1997: USA Win Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup
Bradamante Wins Mumm 36s
The United States of America team were assured of their unlikely Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup win at 12.18.11 today when the British boat Bradamante crossed the Fastnet finish line to win the Mumm 36 class. It is a great win for both the US and Bradamante, whose helmsman and tactician John Merricks and Ian Walker have only once before raced either out-of-sight of land or through the darkness of the night.
For the USA, today's win represents the end of a long-haul in many more senses than the mere 610 miles of the Fastnet. It is the first US win since 1969. Since then the Americans have missed the bi-ennial competition only once (in 1993) and come second on five occasions and third on three. Two years ago, USA were pipped at the post by Italy, having led the 1995 Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup from the start almost to the finish.
Again this year the Americans started the Fastnet race as series leaders - and for long enough it looked like history would repeat itself. After calms and fog during the first 24 hours, Italy (4th overall at the Fastnet start) had surged to the lead with brilliant sailing, holding 1st in IMS, 1st in ILC 40 and 3rd in Mumm 36 classes. USA at one stage were down to 4th.
When Italy's Madina Milano finished first of all the Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup yachts to win the IMS class and with Pasquale Landolfi's Brava Q8 disputing the lead in the ILC 40s while the US boat, MK Cafe, languished miles astern in sixth it looked like 1995 all over again.
Then Fortune repaid her bitter debt in a most extraordinary fashion. Just five miles from the finish the leaders of the fleet ran out of wind. The back markers of the ILC 40 class, including the American boat, sailed up to, then around, the helpless leaders. Four of the ILCs crossed the line almost abreast, but what truly mattered was that the US boat had gone from sixth to second, the Italian boat from first to sixth. It was just about the only circumstance which could give the United States back the series lead - and so improbable that Don Genitempo, US team manager, had to be told three times before he would believe it.
Once all the yachts were in, Germany were confirmed as second overall, Italy third. In individual yacht placings Flash Gordon 3 (owner Helmut Jahn of Chicago/ skipper John Kolius) is top scoring Big Boat of the nine-race series, Pinta (Willi Illbruck/ Karol Jablonski and John Kostecki, Germany) top ILC 40 and Bradamate (Tim Barrett/ John Merricks and Ian Walker, GBR) top Mumm 36.
1997 Champagne Mumm Admiral's Cup Final Results
Team Standings after all races
1 USA 146.50
2 GER 166.00
3 ITA 169.50
4 AUS 172.13
5 GBR 180.00
6 NZL 182.13
7 SCN 276.50
Fastnet Race Results
- 1 Madina Milano (Dario Farrari. Francesco di Angelis, ITA, Farr)
- 2 Flash Gordon 3 (Helmut Jahn/ Ken Read, USA, Farr)
- 3 Ragamuffin (Syd Fischer/ Robbie Haines, Mick Coxon, Farr)
- 4 Rubin XIV (Hans-Otto Schumann/ Jochen Schumann,GER, Judel/Vrolijk)
- 5 Investor (Thomas Blixt/ Niclas Hagert, SCN, Farr Corel 45)
- 6 Corum Indulgence (Graham Walker/ Chris Law, GBR, Farr Corel 45)
- 7 Numbers (John Risley/ Russel Coutts, NZL, Taylor)
1 Pinta (Willi Illbruck/ Karol Jablonski,GER, Judel/Vrolijk)
2 MK Cafe (Marius Kwasnicki,/ John Kolius, USA, Judel/Vroloijk)
3 Easy Oars (Tony Buckingham/ Andy Beadsworth, GBR, Farr)
4 Mean Machine (Peter de Ridder/ Tom Dodson, NZL, Judel/Vrolijk)
5 G'Net (John Calvert-Jones and Robin Crawford/ Colin Beashel,AUS,Farr)
6 Brava Q8 (Pasquale Landolfi/ Enrico Chieffi, ITA, Farr)
7 Fram XIV (HM King Harald V of Norway/ Jens Christensen, SCN, Farr)
Mumm 36 class
1 Bradamante (Tim Barrett/ John Merricks, GBR)
2 Sea (Steve Kulmar and Rich Freidrichs/ Steve Kulmar, AUS)
3 Breeze (Paolo Gaia, Tommaso Chieffi, ITA)
4 Georgia Express (Jim Farmer/ David Barnes, NZL)
5 Thomas I Punkt ( Thomas Friese/ Markus Wieser, GER)
6 Jameson (Tom Roche/ Chris Larson, USA)
7 Mumm a Mia (K. Jonsson/ Fredrik Ramsfelt, SCN)
Individual Yacht Placings after all races.
1 Flash Gordon 2 Madina Milano
6 Corum Indulgence
ILC 40 Class
2 MK Cafe
4 Mean Machine
5 Brava Q8
6 Easy Oars
7 Fram XIV
Mumm 36 Class
2 Georgia Express
6 Thomas I-Punkt