Lionheart won the final, deciding race of the the J Class duel at the Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup. Managing to hold arch rivals Velsheda behind them all the way around the 25 miles figure 4 shaped course on the Costa Smeralda, the Lionheart crew retain the Corinthian KIng's Cup or the fourth time in a row.

They previously won the Class's most prestigious Owner-driver award in Saint Barths in 2013, in Palma in 2014 and last year in Falmouth. Once again the outcome of the race was largely decided off the start line. But today it was Lionheart which came out of the blocks with slightly better speed. At the first cross they were already one boat length ahead of Velsheda. "From there it was old school stuff. Keep between your man and the next mark. That is pretty much what we did. They got very close to us a couple of times, they sailed right on our transom, but we stayed ahead." grinned a relieved Bouwe Bekking, Tactician on the Lionheart. "I have to say that both of the Owners have done a great job driving this week."

"We are very happy." added the Lionheart Owner. With the scores evened at 2-2 over the week long regatta, Lionheart win the J's duel on countback.

"We tried to keep it tight to the end but there were times when they were just that bit quicker." Tom Dodson, the Velsheda tactician confirmed. "There was not much after the two mile beat that gave us a chance to get by them, but that is how it is racing with the two J's in the mixed fleet. With three J's we can get some windward-leewards and our own start. But it's been a good week, LIonheart sailed well, we sailed well and we have all enjoyed the racing and look forward now to Saint Tropez."

Bekking, the winning tactician concludes: "We had to win it today and we did. I'm very happy we did."

Lionheart & Velsheda © Martinez Studio
Lionheart © Martinez Studio