The fascinating Porto Cervo yacht charter destination, nestled in Italy’s Sardinia, will host the 26th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup from September 6 to 12, 2015. Organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), the popular Mediterranean regatta is celebrating a 30-year partnership with its title sponsor, Rolex.
Sir Lindsay Owen Jones’ superyacht MAGIC CARPET CUBED (GBR) rounding Mortoriotto – Image by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
The race will be attended by a wide array of contrasting and beguiling monohull Maxi yachts, impressive Supermaxis, the majestic lines of the Wally yachts, as well as a group of all-out racing Maxi 72s.
Among the 2015 fleet is the exciting new Jim Clark’s 100-ft Maxi yacht Comanche. Led by skipper Ken Read, Comanche will undoubtedly attract plenty of attention during the event, well known for its excellent race management and a sailing environment revered throughout the world for its fabulous scenery, navigational demands and potential for challenging conditions.
Sailing yacht CAOL ILA R (USA) leading SHOCKWAVE (USA) upwind – Image by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
“It’s a fantastic event; the combination of Sardinia, Porto Cervo, Rolex, great organisation on the water and on the shore…,” says regular competitor, Bouwe Bekking, “… it’s why these owners come back every year.”
The sixth running of the Maxi 72 Rolex World Championship, previously Mini Maxi, is expected to be one of the highlights of the week. Of the former champions only Hap Fauth’s sailing yacht Bella Mente (USA), winner in 2012, is expected to attend. The other editions were claimed by Niklas Zennström’s formidable luxury yacht Rán 2 (2010, ‘11, ‘13) and Andres Soriano’s yacht Alegre (2014), now owned by Swiss yachtsman Alex Schaerer and known as Caol Ila R (USA).
Eric Bijlsma’s super yacht FIREFLY (NED) sailing in coastal mode – Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
There is the all-new entry in the form of MOMO (IVB), owned by Dieter Schoen, while the crews of Sir Peter Ogden’s yacht Jethou (GBR) and Roberto Tomasini Grinover’s sailing yacht Robertissima III (ITA), previously known as Rán 2, boast extensive Porto Cervo experience.
“This is always top pick of where we like to sail around the world, the yacht club is always welcoming, it is high end in terms of race management,” says renowned sailor Brad Butterworth, tactician on Jethou yacht. “No place in the world is as beautiful as this to go yacht racing.”
Claus-Peter Offen’s superyacht Y3K (GER) sailing upwind – Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
The Supermaxi class is destined for yachts measuring upwards of 100-ft, typically designed to both race as well as cruise. Last year’s star performer was Eric Bijlsma’s 35m/115-ft superyacht Firefly while the impressive 66,7m (218’) mega yacht Hetairos (CAY), the largest ever yacht to participate in the event, is expected to return to the competition after a three year absence.
Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’s superyacht Magic Carpet Cubed (GBR) will attend the race, competing in the Wally class. Having recently won the Giraglia Rolex Cup, she will start as favourite to repeat her exploits of last year. The Wally fleet will also include Jean Charles Decaux’s luxury yacht J One (GBR) and charter yacht Y3K (GER), owned by International Maxi Association (IMA) President Claus-Peter Offen.
Throughout the week, there will be a rich social programme, and following five days of racing, the individual class winners will be rewarded for their brilliance on the water with Rolex timepieces during the final prizegiving at the YCCS, partner club of Rolex since 1984.