The format for the Rolex Capri Sailing Week/Volcano Race 2013 was unveiled at the Circolo Ufficiali delle Forze Armate d’Italia in Rome, Italy, yesterday morning. Exclusively open to Maxi yachts, the event will mark the start of the 2013 Rolex Mediterranean sailing season and will be held from 18-24 May.
Gaeta will host the start of racing on Saturday 18 May when the fleet depart for Capri from under the shadow of the town’s famous Bourbon castle. Following their arrival in Capri, the Maxi yachts will tackle an inshore race series on 20 and 21 May.
The competition concludes with a challenging 300-nautical mile offshore race, previously held in 2011 and 2012 as the Rolex Volcano Race. The course will take the fleet of Maxis from Capri to the Aeolian Islands, a wild volcanic archipelago, north of Sicily. The departure for the offshore race is fixed for Wednesday 22 May with the final prizegiving in Capri scheduled for Friday 24 May.
The Rolex Capri Sailing Week/Volcano Race 2013 is organized through the close collaboration of the International Maxi Association, the Yacht Club Gaeta EVS and the Yacht Club Capri. The event marks the beginning of title sponsor Rolex’s Mediterranean yachting season and maintains a decade-long tradition of the brand’s involvement in an international sailing week in Capri.
The 2013 edition is reserved for Maxi yachts, measuring upwards of 18.29 metres/60-feet. Entrants will be divided into different classes – the Mini Maxis, the smallest group, measure from 18.29-24.08m, the Maxi class from 24.09m-30.5m and the Supermaxis, measuring upwards of 30.5m.
The 2013 programme has been adapted from the previous two editions of the Rolex Volcano Race, and comprises four distinct components. The opening ceremony will take place on Saturday 18 May in Gaeta, on Piazzale Caboto, before the fleet departs for Capri in the ‘Trofeo Città di Gaeta’, a race of approximately 100-nm. The second and third components comprise two days of inshore racing, held on the waters off Capri on 21 and 22 May.
The final part, the Volcano Race itself, a 300-nm journey around the Aeolian Islands, a UNESCO-protected volcanic archipelago, closes the week. “The name ‘the Volcano Race’ given to the longest part of the event has been a winning idea, a striking name for a challenging new race in the Tyrrhenian Sea. An offshore race helps measure teamwork and navigational strategy as well as the performance of the boats,” commented Gianfranco Alberini, IMA Secretary General.
There is a great anticipation for the 2013 event, both in Gaeta and in Capri. Last year the 34m Belgian Supermaxi yacht Nilaya was the first boat to cross the finish line in front of Capri, following a challenging race with demanding weather conditions. Overall victory on handicap went to British yacht Jethou (GBR), Sir Peter Ogden’s Mini Maxi, and the third fastest boat on the water, behind the Wally charter yacht Y3K from Germany, owned by IMA President Claus-Peter Offen.
Among the many famous names among the crews were Bouwe Bekking – a Volvo Ocean Race veteran and tactician on superyacht Nilaya – as well as America’s Cup legend Brad Butterworth on Jethou and Italian Tiziano Nava on Marco Rodolfi’s yacht Berenice Bis.
Gianfranco Alberini, Secretary General of the IMA
“Despite difficult economic times, Maxi yacht regattas have held firm, and in 2012 the events were contested in good numbers, with great competiveness. The IMA, for over 30 years, has been the association for Maxi yacht owners from across the world, while Rolex has always been close to the Maxi world ever since its first involvement in Italy in the 1980s. Compared to the first edition in 2011, last year’s Rolex Volcano Race saw a larger number of entrants, meaning the concept of combining inshore and offshore races was well received. The social events, spread between Gaeta and Capri, give an added value to the event.”
Luca Simeone, Vice-president Yacht Club Gaeta EVS
“For the third year running, the Yacht Club Gaeta EVS will welcome the participating boats, performing measurement and safety checks before the race. The prestige of the Rolex Capri Sailing Week/Volcano Race, reverberates positively on the local economy and the city of Gaeta contributes actively to the organization of the race. I thank the IMA and Rolex, who have confirmed their collaboration with the most eagerly anticipated event for Gaetani.”
Marino Lembo, President Yacht Club Capri
“For ten years in every May Capri has welcomed its week of great yacht racing sponsored by Rolex. Year on year we welcomed many different types of boats and championships from the IMS Worlds through to the recent editions of Maxi yacht events. We are delighted that this synergy has been renewed, both with the (title) sponsor Rolex and the IMA, the reference for these beautiful boats. We are passionately working to make sure that this major event of the Caprese summer is an unforgettable one.”