Dario Ferrari and team Cannonball are the 2019 Maxi72 MYRC and World Champions!!
On their third attempt Dario Ferrari and team Cannonball deservedly won the Mini Maxi Racer 1 class at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup as well as the Maxi72 World Championship trophy for being the highest scoring Maxi72 in this start. Ferrari and his mainly Italian team overcame an early lead by Jim Swartz’s Vesper on day one in the days to follow including winning two of the in total 6 races. Her consistent scoreline and no finish off the podium, resulted in her winning the title by three points.
In the final race Cannonball’s tactician, Ed Baird, limited to controlling the second-placed boat in the overall standings, Vesper. Third place overall went to Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente, who took the win of the day, demonstrating the potential of the new boat. Bella Mente, along with Peter Harrison’s Sorcha (2nd final race), got off to an excellent start and they never looked back. Dario Ferrari, owner and helmsman of Cannonball, commented: "This is a victory we sought and desired after two second places in the latest editions, we won in a very competitive class thanks to an exceptional group, which really works like... a Swiss watch!"
“I am very happy for the team,” said Ferrari, who has been racing in Sardinia since 1985. “It was a very nice regatta, the place is beautiful, the boats are exciting. Winning was definitely a challenge, so you can only be happy. We have been training a lot. The boat is important as we have made many changes to her.”
For Project Manager Federico Michetti, Cannonball’s success comes after six years, including three beforehand with Robertissima. “It has been great. We worked hard and the team did a great job,” he said. “Maxi 72s need a lot of tuning time and obviously the budgets are expensive, so you have to find the right balance to be successful. This week we got all sorts of conditions and we used our entire sail inventory. The boat is great thanks to Botin Partners, Cannonball is a good all-rounder. Everything is super well optimised after three years.”
“We’re getting there with new boat – usually it takes a season to get them going,” said Fauth and added: “The boat felt good. We did what we planned to do – win the start and, once we were out, had really good boat speed. You just don’t want to get caught up in traffic. We got in sequence with the puffs and off she went.”
The crowded awards ceremony took place in the presence of Princess Zahra Aga Khan and was preceded by a concert from the military band of the famous Brigata Sassari. The Commodore of the YCCS, Riccardo Bonadeo, concluded proceedings with the following words: "The Costa Smeralda decided to give us a present for this 30th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup: a perfect week, with sunshine and wind that saw all the racing scheduled run perfectly. This event is much more than a regatta, it is a combination of factors: the sea, the wind, the natural setting, the organisation, the spirit of you the participants, owners and crews. On behalf of the Club I would like to thank Rolex, a partner whose collaboration has been fundamental in making this event what it is today and what it will be in the future. My heartfelt thanks go to all of you, who return to the Costa Smeralda every September from every part of the world. Thanks also to the Race Committee, the International Jury and all the staff who collaborate to make the regatta a success and who are already thinking about the 31st edition in 2020!"
Andrew McIrvine, Secretary General of the International Maxi Association commented: “This has been a very special and successful edition and my thanks once again go to Rolex for their valuable support. The weather provided the broadest variety of conditions and the competition was closer than ever with many classes decided on tie-breaks. The prize giving was full of tired but happy sailors. It was a fitting event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the International Maxi Association.”
Racing at the 30th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup was from September 2-7, with a lay day on September 5, 2019.