Sunday, May 9, 2010

Nespresso Cup

Photos by Carlo Borlenghi
Nepresso Cup: Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones' Magic Carpet Squared secures victory

On the final day of racing at the Nespresso Cup, the first exclusive regatta for Wally yachts, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’ Magic Carpet Squared sailed a great final race to secure the overall Nespresso Cup trophy…

The Nespresso Cup came to a stylish conclusion today in Portofino, Italy. After three days of racing over the 6th to 9th May, the Wally yacht Magic Carpet Squared secured victory to lift the inaugural Nespresso Cup Trophy. The final day produced the best racing of the three-day event. The anticipated duel between Magic Carpet Squared and J One, driven by owner Jean-Charles Decaux, became a reality as the two boats headed out to the racecourse on equal points. The Yacht Club Italiano managed to stage two windward/leeward races in 12-15 knots of breeze and it was the final race that proved to be the decider with the main contenders gunning for the start line as Jean-Charles Decaux explained: “We knew at the starting line that they [Magic Carpet Squared] were starting very, very well and we were a bit over the line, so that is where it was costing us a lot. It was a very aggressive start and I said to the team we have to take maximum risk otherwise we won’t beat them.” After re-rounding the starting mark, the J One crew sailed hard and fast to make up time but it was not quite enough, missing out on victory by less than one minute on corrected time: ““It was very close, in the second race we were less than one minute behind so in a race that was over one and a half hours it was superb. I would like to congratulate Magic Carpet Squared because they did a very good race and they deserved the victory.”

Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones could not have been more delighted with his victory. Surrounded by some of the legends in the sport – the likes of America’s Cup legend Tom Whidden and Volvo Ocean Race navigator Marcel van Triest – their combined skills were put to the test: “They were difficult races because it was windy with quite big seas and that is not really the conditions our boat likes best because it is light and it tends to get knocked off the top of the waves a bit. The last race was even more tense than most people realised for us because on one of these we waves when we crashed, we lost all our instruments so we did most of the last race with no instruments at all. But I’ve got a great crew and someone like Tom Whidden who even remembers how to use a hand compass and doesn’t have to rely entirely on electronic things!” said Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones back on the dockside.

This new premier regatta solely for the Wally Class, brought together some of sailing’s most respected world-class sailors and leading Wally owners, to deliver one of the most aesthetically pleasing sailing regattas on the planet. Together with Wally Yachts, Nespresso created the Ultimate Cup, and the ten Wally yachts competed in a series of races demonstrating their unique blend of style and cutting-edge design. It’s a format that is destined to succeed in the future as the overall winner of the first Nespresso Cup concurred: “Everyone likes winning and I suppose that is true of all yachtsmen but when there is something new and special, and it is the first real regatta just for the Wally Class, obviously the first time someone wins it you will always be there, so we are especially delighted.”

French sailing legend and Nespresso Cup Race Ambassador, Loick Peyron summarised perfectly the spirit of the event: “The 2010 Nespress Cup was fabulous. Each time you see the smiles on the faces of the owners and crews you know it is something special because they all love to be together as they there are a family, and this is where this family was born especially with Luca Bassani which is very symbolic.”

Overall Positions Nespresso Cup Final Day:
1/ Magic Carpet Squared / Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones / 5pts
2 / J One / Jean-Charles Decaux / 8pts
3 / Y3K / Claus Peter Offen / 12 pts
Julie Royer