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Bella Mente wins NYYC Challenge Cup

130808 Bella Bow

ISLE OF WIGHT, COWES, U.K. (August 8, 2013) - Bella Mente Racing, sailing under the Club burgee, has won the New York Yacht Club Challenge Cup, one of the two most prestigious trophies awarded at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. The team of 22 sailors, led by owner/driver Hap Fauth, is currently racing in the event's Big Boat mini-series, which kicked off its first race on Wednesday, August 7th and wraps up with the second and final race today, August 8th in Cowes, England.

In 1951, on the 100th Anniversary of the commencement of the America’s Cup, the New York Yacht Club presented The Cup to the Royal Yacht Squadron to encourage overseas yachts to race at Cowes Week.

“We are delighted to come out on top for this year’s New York Yacht Club Challenge Cup,” said Fauth (Minneapolis, Minn.), adding that The Cup was awarded this year to the winner of the top IRC class in race one, and the team started the week off right, taking first place on corrected time. 

On Wednesday, the 72’ Judel/Vrolijk designed Bella Mente, along with ten other class contenders, hit the accelerator at the start off Bembridge (east of the Isle of Wight) and ensued on a 21-mile course through the tricky waters of the eastern Solent, around Nab Tower and back. The 100’ Reichel Pugh designed Esimit Europa 2 crossed the finish first, nabbing line honors, but took fourth place on corrected time.

“The start was definitely critical in this race, and playing the 20 degree wind shifts paid off,” said Fauth, adding that the team had many fierce contenders to battle throughout the race, including the two-time Rolex Fastnet Race Mini Maxi Class winner Ran 2 (skippered by Niklas Zennström), which took third place.

“We gained on every leg and finished with a comfortable lead on corrected time due to impeccable crew work by everyone onboard,” said Fauth, “and flawless navigation by Ian Moore and tactics by Mike Sanderson and John Cutler.”

Race two at Cowes Week is currently underway, and Bella Mente Racing has its eyes on the Britannia Cup, a second sought-after prize that is awarded to the overall winner of the Big Boat mini-series.

[Photo credits: Rick Tomlinson]

130808 Bella Stern