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Alfa Romeo Takes Line Honours

Alfa Romeo Takes Line Honours

New Zealand super maxi Alfa Romeo has won line honours in the Europe’s leading yacht race, the Giraglia Race, by a massive margin, although light winds prevented Neville Crichton from getting anywhere close to breaking his own course record for the 243-mile race.

Boat for boat, his new canting-keeled, hydraulic-powered 98-footer is a far more potent package than the previous Alfa Romeo, a conventional 90-foot Maxi, but a lack of wind saw the winning Maxi finish more than five hours outside the record set in 2003.

Finishing at 1630 hours local time, with an elapsed time of 27 hours 48 minutes and 12 seconds, Crichton was disappointed not to have bettered the record. Speaking at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa this evening, the New Zealander commented:

"A very slow race. We thought we were going good until midnight last night then ran out of breeze. Up until then it looked good - we were flying. After that, Magic Carpet came right up to the back of us. I'm not sure how far behind us she is now. We came out of the Giraglia Rock well, but the wind died about 12 miles from the finish. So no records, maybe we'll have to try again this time next year."

Michael Coxon remains an avid fan of the boat and the Giraglia Rolex Cup, despite the slow passage from St Tropez.

"We enjoy sailing in the Med," said the tactician from Sydney. "It's a great mix of conditions and different people. This was a fun race, not a lot of wind, but 100-footers are always fun. They impress me more in lighter conditions. It's amazing how this boat can do double the windspeed. The top speed we hit was 20 knots, but what's impressive is when you can be sailing with a jib top in 7 knots breeze and be doing 14 knots through the water."

Clearly Coxon felt he would arrive in Genoa much earlier in the day, having just missed his plane back to Sydney.

"I'm disappointed at not getting on a plane at 6.30 this evening. I was hoping to see my son play rugby on the weekend. I must have been a bit optimistic about when we would finish, after having finished a lot earlier with the 90-footer a few years ago."

At least Alfa Romeo has arrived, however. The remaining 196 boats are still bobbing about on a near windless Mediterranean, wondering when the breeze might fill in and carry them the rest of the way to Genoa. Alfa Romeo rounded the Giraglia Rock off the north coast of Corsica at 0917 this morning. Magic Carpet passed the same point at 1148, and then Our Dream led a constant trickle of Maxis around the Giraglia from 1300 hours and onwards throughout the afternoon.

The two Swan 601s were faring well, with Italian Cuordileone leading the Swedish Artemis crew by 11 minutes at the Giraglia. Cuordileone was also leading the 70-footer Atalanta II, which won the big boat division of the inshore racing earlier in the week.

Now in its 54th year, the Giraglia Rolex Cup is established as one of the classic regattas of the Mediterranean. The regatta, sponsored by Rolex for the past nine years, comprises three days' inshore racing in the Bay of St Tropez, and culminates in the 243-mile offshore race via the Giraglia Rock to the Italian port of Genoa.


Winner Line Honours - Alfa Romeo (Neville Crichton)

Finishing Time: 1630 hours
Elapsed Time: 27 hours 48 minutes 12 seconds

Rounding times at the Giraglia Rock (top 10 only)

1. Alfa Romeo - Neville Crichton (NZL) - Supermaxi - 0917 hours - FINISHED
2. Magic Carpet - Lindsay Owen-Jones (GBR) - 95-foot Maxi - 1148 hours
3. Our Dream - Claudio Uberti (ITA) - IMS Maxi - 1259 hours
4. My Song - Pierluigi Loro Piana (ITA) - Reichel/Pugh 85 - 1303 hours
5. Y3K - Claus-Peter Offen (GER) - 94-foot Maxi - 1344 hours
6. Capricorno - Rinaldo del Bono (ITA) - ILC Maxi - 1346 hours
7. Junoplano - Sandro Buzzi (ITA) - Open 60 - 1349 hours
8. Dark Shadow - Anonymous - 100-foot Maxi - 1351 hours
9. Cuordileone - Leonardo Ferragamo - Swan 601 - 1405 hours
10. Atalanta II - Carlo Puri Negri (ITA) - Farr 70 IMS Racer - 1410 hours

Overall Results of the inshore series

Class 0-1

1 Atalanta II - Carlo Puri Negri (ITA) - Farr 70 IMS Racer - 13 points
2 Edimetra VI - Ernesto Gismondi (ITA) - 65-foot Maxi - 18 points
3 Brave - George Vasilopoulos (GRE) - Farr 520 - 28 points

Class 2-5

1 Synergy - Alexei Nikolaev (RUS) - Grand Soleil 40 RC - 7 points
2 Despeinada - Italo Borrini (ITA) - Grand Soleil 40R - 10 points
3 Clean Energy - Alberto Cogni (ITA) - IMX 40 - 11 points

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