Challenging race sets the scene for Multihull Cup decider

The half-way point of the 2022 Multihull Cup proved a day of consolidation for some, one of commiserations for others, but with the final placings still up for grabs going into the deciding coastal race on Sunday.

The British-flagged Coco de Mer continued her winning ways in Saturday’s only race, taking victory ahead of R-Six and Allegra, a reprise of the opening day’s results.

Conditions were to prove challenging as the fleet of 50’+ performance cruising multihulls left their base in Port Adriano, not least for the race management team as they sought to set a race course in a breeze that was reluctant to settle.

Racing was then further delayed when the race team was alerted to the imminent arrival of an electrical storm, and Principal Race Officer Inés Cabrer wisely sent the fleet ashore to avoid the strong winds and vivid lightning strikes which duly arrived as forecast.

When racing got underway Allegra took an early lead on the first leg though with both Coco de Mer and R-Six closing in on the 85′ Green Marine graduate. Nevertheless, the Swiss-flagged Allegra got around the top mark first and emerged some 300m ahead of her hard-charging rivals.

Then once again Allegra, the defending Multihull Cup champion, saw her lead eroded, with the 66′ Gunboat Coco de Mer leading – albeit briefly – away from the bottom gate on the second upwind leg.

By the finish the 85′ Nigel Irens designed Allegra had again capitalised on her impressive downwind speed to cross the line well ahead of the Morrelli & Melvin creations Coco de Mer and then the HH66 R-Six. However her 3.58 minute advantage on the water was not enough to overcome her higher handicap rating, dropping her to the bottom of the results.

‘It was pretty close racing out there and it’s definitely not all over,’ said Coco de Mer’s tactician Tim Thuberon.
‘It was a fairly short race so Allegra didn’t have the time to extend her lead enough, and R-Six had a fantastic race. They sail really well and at one point they were right behind us going round the top mark, and we thought they had it in the bag.

‘It was a pretty fair race, and while there was only around seven knots most of the time we seemed to get some more breeze downwind which let us catch-up Allegra and stay ahead of R-Six.’

And he added: ‘People might say we have one hand on the Multihull Cup, but we know there is still work to do and things can turnaround. It’s not over yet.’

Celebrations ashore on Saturday evening were focused on the Multihull Cup Regatta Dinner in the Coast Sunset Bar in Port Adriano.

Racing concludes at the 2022 Multihull Cup on Sunday, followed by the celebratory prize-giving in the Regatta Village.