Race finished. Wet and cold but just had a bite to eat.
Cold and windy. Giddy up.
You should be able to follow the race here.
Our first race is tomorrow, where we will race from Ft.
Lauderdale to Key West. The course is about 160 miles and it looks
to be mostly downwind again this year. We will start at 1 pm
tomorrow and get in that night. The forecast is for 10-15 knots at
the start and building to the mid 20’s by the end of the race. So
we should have some good fun. The focus right now is on downwind.
We have lightened up the boat taking minimum upwind sails and
making sure we are ready for some downwind sailing and sail
changes. Yesterday’s practice was a fire drill of 3 hours of sail
changing. We started by sailing upwind a bit on starboard tack. We
have been working hard on improving the rig set up and we wanted to
get a feel for it in those wind conditions (about 18 knots). We
tacked over on port, bore away, and hoisted the A7 (a fractional
kite). Then to be honest, it was a blur of trying different
staysail and jib set ups while going down wind. We then sailed with
the A2 for awhile, still working on staysail combos. Then peeled to
the A3. After all that, we finally turned around and had a long
sail back to Lauderdale. As we are doing all this prep we are
keeping our thoughts on the downwind sailing we will be doing on
the west coast. But, the focus right now is to do well in this race
tomorrow and win.
Its been pretty quiet here on the website in terms of the BELLA MENTE racing teams actions, but I guarantee the team has been hard at work getting BELLA ready for her returning to racing in the US. We are just a little over 40 days to go until racing begins for the 2011 season in Florida. Hap and the boys have a heavy practice schedule starting Dec 12, 2010 leading up to the start of the Key West Feeder Race on January 12, 2011 from Ft Lauderdale.
Premiere-Racing, the organizing entity for KWRW has just announced a special trophy for the IRC fleet this year.
Key West 2011 has been designated the IRC Midwinter Championship. There will be a special Midwinter trophy awarded to the overall IRC winner on Friday at the final awards presentation.(http://www.premiere-racing.com/keywest11/pages/KW11_IRC.htm#NEWS)
Hap Fauth and his team practically swept the 2010 KWRW event cleanly taking home the trophy. They definitely have a big stake in repeating that performance and holding onto the title.
I stopped by the Cracker Boy yard in Riviera Beach FL to check in on the guy and their pre-season preparations. They will be back in the water and the rig re-stepped soon for everyone’s arrival to get back to top racing form. Stay tuned to the site for more announcements in the next few weeks about the team taking it to the Pacific coast next, the modifications planned for the TransPac and plans for a new boat. Meanwhile, enjoy these action shots of the “Bella Wolfpack” hard at work.
This quote was published on RegattaNews.com quoting BELLA MENTE’s owner, Hap Fauth on the days distance race, which they won.
In the Mini Maxi Rolex Worlds, Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente outplayed all of her bigger rivals to win on the water and handicap. Two minutes ahead of Rán (GBR) at the finish is as comprehensive as it gets in this class. For the time being, Andres Soriano and Alegre (GBR) retain the overall lead, but the wolves are circling. The lead is now down to one point, after Alegre’s fourth place today.
Fauth is renowned for a big grin and it was in fine form this evening, dockside, as he described the race, “just a great day, really fun. It was the normal jungle course. Long first beat, reach, long reach down, tight reach and then a windward beat to finish. We had a good start, in the top three at the first mark.” Here too, sail selection was a key part of the exemplary performance, according to Fauth, “we had a little sail that really worked for us, a fractional code zero. We threw that boat on the plane and we were gone…gone…shot out of the cannon. Full tilt, fill the main up, get on the rails and go! It was a fun day…”
Todays very breezy coastal distance race proved just what the BELLA team needed to really sail the right angles and use their sail inventory to their advantage. The superstar of the day seemed to be the fractional Code Zero which was the perfect powerhouse that they needed to seal the win on corrected time.
Perhaps the guys also wanted the win today since tonight activity is a multi-team dinner with the Ran crew and their owners. These two teams have now matched up in the US, Bermuda, Spain and now here – and have formed a nice camaraderie between teams. I’m sure there will be much celebrating with today’s success, knowing tomorrow is a no-racing lay day. Back on Friday for the second coastal race and hopefully a repeat performance.
The first two days of windward-leeward racing for the Mini Maxi World Champion fleet have provided good conditions of steady 15-18 kt breezes for the 6 boat fleet. Top finishers ALEGRE and RAN are battling out to stay on top, with ALEGRE holding onto that position currently. BELLA MENTE had a good second day, posting a 3rd for the second race.
Tomorrow brings a coastal race in more big breeze followed by a lay day on Thursday.
Inshore racing began today in Porto Cervo. The word is over the next week there will be 9 total races, 7 windward-leeward and 2 coastal days. Monday and Tuesday bring W/L courses followed by a coastal race on Wednesday and a layday on Thursday. There will be another coastal race on Friday and a final inshore day on Saturday.
Return here to bellamenteracing.com to hear reports on all of the activity.
Regatta News writes:
Yet, when all is said and done, it is likely that the story of the week will be amongst the smallest participants. The Mini Maxis may be the poor relations of the maxi world in terms of size, but for competitive racing they are exceptional. With an inaugural world championship at stake, the prize for success this week is massive, explaining why such large fleet has gathered. Niklas Zennstrom’s Ran (GBR), overall winner of the 2009 Rolex Fastnet, Andres Soriano’s Alegre (GBR), winner at Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2010 and Neville Crichton’s Shockwave (NZL), overall winner of Giraglia Rolex Cup offshore race, are without question the three favourites amongst the racing Mini Maxis. That said, America’s Cup winner Bill Koch has not come out of competitive big-boat retirement just to make up the numbers with the chartered, Titan 15 (USA). Wild Joe (HUN) is a former Admiral’s Cup winning yacht; Peter Ogden’s Jethou (GBR) has had her share of success, and, Hap Fauth will expect much of his Bella Mente (USA) crew that finished a close second here in division last year and won this year at Key West.
BELLA MENTE is in Sardinia with Hap and her full crew for the last few days of practice before starting the 6 day event on Sept 5th. Defending 2009 Maxi World champion, RAN is back after their win in Palma at the Copa del Rey last month. It has been a quieter month with no events for the mini maxis until this week, but many of the sailors have been off competing in other events like the Audi MedCup and the C-Class Catamaran ‘Little Americas Cup’.
Our BELLA MENTE team is back together and focused on the tough and hot days of racing again, with their sights set on bringing home a win.