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A Diary On The Sea

Anna Zhong 2018-04-11 09:30

You would never know how exciting it could be to sail on the ocean. You would never know what lies ahead of you beyond the blue horizon. The present peaceful sea, looking like almost a sapphire, can be in storm as rage as you could ever imagine. And this is what yacht race crew live through during most of their career lifetime.

An Exciting Journey

There are several esteemed yacht races in one year and in recent months, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup started its journey. This festival of big boats took its sailing line through the most challenging places in the ocean and means the reputation of yacht racers. The Cup this year took place at Porto Cervo on the blue ocean of the Mediterranean in early September.

From the yachts, to the crews, the event gives the impression of a well-rehearsed opera and belies the complexity of the orchestration beneath. Credit goes to the marine industry, which has championed technological innovation and materials advancement to build bigger, faster, manoeuvrable, elegant yachts; to the owners and crews that have embraced the opportunities presented and have developed the skills required to handle the complex machines at their command.

The first two days of the race have seen contrasting conditions. Monday’s coastal race allowed all classes to enjoy a classic Porto Cervo racecourse inside the channel between mainland Sardinia and the archipelago with gusts topping 15 knots. Tuesday’s racing was more testing for both the crews and the YCCS race team led by Peter Craig, with a delayed start for everyone and two classes, Maxi 72 and Wally, missing out on any racing at all.


Afterwards, the race reached a pulsating climax today, as the competing yachts continued to push to the wire to assert their individual claims to their class throne. Winning the event that is widely regarded as the most important of the big-boat racing season requires a mix of many factors. Meticulous preparation beforehand and consummate skills on the racecourse are immediately brought to mind. So too are a degree of patience and the decisive opportunism necessary to grab chances when presented.


The Rewarded Spirits of the Crew

Apparently, the honor of passing the final line at the first means the perfect reward to all the tough time during the journey. And this year, Salvatore and Paola Trifirò, the owners of Ribelle, got this taste in mind. At their first attempt with their new yacht, they were already considered a huge success, but to win this year of all years is extra special: “This is the cherry on the cake!” exclaimed Paola. “Not only have we won the Cup, but we have done so during the 50th anniversary of the YCCS. We have so many friends and have enjoyed so many sporting occasions here. It is really a part of us. It is a complete dream to win this year of all years.”


Besides the inner persistence, the equipment is also one of the key factors for the success. The winner’s boat Ribelle is quite different to the Trifiròs’ previous boat – the 49.7 meter, 370 tonne aluminium cruising sloop Zefira. The 32.64 meter, 84 tonne Ribelle (rebel) is so named to reflect the spirited approach of her owners in creating a striking lightweight carbon- fibre performance cruiser that has turned heads all week with her lines and turn of speed against seasoned opposition. Paola again: “The world had totally changed in the years since we built Zefira. We wanted a combination of things: lighter, faster, more manoeuvrable, fewer crew, potential to race and innovative lines. We were already satisfied with the boat, but this result is proof that the satisfaction is justified.”

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