Nepresso Cup: Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’ Yacht Magic Carpet Squared secures victory

On the final day of racing at the Nespresso Cup, the first exclusive regatta ...

Nepresso Cup: Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’ Yacht Magic Carpet Squared secures victory

May 09, 2010

Written by Mike Smith

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

The Nespresso Cup Yacht Race - Photo Carlo Borlenghi

Nespresso Cup Trophy: Stage set for ultimate battle in Portofino

The second day of racing in Portofino focuses on design as the Nespresso Cup Trophy is unveiled and the Wally yachts demonstrate their high-performance design out on the water leaving the front-runners on equal points going into the final day tomorrow…

Portofino lived up to its reputation for challenging and tricky racing conditions as the wind took its time to materialise on day 2 of the Nespresso Cup. Although it was no hardship to sit and wait for the breeze in these beautiful surroundings as the weekend public enjoyed the splendour of the Wally fleet lined up on the quay.

The Yacht Club Italiano got today’s race away early in the afternoon in a 6-9 knot south-easterly breeze and, as if on cue, with the TV helicopter buzzing overhead, the sun finally made an appearance to light up the Wally fleet. It was Sir Lindsay Owen Jones’ Magic Carpet Squared that claimed victory in today’s race leading from start to finish, although as tactician Tony Rey explained it wasn’t quite as simple as it seemed: “Maybe we made it look easy off the boat but I can promise you it was not easy at any point. You’re never quite secure in your position but we were fortunate we found a nice place on the starting line and we were the first boat to tack on to port and that set us up to hit the first few shifts. From there, once you’ve sniffed the front, it’s easier to put your elbows out and keep the bigger boats behind us. Y3K and Indio are always good competitors and they certainly gained enough to make us nervous a few times.” As they did on the downwind leg as the breeze faded allowing the chasing boats to catch the leader with only 30 seconds separating Magic Carpet Squared from Y3K at the downwind mark.

Today’s win leaves Magic Carpet Squared at the top of the leaderboard on equal points with J One going into the final day tomorrow, setting the scene for an exciting duel: “We love racing against the J One team. It’s tough racing against them because they sail far behind us on elapsed time and it forces us to sail a perfect race to stay ahead.”

The weather scenario here in Portofino has been far from normal as Italy’s favourite America’s Cup legend and Nespresso Cup Race Ambassador, Francesco de Angelis, explained: “It has been raining heavily on Italy for more than one week so very unusual weather pattern for this time of the year. But as long as there is a race that will be good as there are still a few positions that people can get if they beat their direct opponent – not just for first and second but also third and fourth.”

The ultimate day of this first edition of the Nespresso Cup is all set to be a show-stopper in every way.

Focus on Design as the Nespresso Cup Trophy is unveiled…

The fusion of performance, aesthetics and design that underpins the Nespresso Cup is further symbolised by the design of the Cup’s trophy for which Nespresso partnered with industrial designer Konstantin Grcic – the trophy was revealed tonight at the Nespresso Cup party. “I’ve always had this fascination for boats and probably a certain romance about the idea of being out there on the water. A good boat has its performance built into the design but it’s also about technology and performance,” said Konstantin Grcic. “I started the design process of the Nespresso Cup trophy by looking into the world of sailing: the equipment, the elements, the people, the emotions. It’s sailing but it is Wally boats, not just any kind of sailboat but a very specific type. I felt it had to be a different take on a trophy, it looks more like a sail, it becomes a different kind of typology but I think an appropriate one for today’s racing.”

Race 2 Overall Positions Top 3:
1 Magic Carpet Squared / Lindsay Owen Jones
2 J One / Jean-Charles Decaux
3 Y3K / Peter Claus Offen
Overall Position Nespresso Cup Trophy (Provisional) after 2 races:
1 / Magic Carpet Squared / Lindsay Owen Jones / 3 pts
2 / J One / Jean-Charles Decaux / 3 pts
3 / Y3K / Peter Claus Offen / 7pts

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