International Maxi Association Brief

International Maxi Association Luxury Yacht Charter & Superyacht News

New Trophies for Winners of inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race

July 04, 2014

This November will see the winners of the Royal Ocean Racing Club‘s inaugural Transatlantic Race receive two magnificent perpetual trophies. Departing from Puerto Calero, Lanzarote, the first yacht to complete the course and cross the finish line, 2,800 miles later in the fantastic Caribbean yacht charter destination – Grenada, will be awarded with an exquisite sterling silver trophy. This will be handed over by the International Maxi Association (IMA).

(left to right) RORC Commodore, Mike Greville & Chief Executive, Eddie Warden Owen with the  magnificent antique 1928 RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy for the Overall Winner in IRC  Credit: RORC/onEdition

(left to right) RORC Commodore, Mike Greville & Chief Executive, Eddie Warden Owen with the magnificent antique 1928 RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy for the Overall Winner in IRC Credit: RORC/onEdition

An equally impressive trophy has been sought for the Overall Winner in IRC by the RORC and John Bowles, a specialist in sporting trophies, certainly came up trumps. The race may be new to the club’s offshore racing calendar, but the magnificent antique sterling silver trophy is far from it.

Handmade in London in 1928 by John Parkes during the heyday of craftsmanship for such trophies, the RORC Transatlantic Race 2014 winner will be privileged to accept the 104 troy-ounce trophy that is beautifully chased with intricate decoration.

The magnificent 1928 antique sterling silver trophy will be presented to the first ever winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race under RORC's IRC rating system. The RORC Transatlantic Race starts on 29th November 2014 from Lanzarote and finishes in Grenada Credit: RORC/onEdition

The magnificent 1928 antique sterling silver trophy will be presented to the first ever winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race under RORC's IRC rating system. The RORC Transatlantic Race starts on 29th November 2014 from Lanzarote and finishes in Grenada Credit: RORC/onEdition

Standing a mighty 26 inches on its new, solid mahogany, plinth and measuring 17 inches from handle to handle, this December the silver records band will be engraved with the name of the first ever winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race under RORC’s IRC rating system. The front cartouche is already hand engraved with the title of the race and the RORC Transatlantic Race logo, with the RORC Seahorse crest embellished on the rear.

As is the ‘norm’ for antique trophies of this quality, any previous engraving has been removed so its original purpose or background is unknown. However one thing is for sure, that competitors taking part in this annual east-west race will be battling it out across the Atlantic with their sights firmly set on winning one of these two magnificent prizes.

Both trophies will be awarded at the Prizegiving ceremony, to be held at Camper & Nicholsons Marina Port Louis, on the Spice Island of Grenada with Grenada Tourism Authority on Saturday 20th December 2014.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014, August 31 – September 6

July 03, 2014

Representing the world’s number one rendezvous for Maxi yachts, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will return in a little under two months time, running from 31 August – 6 September. The competition is always one of the international yachting calendar’s standout occasions, sponsored by Rolex since 1985. Organized by the International Maxi Association (IMA) and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), this unmissable event for yacht designers, sailors and Maxi owners alike will be hosted by the fabulous Sardinia yacht charter destination – Porto Cervo.

Superyachts Y3K and HAMILTON during the windward-leeward races in Porto Cervo - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Superyachts Y3K and HAMILTON during the windward-leeward races in Porto Cervo - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

One of the competition’s most contested divisions is the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship, where the quality increases year after year. Sailing yacht Rán 2, Niklas Zennström’s outstanding 72-ft Mini Maxi, has won three of the four championships to date, although 2013’s dramatic victory in the final race was to be her last in the hands of Zennström who launched a new Rán earlier this year. Despite the new boat’s impressive start, Rán’s crew are fully aware that competing on the Costa Smeralda’s myriad of challenging racecourses will provide its sternest test to date.

Luxury yacht Alegre was 2013’s new launch and performed impressively. Expectations are that the crew will be more familiar with boat’s potential and once again she will be among the frontrunners alongside Hap Fauth’s yacht Bella Mente from the United States, winner in 2012. The fleet is likely to be bolstered by the presence of other quality Mini Maxis including George Sakellaris’ yacht Shockwave (USA), Sir Peter Ogden’s new 72-ft luxury yacht Jethou (GBR), the former Stig, Swiss Alexander Schaerer’s yacht Caol Ila R and sailing yacht Robertissima III (ITA), formerly Ran 2.

Mini Maxis at the race start - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Mini Maxis at the race start - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Rivalries are abound throughout the competition. Last year’s Wally competition witnessed the Porto Cervo debut of Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’s new Wally Cento 100 superyacht Magic Carpet 3 although it was Jean Charles Decaux’s luxury yacht J-One which claimed its first title since 2007. Both crews are expected to return this year. 2013 witnessed the return to the Maddalena archipelago of the J-Class, where restorations compete with replica builds of original 1930s designs, adding both grace and class to the spectacle.

The Maxi class welcomes yachts from 80-100ft, usually the fastest boats on show. Recent participants have included Igor Simčič’s all conquering 100-ft Reichel/Pugh superyacht Esimit Europa 2 as well as Lord Irvine Laidlaw’s 82-ft hybrid yacht Highland Fling. In terms of sheer scale and power, the Supermaxi class, open to yachts over 100-ft, catch many admiring glances. Comprising boats dually designed to cruise and race, Filip Balcaen’s superyacht Nilaya has won the last three editions although it was mega yacht Hetairos’s appearance in 2012 that made the most memorable headlines. At 216-ft (66.7m) she became the largest yacht ever to appear at the event. Proof that the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is always pushing boundaries, forever evolving.

Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2014 Winners

May 24, 2014

The lovely Italy yacht charter destination – Capri played a host to the Rolex Capri Sailing Week for 10th consecutive year. The event’s programme was planned to comprise six days of competing and, attracted a truly international fleet of 21 yacht from 11 different nations. Despite two days lost due to lack of wind, there was sufficient high quality racing to place three yachts at the top of their respective classes: luxury yacht Robertissima III (GBR) took Mini Maxi Racing, sailing yacht Good Job Guys (ITA) won in Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising and sailing yacht Azzurra (ITA) placed first in TP52. All three were rewarded for their efforts with a Rolex timepiece.

Luxury yacht ROBERTISSIMA III (GBR) at the start of the Volcano Race - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Luxury yacht ROBERTISSIMA III (GBR) at the start of the Volcano Race - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

The Rolex Capri Sailing Week is always a special event. The first event in the Rolex’s Mediterranean yachting season, it always comprises different racing formats, and a selection of the most glamorous racing yachts in sport today. All set against the stunning backdrop of the Italian island of Capri.

12 Maxis and Mini Maxis arranging in length range from 18.29 to 30.5 metres, and nine TP52s, were the stars of  the show organised by the International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club Capri. Teams from Austria, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the USA competed for the Caprese glory.

Robertissima III ignites the Volcano Race
The assembled Maxis and Mini Maxis started their week on Monday with the Volcano Race, a 230 nautical-miles offshore course from Capri to Stromboli and back. The fleet found light to moderate wind conditions and Roberto Tomasini Grinover’s JV72 Robertissima III outperformed her opponenets to win out overall. Fastest on the water was Slovenian 100 foot Maxi yacht Esimit Europa 2, which finished the course in 27 hours, 16 minutes and 44 seconds to secure the line honours victory.

Enrico Gorziglia's sailing yacht GOOD JOB GUYS (ITA) at the Rolex Capri Sailing Week - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Enrico Gorziglia's sailing yacht GOOD JOB GUYS (ITA) at the Rolex Capri Sailing Week - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Robertissima III arrived in Capri three hours and a half after than the Slovenian Maxi, and one hour and 12 minutes ahead of her near sistership sailing yacht Jethou (GBR) after an intense duel on the water. According to Robertissima III tactician and Rolex Testimonee, Paul Cayard: “It seemed like we were a little bit faster (than Jethou) in upwind conditions. Maybe we have a little more stability.” A key moment in race occurred at the active volcano, Stromboli, the most southerly mark of the racecourse, as Cayard explained: “Esimit was in front and sailed into a hole behind Stromboli, so we went wide. Jethou tried to cut the corner on us and parked also.” Robertissima used the opportunity to build an all-important lead.

Bothersome breeze

Robertissima III was declared the overall winner of the race on xx, when it became clear her corrected time could not be bettered. At this point, the Maxis changed their mode or set-up for the scheduled three days of coastal racing.

Fate or the wind gods conspired against the best laid plans and both Thursday and Friday were written off due to lack of any breeze. Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio tried his considerable best to come up with a solution. On Thursday Reggio set the fleet off on a coastal course in the waters around Capri, but as the yachts approached the dramatic Faraglioni rock formation the breeze disappeared. On Friday, the fleet left Capri’s Marina Grande in two occasions without success.

Alberto Roemmers' sailing yacht AZZURRA (ITA) on Day 2 - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Alberto Roemmers' sailing yacht AZZURRA (ITA) on Day 2 - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Final day reprieve
As frustration built for all concerned, the situation for the final day was studied intently. The predictions were good, and hopes were high for a final bout of spirited competition across all classes.

In the Mini Maxi class, Giuseppe Puttini’s Swan 65 Shirlaf  from Italy won the coastal race, held over a racecourse of 20 nautical miles, in tricky, shifting wind conditions. Second was British entrant Lupa of London followed by Hungary’s representaive, Wild Joe.

The combination of the Volcano Race and coastal race results gave the overall win in Mini Maxi Racing division to Robertissima III. “Capri is a fantastic place”, said owner Roberto Tomasini Grinover. “I never found such a hospitality like in Capri in no other club in the world. All my crew was really delighted to be here and to be treated to the hospitality of the Yacht Club Capri and Rolex, and of course the result is absolutely positive.”

In the Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising division, Enrico Gorziglia’s Italian entry Good Job Guys  performed best across the too races to secure top spot.

TP52s debut in Caprese waters
Away for the Maxi racing, attention was firmly on the debut of the TP52 class at Rolex Capri Sailing Week. Nine teams from seven different countries took part.

Newcomer, Phoenix, won the first race of the championship and its first-ever race. Eduardo de Souza Ramos owner and helmsman of the Brazilian TP52, was enthralled with his debut: “It was such a fantastic experience. I never thought it would ever be like that. It is an experience I am never going to forget.”

In the end, the TP52 fleet sailed six out of the its 10 races scheduled. Five different teams took bullets to confirm the competitiveness of the class: Phoenix, Quantum Racing (USA), Vesper (USA), Azzurra (ITA) and Rán (SWE). Overall victory went to Alberto Roemmer’s team after a final day were they came close to perfection, scoring a second and a first place.

“It is a great feeling”, Azzurra helmsman Guillermo Parada emphasised. “Capri is a unique place to sail, and is known for light conditions. We made some changes in the mast, the sails, the trimming, we changed some members of the crew to improve the performance in these conditions, and it allowed us to be competitive. I’m happy, because we made a plan and it worked out. We would be delighted to come back here next year.”

Second overall was Jim Swartz’s Vesper, followed by Doug DeVos’ Quantum Racing.

Michelle Galli’s B2 (ITA), winner of the Rolex Middle Sea Race in 2013, suffered through lack of experience inshore. “We are really an offshore team, but this year we decided to be here in Capri and in Porto Cervo with the TP52 fleet,” the Italian owner explained. “This fleet competes at a very high level, and we are still trying to learn how to race with them. A great experience.” Galli will be in Saint-Tropez for the Giraglia Rolex Cup in June, “where we’ll be back to offshore mode, my passion.”

Successful formula
Andrew McIrvine, Secretary General of the International Maxi Association, wa enthusiastic about the event despite the whimsical Caprese breeze: “The owners love it here. Mixing the TP52s and the Maxis worked very well, as there was always something to look at. When the Maxis were away for the Volcano Race, the TP52s were racing here in Capri, and that was good for everybody. I think it is a very good formula.”

Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2014 drew to a close with a prize giving ceremony held at the Yacht Club Capri, where class winners received their trophies and Rolex timepieces.

Next event in the Rolex sailing portfolio is the Giraglia Rolex Cup, which celebrates its 62nd edition from 13-21 June.

2014 ROLEX CAPRI SAILING WEEK WINNERS

Mini Maxi Racing

Robertissima (GBR), Roberto Tomasini

Mini Maxi Racing-Cruising
Good job guys (ITA), Enrico Gorziglia

TP52
Azzura (ITA), Alberto Roemmers

Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2014: Wind foils coastal race

May 22, 2014

Today, May 22, 2014, saw the race committee make a valiant effort to hold a coastal race for both the Maxi as well as Barclays 52 Super Series classes at the currently running Rolex Capri Sailing Week, organised by the International Maxi Association in partnership with Yacht Club Capri. Unfortunately, this came to an end, when the fleet ran out of wind off Capri‘s beautiful coastline.

Superyacht Esimit Europa 2 leads the charge off the start line for the Maxi fleet at Rolex Capri Sailing Week. Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Superyacht Esimit Europa 2 leads the charge off the start line for the Maxi fleet at Rolex Capri Sailing Week. Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Soon after midday, the Maxi fleet was first to get away on a line off the Sorrento Peninsula. Sailing directly into the precipice on the eastern coast of Capri seemed to pay dividends for those who tried it and in particular Enrico Gorziglia’s Brenta 60 Good Job Guys was punching above her weight using this tactic. However as the Maxi frontrunners passed the Faraglioni islands, the wind shut down.

Even the 100ft long maxi yacht Esimit Europa 2 stopped in her tracks. Tactician on board, Olympic 470 gold medallist and two time America’s Cup winner, Jordi Calafat explained: “We knew it was going to be very light, but then as soon as the wind hit the lee of the island…I think the race committee did the right thing to abandon the race. It would have been difficult to have a fair coastal race today.”

Esimit Europa 2 yacht was first to pass the famous Faraglioni Islands. Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Esimit Europa 2 yacht was first to pass the famous Faraglioni Islands. Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

The Spanish sailor added that for superyacht Esimit Europa 2 the situation had been worse as they were first to reach the giant wind hole off the Capri coast, enabling the fleet behind to catch them up. “We were first to park and then the fleet compressed. You need to be very lucky here. Capri is a beautful island, but it is quite high and that can make it very tricky for sailing.”

Joining Paul Cayard and Tommaso Chieffi in the afterguard of Roberto Tomasini Grinover’s sailing yacht Robertissima today in the Mini Maxi Racing class, was former Team New Zealand helmsman Cameron Appleton. After the start, the Italian Judel Vrolijk 72 enjoyed some brief match racing with her sistership, Sir Peter Ogden’s sailing yacht Jethou, on which legendary Team New Zealand/Alinghi tactician Brad Butterworth, OBE, is calling the shots. Initially Jethou looked good offshore, but then Robertissima, better stocked with local knowledge in her ranks, made gains under Capri’s cliffs.

Enrico Gorziglia's Brenta 60 Yacht Good Job Guys made great gains under Capri's dramatic cliffs. Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Enrico Gorziglia's Brenta 60 Yacht Good Job Guys made great gains under Capri's dramatic cliffs. Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

“You always like to see how races play out, but today it wasn’t going to happen,” admitted Appleton, who is more used to racing against the Robertissima crew in the Melges 32 circuit, rather than with them. This regatta, as well as Copa del Rey this summer, sees Appleton and Cayard reunited for the first time since racing together on board Torbjörn Törnqvist’s Artemis Racing TP52.

Principal Race Officer Peter ‘Luigi’ Reggio felt he had attempted to make the best of the conditions, even though Mother Nature had ultimately conspired against him. “At the start we had a nice southerly, blowing about 9 knots from 170deg while over at Faraglioni, they were getting 4-5 knots – you can live with that. Then right after the start of the 52s we heard ’2-3 knots’, then ’1-2′, ’0-1′ and when we went out there and looked it was just a parking lot. The big boats might have got across, but they would never have gotten back in here.”

Tomorrow the Maxi class will attempt to sail another coastal race tomorrow while the 52s resume windward-leewards. Racing is due to commence at 1200.

Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2014 to kick off tomorrow

May 18, 2014

Everything is ready for the start of this year’s Rolex Capri Sailing Week, running in the fabulous Italy yacht holiday location – Capri from May 19 to 24. The 10th edition of Mediterranean classic will kick off at 10:00 CEST tomorrow with the Volcano Race, a testing offshore race between Capri and the Aeolian Islands reserved for the 12 Maxi yachts competing this year.

Fleet berthed at Capri's Marina Grande - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Fleet berthed at Capri's Marina Grande - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

The nine TP52s that complete the international fleet make their debut on Tuesday. The favourable weather forecast looks set to guarantee an enthralling week of racing.

Since its first edition, Rolex Capri Sailing Week has always been a meeting point for the top international crews, and the 2014 edition will be no exception. The flags of Austria, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the USA fly from the competing yachts berthed at Capri’s Marina Grande, confirming the global attraction of this event organised by the International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club Capri.

The 21 yachts from 11 countries will be divided into three different classes: Mini Maxi (18.29m to 24.08m), Maxi (24.09m-30.5m) and TP52 (15.85m).

This morning the Maxi crews busied themselves with final shoreside preparations, before leaving the dock for some practice on the waters surrounding Capri. The real action starts tomorrow. “We have a four day window of moderate East-Southeast winds, which is promising for the Volcano course,” explains Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio. “That’s around 310 nautical miles of racing.” The racecourse takes the fleet south of Capri towards Sicily, and includes famous natural marks such as the active volcano Stromboli, the turning point for another offshore classic, the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Competitors Briefing & welcome from Capri's Mayor at the Yacht Club Capri

Competitors Briefing & welcome from Capri's Mayor at the Yacht Club Capri - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Maxi fleet in offshore mode
The yachts racing the Volcano Race comprise an interesting mix of sizes from the 18.29 metres of Enrico Gorziglia’s Good Job Guys (ITA) to the 30.5 metres of Igor Simcic’s superyacht Esimit Europa 2 (SLO). In the Mini Maxi fleet, the two 72-foot Judel Vrolijk near sisterships, sailing yacht Robertissima III (ITA) and luxury yacht Jethou (GBR) are expect some close-quarter duelling. Brad Butterworth, four times America’s Cup winner calling the tactics on the British winner of the Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2012, is looking forward to the competition: “The new Jethou is a bigger boat so we’ve got some learning to do, and we are happy to learn as much as we can in the long race. We’ve got high hopes for the Volcano Race. We’ve won it before and the crew is very excited to be sailing against another very good team.”

“I don’t mind going offshore, as you know”, jokes Rolex Testimonee Paul Cayard, who won the Whitbread Round the World race with EF Language back in 1998. As tactician on Robertissima III, (former Rán 2, the three times Rolex Mini Maxi World Champion), the experienced American also expects good breeze for the Volcano Race: “It looks like it will be good wind going down, but maybe the wind will die on the way back, which would be a shame. But that’s sailing in the Mediterranean”. Asked about the conteste with Jethou, Cayard smiles: “It’s going to be interesting…”

On Thursday, the 12 Maxis and Mini Maxis will revert to inshore mode as they start a series of three coastal or windward leeward races.

While the Maxis take on the Volcano Race, the nine TP52s will undertake a practice race tomorrow before the first in their series of inshore races begins at 12:00 CEST on Tuesday . Competition is fairly even in this fleet, with strong teams like Doug DeVos’ Quantum Racing (USA), winner of three TP52 world championships; Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing (SWE), the current TP52 world champion; and, Alberto Roemmer’s Azzurra (ITA), winner of the 52 Super Series in 2012.

Pure talent
It is tradition that Rolex Capri Sailing Week attracts some of the most talented owners and professional sailors in the world. Aside from Paul Cayard and Brad Butterworth, the crews include the German three-time Olympic champion Jochen Schümann on Esimit Europa 2, the French Whitbread Round the World Race winner Lionel Pean on Hubert Wargny’s Villa Saxe Eiffel, Italian ace Vasco Vascotto on Azzurra, Spanish multiple record holder Juan Vila and America’s Cup winner Ed Baird on Quantum Racing, Italian America’s Cup expert Francesco De Angelis on Michelle Galli’s B2,… the list is seemingly endless.

The varied social programme for the week starts tonight with an official Rolex reception for the competitors, followed by the Rolex Owner’s Dinner on Thursday and the Rolex Crew Party at the emblematic Canzone del Mare on Friday. All the week’s winners will be announced on 24 May during the prize giving ceremony held at the Marina Grande.

Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2014 to kick off next week

May 14, 2014

In just under a week’s time, the enchanting Italy yacht charter destination – Capri will host the first event in Rolex’s Mediterranean yachting season. Set to run from May 19 to 24, this year’s Rolex Capri Sailing Week is expected to be one of the most important big boat rendezvous of the year. Now in its 10th edition, the 2014 event will bring six days of exciting racing both inshore and offshore, comprising the Volcano Race from Capri to the Aeolian Islands and back.

Competitors pass by the Faraglioni Rock formations off the south-east coast of Capri - Image by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Competitors pass by the Faraglioni Rock formations off the south-east coast of Capri - Image by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

When Rolex Capri Sailing Week starts next Monday, Capri’s famous rock formations will witness a quality international fleet in close combat. The International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club Capri, organisers of the event, have divided the entries into three different classes: Mini Maxi (18.29m to 24.08m), Maxi (24.09m-30.5m) and TP52 (15.85m). 21 crews from 11 different countries have accepted the challenge.

Mini Maxi: Experience on show
The Mini Maxi fleet has been sub-divided into Racing and Racing/Cruising. The Racing division features entries such as Roberto Tomassini’s Judel Vrolijk designed 23m sailing yacht Robertissima III, the former Rán 2, three times winner of the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship. “We’ve been working hard all winter. Finishing second in Palma, where we arrived with high expectations, was great, but we still need to keep working hard”, commented Tomassini. “I’ve never raced in Capri, and it has always been a dream for me, a place so glamorous and with such a super nice atmosphere; it is one of our most important regattas this season.”

Luxury yacht Jethou - Overall winner of the 2012 Rolex Capri Sailing Week - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Luxury yacht Jethou - Overall winner of the 2012 Rolex Capri Sailing Week - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

The Italian team will be reinforced on its Capri debut with some high calibre talent including Rolex Testimonee Paul Cayard: “Vasco Vascotto, our tactician, and Guillermo Parada, our strategist, have previous commitments, and our goal was to replace them with sailors with the same attitude and skills, so we decided to sail with Paul Cayard as tactician and Cameron Appleton as strategist,” explained Tomassini.

Sir Peter Ogden, overall winner of the event 2012 and second in 2013, is returning to Capri with a bigger, more powerful Mini Maxi, in the shape of the former Stig, redeveloped and modified by the sailing yacht Jethou crew over the winter. Jethou can also count on an expert tactician in the shape of Brad Butterworth. “This is one of the five or so events we do every year,” explains Ogden. “Capri is very attractive and I am looking forward to it.” Jethou also competed in Palma earlier this month.

Marina Grande, home to Rolex Capri Sailing Week - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Marina Grande, home to Rolex Capri Sailing Week - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Hubert Wargny’s 21.48m French entry Villa Saxe Eiffel is another proven yacht under new ownership. Formerly Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, she set a monohull race record at the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race.

In the Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising division, the list of participants includes Jeremy Pilkington’s Baltic 78 Lupa of London (GBR), a class winner at the 2013 Mini Maxi Rolex Worlds, and Filippo Gorziglia’s Brenta 60 Good Job Guys (ITA), the smallest Mini Maxi in contention.

Some sunlight for sailing yacht Caol Ila R - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Some sunlight for sailing yacht Caol Ila R - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Maxi: Esimit returns to the fore
The Maxi class features the biggest boats in the fleet, those over 24 metres in length. For Igor Simcic’s Slovenian entry, superyacht Esimit Europa 2, monohull line honours winner at the 2013 Rolex Fastnet and race record holder at the Giraglia Rolex Cup, this will be a first participation in the Rolex Capri Sailing Week, and the yacht’s competitive debut for the 2014 season. The powerful 100-ft Reichel/Pugh design shares its class with Leonardo Ferragamo’s Swan 90 charter yacht Solleone from Italy.

TP52: Close contest
For the first time, the Rolex Capri Sailing Week adds the competitive TP52 class, with nine boats from seven different nations. The list of participants includes Alberto Roemmers’ Azzurra (ITA); Doug DeVos’ Quantum Racing (USA); Michele Galli’s B2 (ITA), overall winner of the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2013; and Niklas Zennström’s Rán (SWE), whose team has won three Mini Maxi Rolex World Championships.

Racing starts for the Maxi fleet on 19 May at 10:00 CEST with the challenging and attractive Volcano Race, a 250-300-nautical mile offshore race between Capri and the volcanic Aeolian Islands. The TP52s will make their debut on 20 May with the first in a series of inshore and coastal races. All the week’s winners will be announced on 24 May during the prize giving ceremony held at the Marina Grande.

New look Rolex Capri Sailing Week

May 07, 2014

The big boat racing season in the popular Mediterranean yacht charter destination – Italy will fire up over 19th-24th May, with a new look Rolex Capri Sailing Week. This year, for the first time, the Maxi yacht fleet will be joined by the international grand prix 52 fleet, with Rolex Capri Sailing Week being the opening event of the class’ 2014 European circuit – the Barclays 52 Super Series.

Rolex Capri Sailing Week fleet, stern-to at Marina Grande, Capri. Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Rolex Capri Sailing Week fleet, stern-to at Marina Grande in the fantastic Italy yacht charter destination - Capri. Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Organised by the International Maxi Association (IMA) in collaboration with the Yacht Club Capri (YCC), the event will comprise separate courses for the Maxis and 52 Super Series over the first three days. While the 52s will be racing windward-leewards on the waters off Capri, the Maxis will be competing on the Volcano Race. Provided conditions allow, this will take the Maxis some 130 miles south to the Aeolian Islands north of Sicily, famous for their active volcanoes such as Stromboli, before returning to Capri. For the second half of Rolex Capri Sailing Week, the Maxis will join the 52 Super Series sailing windward-leewards.

The prize fight in the Maxi fleet will be between the racing Mini Maxis, in particular the Judel Vrolijk 72 near sisterships, sailing yacht Jethou and luxury yacht Robertissima III.

Jethou owner Sir Peter Ogden is a regular at Rolex Capri Sailing Week. The reason? “Capri,” he states simply. “The Volcano race is nice, but Capri is very attractive and I am looking forward to it. This is one of the five or so events we do every year.”

Roberto Tomasini Grinover, owner of Robertissima III, has similar sentiments about the idyllic island perched off the Sorrento Peninsula, although he admits he’s never sailed out of Capri itself. “It will be a very nice event,” he says. As to the Volcano Race, he hopes they won’t have a repeat of last year’s Rolex Middle Sea Race when they were becalmed off Stromboli.

Rolex Party and official Prizegiving at La Canzone del Mare. Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Rolex Party and official Prizegiving at La Canzone del Mare. Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Because five of Robertissima III’s key crewmen will be competing in the 52 Super Series, the team will feature some world class replacements for this regatta, including America’s Cup legend Paul Cayard and former Team New Zealand helm Cameron Appleton. However Jethou is no less well stocked in this respect, with four time America’s Cup winner Brad Butterworth calling tactics.

Both boats are relatively new for their crew. The Jethou team only raced their boat (ex-Stig) for the first time at Gaastra PalmaVela last week, while the first outing for Robertissima’s (ex-Rán) was the Rolex Middle Sea Race last autumn.

The Hungarian 60 footer Wild Joe is another Rolex Capri Sailing Week regular. “We like it very much. It is a nice event and a beautiful place,” says skipper Marton Józsa. “We are the smallest boat in this fleet and we’re up against some top boats and the top teams, but it will be interesting for us and under IRC we have some chance”.

Also competing in the Mini Maxi class is the former Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing VO70, recently acquired by Frenchman Hubert Wargny and renamed Villa Saxe Eiffel, with a crew including Whitbread Round the World Race winner Lionel Pean.

If conditions are strong, the French VO70 could well be nipping at the heels of the biggest boat in the Maxi fleet, Igor Simčič’s European-flagged 100ft maxi yacht Esimit Europa II, where multiple Olympic medallist and America’s Cup winner Jochen Schümann will be calling the shots tactically.

The racing fleet is joined by a number of cruiser racers including the classic Swan 65 and 651, Giuseppe Puttini’s Shirlaf and Austrian Marietta Strasoldo’s Luz Am Meer and Jeremy Pilkington’s much travelled Baltic 78 charter yacht Lupa of London.

The Maxi fleet will be divided up into Mini Maxi (18.29 – 24.08m) Racing and Racing/Cruising and Maxi, for yachts of 24.09 – 30.50m.

Nine boats are entered in the Barclays 52 Super Series with the favourites being the American Quantum Racing, victors of the 52 Super Series overall last season and skippered by America’s Cup winning helmsman Ed Baird. They will be up against the local heroes on Alberto Roemmers’ Azzurra on which Vasco Vascotto is calling tactics. However all eyes will be on the latest addition to the fleet, the brand new Brazilian entry Phoenix, skippered by former Star sailor Eduardo de Souza Ramos.

As ever at Rolex Capri Sailing Week, a magnificent social program is being laid on, including a Rolex reception at the Grand Hotel Quisisana on Sunday, 18th May; the Rolex Owners’ dinner on 22 May and the ‘Canzone del Mare’ evening on Friday 23th May.

Andrew McIrvine, Secretary General of the International Maxi Association looks forward to the event: “This is an exciting event for the IMA for a number of reasons. It is now the fourth edition of a new offshore race in the Med. It is a new cooperative venture with the 52 SuperSeries. Finally it is set in the idyllic location of Capri with all the glamour that we can add with the Maxis and the support of Rolex.”

Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2014, May 19 – 24

April 25, 2014

A fascinating Italy yacht charter destination – Capri, positioned in the Gulf of Naples, represents a strategic balcony over the cobalt waters of the Mediterranean and one of the world’s most spectacular locations. Since 2005, this amazing venue has played a host to Rolex Capri Sailing Week, a yearly rendezvous for first-class yachts and sailors from all over the world. The traditional opener for Rolex’s Mediterranean yachting calendar will celebrate its 10th anniversary from 19-24 May, with an amazing programme, including one week of inshore and coastal sailing off Capri, as well as a testing offshore race.

Maxi yachts at the start of the first Coastal Race 2013 - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Maxi yachts at the start of the first Coastal Race 2013 - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Competing yachts will be divided into three different classes: Mini Maxi (18.29m to 24.08m), Maxi (24.09m-30.5m) and TP52 (15.85m). For the Maxi fleet, action on the water starts on 19 May at 10:00 CEST with the emblematic ‘Volcano Race’, a 250 – 300-nautical mile offshore race to the volcanic Aeolian Islands and back. The TP52 fleet will make its debut on 20 May with the first in a series of inshore and coastal races. All the week’s winners will be announced on 24 May during the prize giving ceremony held at the Marina Grande.

Sailing yacht Caol Ila R, Overall Winner of the Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2013 - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Sailing yacht Caol Ila R, Overall Winner of the Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2013 - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

21 crews from 11 countries have so far registered to take part including 12 Maxis and nine TP52s. The Maxi fleet will range from the 30.5m/100ft Slovenian superyacht Esimit Europa 2, campaigned by Igor Simcic, down to the 18.57m Italian entry Good Job Guys. Esimit Europa 2 won monohull line honours at the 2013 Rolex Fastnet Race and is the current race record holder at the Giraglia Rolex Cup. The competitive TP52 fleet comprises experienced teams such as Michele Galli’s B2, overall winner of the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2013.

Superyacht Esimit Europa 2 - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Superyacht Esimit Europa 2 - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

The Rolex Capri Sailing Week is organised by the International Maxi Association in collaboration with the Yacht Club Capri.

La Canzone del Mare is the venue for the Rolex Dinner Party - Photo by Rolex Kurt Arrigo

La Canzone del Mare is the venue for the Rolex Dinner Party - Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

While the action on the water is guaranteed, the 2014 Rolex Capri Sailing Week also promises an inviting programme of activities ashore in the idyllic environment of Capri. Full details are provided below:

EVENT PROGRAMME

Sunday, 18 May
09:00-18:00 Registration, Measurement and Inspection
18:00 Competitors Briefing

Monday, 19 May
10:00 Maxis: Offshore ‘Volcano’ Race

Tuesday, 20 May
12:00 TP52: Windward/Leeward Races

Wednesday, 21 May
12:00 TP52: Windward/Leeward Races

Thursday, 22 May
12:00  Maxis: Coastal or Windward/Leeward Race
12:00  TP52: Coastal Race

Friday, 23 May
12:00  Maxis: Coastal or Windward/Leeward Race
12:00  TP52: Windward/Leeward Races

Saturday, 24 May
12:00  Maxis: Coastal or Windward/Leeward Race
12:00  TP52: Windward/Leeward Races
18:00  Prize giving – Marina Grande

Publication of Notice of Race for RORC Transatlantic Race

April 11, 2014

The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) is delighted to announce the publication of the Notice of Race for the RORC Transatlantic Race. The event will kick off from Lanzarote, Canary Islands on Saturday 29th November 2014, finishing in the fabulous Caribbean yacht charter destination – Grenada.

RORC

The Notice of Race can be viewed and downloaded from the RORC Transatlantic Race website or by contacting the RORC Race Office.

Organised by The Royal Ocean Racing Club in Association with the International Maxi Association, the race is supported by: Puerto Calero Marina, Lanzarote, Camper & Nicholsons Marina Port Louis, Grenada and Grenada Tourism.

RORC Transatlantic Race supported by International Maxi Association

March 10, 2014

The International Maxi Association (IMA) has teamed up with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) in the organisation of the very first RORC Transatlantic Race and will hand over an exclusive vintage sterling silver trophy to the Line Honours winner.

Line honours victory for Hap Fauth's American Mini Maxi, Bella Mente in action during the recent  RORC Caribbean 600 - Credit: Tim Wright/photoaction.com

Line honours victory for Hap Fauth's American Mini Maxi Yacht Bella Mente in action during the recent RORC Caribbean 600 - Credit: Tim Wright/photoaction.com

The IMA invites the expanding Maxi fleet to a new format of a classic autumn competition, starting from Puerto Calero, Lanzarote on 29 November and racing 2,800 n miles across the Atlantic to the inviting waters of Grenada in the Caribbean.

IMA Secretary General, Andrew McIrvine is pleased with the RORC association for the race:
“The IMA’s support will provide a resounding endorsement of RORC’s new Transatlantic Race which has a strong future. With time, it will attract a large and competitive fleet that aspire to a real challenge and strong competition in a warm-water race to the Caribbean. The IMA are pleased to support the RORC organisation and are delighted that the beautiful island of Grenada has been chosen for the finish of the race. The IMA will continue the partnership with the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with a planned rally and party at its yacht club in British Virgin Gorda following the finish of the RORC Transatlantic Race.”

The International Maxi Association has been expanding its activities since 2010 when the first Mini Maxi World Championship took place in Porto Cervo, Italy with 24 entries from two continents and 49 Maxis participating in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. Its growing membership boasts 12 Honorary Members and 60 Members with boats such as sailing yacht RÁN; charter yacht Sojana; luxury yacht Alegre; sailing yacht Bella Mente and superyacht Nilaya regularly competing in the RORC’s international racing programme of over 20 races, including the RORC Caribbean 600 and Rolex Fastnet Race.

It is anticipated that a strong fleet of Maxi, Mini-Maxi and Superyachts will take part in the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race which also allows them to compete in Caribbean regattas before heading back to the yacht racing season both sides of the Atlantic.

Grenada Tourism Authority with Camper and Nicholsons Marinas, will host the first edition of the race to the spice island of Grenada which will also act as a set-up for The Atlantic Ocean Racing Series. This quadrennial event is run jointly by the New York Yacht Club, Royal Yacht Squadron, Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm Trysail Club. Starting in February 2015 with the RORC Caribbean 600, followed by the Transatlantic Race from Newport R.I. to England, the Rolex Fastnet Race and finally the Rolex Middle Sea Race.