Andy Soriano and his Alegre team were crowned World Champions at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Worlds yesterday in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. In perhaps the best Mini-Maxi fleet yet assembled including previous champions Ran in their latest boat and past winners Bella Mente, Alegre remained on top of the 7 boat class from the first race to the last. “It’s a great achievement for the team to be World Champion,” said Soriano. “I’m relieved, it’s something we strove for, we’ve been (in this position) twice already and we finally were able to get over the last hurdle. We sailed our own race; loose, relaxed, confident like we have all week. This year the level of the competition has been raised, more than any of us could have imagined.”
Alegre, the second Mini-Maxi from Mills Design for this owner, was aimed at winning this event and showed her boatspeed and crew handling advantages by comfortably winning both coastal races. Having been forced into the runners-up spot on the last day twice in previous years, and with only three points between first and second going into the final day, the pressure was on the team in the worlds highest quality Owner-Driver event. Supported by tactician John Kostecki and a tight-knit crew they played the odds on the final day to ensure the series was wrapped up with a race to spare. “I am very happy for Andy and the whole Alegre team” said designer Mark Mills “It’s just reward for the dedicated and focused campaign that they have run. I can’t thank Andy enough for the opportunity to be playing and winning at this level. the success of the design would not have been possible without the involvement in the design team of R&D specialists KND and engineer Steve Koopman of SDK, and the passion of builders Longitud Cero ”
Andy Soriano and the Alegre team repepated their 2010 performance to be named the International Maxi Association 2011 Season and Offshore Mini-Maxi Champions. Here is a YouTube video to remind you of what an Offshore in the Mediterranean can be like.
Andy Soriano’s IRC 69 Alegre won the 2010 IMA Mini-Maxi title after a tremendous season, sailing and winning in places such as Palma, Portofino, St. Tropez, Porto Cervo, and Capri, culminating in a close run second place at the Maxi Worlds.
More info on the IRC 68
Alegre the IRC 68 Mini-Maxi of Andres Soriano III sailed an extraordinary race to win a tough Rolex Middle Sea Race. This extends her record of success in major Mediterranean offshore events after first to finish victories and Mini-Maxi class wins in both the 2008 Rolex Middle Sea Race and the 2009 Rolex Giraglia Race. In very testing conditions with large waves and up to 40kn of wind producing significant numbers of breakages and retirements, Alegre led the fleet on handicap at each of the passing marks after Stromboli, approximately a third of the way into the race. Beating boats like the SuperMaxi ICAP Leopard and the 80′ Beau Geste on handicap and staying ahead of larger Mini-Maxi competitors such as the 72′ Ran II on the water was a testament to the non-stop team effort. Owner Soriano summed it up “this result shows what hard work, team spirit and supporting each other can do. We’re just friends sailing together and I’m so proud.”
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