11 Aug 2005
I CAP MAXIMUS Elliott 30m docked in the winners berth at Queen Annes Battery Marina, Plymouth. Photo courtesy of Helen Nance. CELEBRATIONS began early this morning as ICAP Maximus crossed the finish line in Plymouth Sound, to round off a perfect Fastnet race for co-owners Bill Buckley, Charles St Clair Brown and their crew. In spite of stiff competition and some very challenging light airs sailing, ICAP Maximus extended its lead over Skandia Wild Thing, the Volvo 70 Telefonica Movistar and other contenders for line honours, to cross the line just after 08.20 local time on Wednesday morning. Speaking shortly after the Super Maxi had docked, Charles St Clair Brown thanked Rolex, the sponsors of the 2005 event and praised his crew for their fantastic efforts. Although ICAP Maximus finished ahead of the fleet by a phenomenal time margin, the 600 mile course taken over the past three days had been far from easy. After rounding Fastnet Rock at 03.33 local time on Tuesday morning, the high pressure system sitting over the Irish Sea frustrated efforts to make good time away from Fastnet and back towards the Scilly Isles. Winds as low as 2.5 knots made precision helming and precise calls for sail changes absolutely crucial, as the ICAP Maximus crew headed south to exit the high. By late afternoon the winds were building again, Mike Quilter, and key helmsmen Greg Elliott the yachts designer, Richard Bouzaid, Tom Dodson, Jeff Scott and George Hendy worked hard to find wind and heat up the pace. As Tuesday evening drew on the wind built and ICAP Maximus recorded its fastest speeds of the race during the nights reach towards Plymouth. With 16 knots showing at times, significantly above the wind speed of 13 knots, the Kiwi yacht headed for line honours and a place in the history books. During all the race, apart from the period a few hours after the start, the only competitors seen were on the distant horizon. Once we had rounded the Fastnet Rock, commented Charles St Clair Brown, we were quietly confident that, we would finish strongly. His confidence proved correct and, with the support and assistance of ICAP, this super maxi has notched up yet another race win, achieved in difficult and demanding conditions.