Jamie Sammut and Crew Register Sixth Win at the Annual Solaris Cup in Sardinia
Jamie Sammut’s Solaris 42 Unica registered its sixth win at the annual Solaris Cup in Porto Rotondo, Sardinia.
The Solaris Cup is a yearly event, now in its ninth edition, which celebrates the Solaris Yachts owners and the shipyard at the Porto Rotondo Yacht Club in Sardinia. The regatta attracts a large fleet of yachts that represents the entire history of the Solaris “family”. Every year a large number of Solaris yachts migrate to the beautiful Costa Smeralda to face each other during several days the challenges at sea with exclusive social moments on the ground. Unica has been competing regularly in this event, bagging the coveted trophy six times.
This year the Solaris fleet consisted 58 boats, ranging between 37 and 111 feet. Being shadowed by the bigger boats, Unica had a bad start. Nonetheless, their years of racing experience saw them being able to get away and find some clearer wind. Improving their boat speed enabled them to make their way up the fleet.
Racing in light winds is always very tactical, especially so in Porto Rotondo. By making the right tactical decisions and managing to keep to where the wind was, they ended the race in 1st place with a good lead.
Light, though steadier wind was also in store for the fleet in the second race. Such conditions are deemed to be ideal for the bigger boats to excel. The fleet split into two with one group hugging the land whilst the other opted for the open water. Unica chose to stay close to land which made them lose ten places after their wind was taken, having been trapped beneath bigger yachts.
The only way out was to keep totally clear from any other boat. Managing to find a steady wind again, their placing gradually improved throughout the race. It was on the last leg which made for a make-or-break situation. A duel between Unica and Doug, a Solaris 62 ensued. The determination to win was palpable as second place would not have been sufficient for an overall win.
By keeping all the crew hiking out, they managed to keep their largest sail hoisted and push the boat to its limit all the way to the finish line. Back on dry land was a tense two hour wait for the overall results to be announced. Unica was declared winner by a narrow margin of just under two minutes.
Unica’s well-seasoned crew, which has covered many miles sailing and racing together, includes owner and skipper Jamie Sammut, Bradshaw Kellet and Michael Albanozzo on navigation, Gordon Schembri on sails and Alex Sant Fournier in the pit and trimming the main sail. Alan Sammut and Aaron Gauci kept their positions as mast men with John Cachia as bowman.