvres and fought our way back to a 6th. Then we came to Race 2: We had chosen the side and we were right on the money at the start. From here we sailed in clean air ahead of the other 80’s and for the first 1/2 of the race, ahead of some bigger boats. The second lap was great and on the downwind we all knew it was going to be close…
A massive cheer went up on the boat when the results came in on the way back to the dock! After a long tough week, winning the last race was ending the event on a massive high and then the overall results came in; to see we had jumped to second overall was a shock and everyone on board was ecstatic! The final result …
J One: 1st in the wally 80 class, 2nd in overall Wally Class. A great event and it shows that its not over until its over…’’
Congratulations to J One and the crew for coming out on top after one roller-coaster of a race!