American Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente retained her Rolex Maxi 72 World Champion’s crown at the conclusion of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the International Maxi Association.
The defending champion had led from the outset of the regatta, although at one point on Friday her advantage had dropped to less than a point. Yesterday the tables turned and winning the first race in 10-12 knots was enough for Fauth and Bella Mente to hang on to their World title with a race to spare.
“It feels just fantastic,” said a beaming Fauth. This is Bella Mente’s third Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship title win, and her second consecutive. But this was the hardest yet, the US team targeted by the five other Maxi 72s. “Everybody was aware of our strengths and there was always a blocking attempt in the starting sequences. We know what we like to do and they would go out of their way to move us around.”
Tactician Terry Hutchinson praised the team: “A solid effort all round. Copa del Rey was a good toughening event for us. Proteus sailed very well there and it raised the bar in the fleet. We knew for sure that this one wasn’t going to be a cakewalk.We work the law of averages and when the regatta got shortened because of the weather, I had a lot of anxiety, because you rely on a longer race series to just chip along. But the guys – from bow to stern – did great work. It is absolutely a pleasure and privilege to work for Hap. He provides us with everything we need to win. And we execute.”