Alfa Romeo wins at the Pirelli Regatta, reconfirming its position as fastest boat
Alfa Romeo, the 30-metre boat owned and skippered by Neville Crichton, began the 2008 sailing season by winning 4 Line Honours (first across the line) at the Pirelli Regatta, as well as winning Group A in the IRC classification.
Great expectations on the water between two historical friends from New Zealand, Neville Crichton and Brad Butterworth, the Alinghi skipper who with 4 America’s Cups won on board New Zealand and Alinghi is one of the most successful sailors in the world. The integration between the Alfa Romeo and Alinghi teams was perfect, and is one of the most interesting and important news items for both fans and the teams on board, who will have the opportunity to compare notes on sailing techniques and boat handling. A mix which could kindle a new spark for Alfa Romeo, reputed to be the fastest maxi yacht in the world.
This new success was built winning both the first two coastal races and the 66 nautical mile-long night race, and today Alfa Romeo has also hit the Line Honours jackpot by crossing the finishing line once again in a race filled with light, uncertain winds, which in any case did not obstruct any of the boat’s 24 tonnes. The regatta took place in the waters off Portofino, attracting the curiosity of many boats around the starting line interested in the sailing performance of the 135 teams in the race. At the end of the Pirelli Regattas, the number of Line Honours Alfa Romeo is now able to put on show stands at 121.
Neville Crichton, skipper and owner, commented, “This was the first time I have taken part in the Pirelli Regatta, and it was a wonderful experience, both for the number of boats on the water and for the determination of the teams to give their all in this event, which is now in its 39th edition. The racing season has just got started, and we are still breaking in the boat, which is 60 cm longer than last season, in order to get the greatest possible power from it, but this start has been really promising and we can only hope to carry on in the same way.”
Brad Butterworth, team leader of Alinghi and tactician on board Alfa Romeo, stated that, “Alfa Romeo is filled with technology, surprisingly fast, the ideal boat for fans of sailing and high performance. On board, everything ran like clockwork, and the team integration was perfect. Racing with Alfa Romeo was a thrilling experience, for me it was great to be on board.”
Francesco Rapetti, AKA Cico, who with his Alinghi victory became the first Italian in the history of the America’s Cup to win the prestigious silver cup, confirmed, “Starting out with Alfa Romeo and winning, in a race between Portofino, where I was born, and Santa Margherita, where I live, is the best a sailor could ever ask for. The boat ran like the wind, and my first time on Alfa Romeo was a fantastic debut, I felt at ease on the boat right from the start, and I am sure that we will keep on working well.”