A few weeks after the arrival of Italia 9.98 Relentless III to Miami, Florida, the crew enjoyed their first sail in champagne conditions. World-renowned Biscayne Bay is known for its winter sailing thanks to a steady breeze and flat water, and on this day, it did not disappoint. The wind speed was 10-20 knots, with some puffs in the mid-'20s, temperatures around 68 degrees Farenheight with low humidity. The owners performed a small ceremony to christen Relentless III and wish her good luck.
Like a thoroughbred waiting in the stables, the Italia 9.98 was quick to jump up to 8 knots just after unfurling the jib.
Erik Haaland noted that the crew asked before leaving the dock if the 9.98 would require a reef in the mainsail. Their previous yacht, a Salona S35, was easily overpowered in this wind range. Thanks to the 9.98's foil design and SA/D ratio, the boat did not need a reef.
The helm was light and easy to control, and the owners of Relentless III, Oscar Valdes, and Carlos Santiago were all grins. Upon seeing the looks from the nearby Etchells and Star regatta sailors, it was apparent that the boat looked just as good from the water as it does from aboard.
The crew made a quick test with the A3 spinnaker, which saw speed over 10 knots and easy control. The team was quick to adjust to the 9.98's speed and agile movements. Later in the month, they will take part in their first race, a staple for the winter racing circuit, the annual Fort Lauderdale-Key West Race in the ORC class.
For more information on Italia Yachts, contact Erik Haaland - Italia Yachts USA Sales Director
Related Reading: Italia 9.98 'Relentless III' Arrives in FL