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The results of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2017

September 13, 2017

Written by Rachael Steele

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup was held in Porto Cervo from the 3rd to the 9th of September and provided a treat for onlookers with seven classes participating in five races or more throughout the week-long event.

Overall winner of the Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship, SY MOMO. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

Overall winner of the Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship, SY MOMO. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht MOMO claimed the 2017 Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship, beating closest competitors PROTEUS by a single point BELLA MENTE and CANNONBALL were also close to claiming the top spot, only 2 points behind the overall winner.

“We feel really good. We are happy and proud to win here finally,” said Dieter Schön for the crew of MOMO. “After last season we improved a lot of details in our boat and as a team – very small things multiply to make you quicker.”

The Super Maxi class victory went to RIBELLE. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

The Super Maxi class victory went to RIBELLE. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

In the Super Maxi class, WINWIN also vied for top spot with a single point’s difference between them and RIBELLE deciding victory for the latter, while NILAYA, INOUI and VIRIELLA were challenged as much by the the changeable wind conditions and light breezes as they were by the other racers.

Among the Mini Maxi yachts, the crew of JETHOU proved her worth by coming in first in all 5 races to secure a lead of 7 points or greater against SEPCTRE, LUCKY and ADELASIA DI TORRES.

S/Y SUPERNIKKA claimed Mini Maxi Racer Cruiser 1. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

S/Y SUPERNIKKA claimed Mini Maxi Racer Cruiser 1. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

Although ATLANTA II finished first on the final day of racing for the Mini Maxi Racer Cruiser 1 group, it was the consistent performance of SUPERNIKKA that earned her first place, while the Mini Maxi Racer Cruiser 2 group was won by H20.

Although GALATEIA finished 9th in the penultimate race, finishing 2nd against OPEN SEASON in the final race ensured that she was the overall winner of the Wally class.

The impressive line starts from some of the world's biggest regatta yachts. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

The impressive line starts from some of the world’s biggest regatta yachts. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

The International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda organised the event, the latter celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. International Maxi Association President Thomas Bscher said of this year’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup: “It has been a fabulous week with very good conditions – strong winds, no swell, no big waves. There is a little room for improve on the organisation side and we are trying to support the officials, because we want people to come back and we want to increase the number of boats.”

Prizes were awarded by YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo, President of Rolex Italy Gian Riccardo Marini, IMA President Thomas Bscher and His Highness the Aga Khan and Princess Zahra Aga Khan.

Division Victories for Sailing Yachts INOUI, WINDFALL, SUPERNIKKA, H20, OPEN SEASON and BELLA MENTE at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015

September 14, 2015

Written by Eva Belanyiova

Saturday in Porto Cervo, located in the fabulous Sardinia yacht charter destination, the Costa Smeralda, saw the final day of the Maxi Yacht Rolext Cup and Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship, with the fleet of sailing yacht racing in eighteen knots of scirocco wind, resulting in an exciting last day of the race. The 26th edition of the regatta attracted 40 yachts between 18 to 66 metres this year, and was organised by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the main sponsor Rolex and the International Maxi Association. Sailing Yachts INOUI, WINDFALL, SUPERNIKKA, H20, OPEN SEASON and BELLA MENTE have enjoyed victories in their divisions.

Inoui (Supermaxi) - Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015 ©Carlo Borlenghi:Rolex

Inoui (Supermaxi) – Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015 ©Carlo Borlenghi:Rolex

Hap Fauth’s sailing yacht Bella Mente, with a bullet and a third place in today’s two windward-leeward races, was announced Rolex Maxi 72 World Champion 2015. The American team which boasts Terry Hutchinson on tactics managed to whisk victory from the grasp of Roberto Tomasini Grinover with his Robertissima III yacht by just one point. Dieter Schön’s yacht Momo achieved 3rd place in her premier on the waters of the stunning Costa Smeralda.

“It was just fantastic.The level of competition was so high and everyone had fun. We had a great time and the organization and hospitality was excellent.” said Hap Fauth

Comanche (Maxi Racing) - Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015 ©Carlo Borlenghi:Rolex

Comanche (Maxi Racing) – Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015 ©Carlo Borlenghi:Rolex

At the end of a coastal course of around 30 nautical miles Marco Vogele’s 33-metre sailing yacht Inoui also celebrated her victory over super yacht Viriella and Hetairos respectively in the Supermaxi division. Newly elected IMA President Thomas Bscher was also celebrating in the Wally division as his Open Season yacht rounded off a week of almost-perfect results with a 2nd place in today’s race to claim overall victory in the Wally division. After an exciting race for 2nd place throughout the week, yacht Magic Carpet Cubed, owned by Sir Lindsay Owen Jones, took the silver prize with J One yacht in third place on equal points.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015

The record-breaking 100-foot sailing yacht Comanche, owned by Jim and Kristy Hinze-Clark, gave fantastic performances throughout the week and it is believed that she will be joined by a number of more pure racing machines for the next edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

In the Maxi division, which together with the Mini Maxis completed a slightly shorter coastal course, The Southern Wind yacht Windfall, owned by Michael Cotter was enjoying the Rolex prize and timepiece. Following an event-long leadership battle, Masimiliano Florio’s yacht Grande Orazio Pioneer Investments arrived in second place, just one point behind. The Swan 77 Tugela rounded off with the 3rd place.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015

Thanks to a victory in today’s race Riccardo di Michele’s sailing yacht H2O managed to beat Shirlaf on countback as both yachts ended with the same score. 3rd place in the Mini Maxi RC/SOT division went to Wallyño yacht. The Mini Maxi Racing Division saw Roberto Lacorte’s 2015-launched Supernikka perform consistently well throughout the week to take first place overall ahead of Britain’s Spectre and Maximilian Klink’s Caro.

“It may seem redundant to say that this was a wonderful event – the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is always a highlight of our sporting calendar – however this 26th edition of the regatta was truly exceptional.” Commented YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo “The fleet, the owners and the crews were all of an incredibly high standard and mother nature stepped in to provide almost perfect conditions.”

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015

Already excited about the next Maxi event Bonadeo continued “The conclusion of a perfect event seems the perfect time to invite you all, if you haven’t already done so, to enrol for the very first edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Caribbean Cup taking place in April 2016 at our Caribbean home in Virgin Gorda where we are lucky enough to have another beautiful regatta course and constant trade winds.”

The YCCS calendar in the Mediterranean continues with the Sailing Champions League final which will see teams from across Europe and beyond competing on J70 boats from 18th to 20th September.

Fantastic Royal Yacht Squadron’s Bicentenary International Regatta Comes to an End

August 03, 2015

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

The fantastic Royal Yacht Squadron’s Bicentenary International Regatta came to an end on Friday, July 31, 2015. The crews from the 24 clubs from all over the world celebrated all together the club’s 200th birthday.

A diverse fleet. The majestic charter yacht Eleonora and Bella Mente yacht at the RYS Bicentenary International Regatta - Photo by Paul Wyeth

A diverse fleet. The majestic charter yacht Eleonora and Bella Mente yacht at the RYS Bicentenary International Regatta – Photo by Paul Wyeth/

Mike Broughton, navigator on sailing yacht Jethou comments on the conditions in the Western Solent “We started in a completely different breeze to the J Class who had started upwind to the east in a south easterly. Then the westerly came and went a bit as it fought with the conditions to the east.  Eventually a light sea breeze prevailed but there were some big holes making the race a bit of a lottery. Added to that there is a spring tide, up to 3 or 4 knots, so the racing was extremely tricky. The Race Committee could have cancelled the race today given the conditions but it was a good afternoon with lots of challenges and ultimately a good race.”

IRC Class 1’s course was shortened from five to four legs at Saltmead in the western Solent.  The winner of the race was Tom Siebel’s Swan 90 superyacht Odin, sailed well by her crew which benefitted from the talents of Peter Isler as Navigator, as well as Steve Hayles as strategist/trimmer. Overall honour for the week went to Tony Langley’s fantastically sailed TP52 Gladiator.

Velsheda was the winning J Class yacht in the RYS Bicentenary International Regatta. The three J's included Ranger and Lionheart, making a fine spectacle on the Solent during the week © Paul Wyeth

Velsheda yacht was the winning J Class yacht in the RYS Bicentenary International Regatta. The three J’s included charter yacht Ranger and superyacht Lionheart, making a fine spectacle on the Solent during the week © Paul Wyeth

In the J Class, superyacht Velsheda won all four races. Luxury yacht Lionheart and Velsheda ghosted down through a shortened course finish on the last day of the regatta, followed by charter yacht Ranger, with guest Sir Ben Ainslie on board, in a thrilling finale with only the tidal current helping them to the final winning guns of the week.

“It is great to win overall and to win on handicap today,” said Velsheda owner Ronald de Waal on the last day of the regatta, “That really capped it off for us. We were on the wrong side after the start and got back into it and so it is a nice feeling to win here. This is where the J’s heritage is, Velsheda’s home, and so it very special indeed to win here.”

The three grand Classics, charter yacht Eleonora, sailing yacht Mariquita and Sumurun yacht started in the same direction, and were given one long leg to a mark near the forts off Portsmouth, against the tide.  A breakage to the top of her mast cost Mariquita a position in this last race. The overall winner has become Robert Tobin’s 1914 built Sumurun, which gained two second and two firsts in the series.

Fabulous Porto Cervo in Sardinia to host 26th Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in September

July 16, 2015

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

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

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.

CAOL ILA R (USA) leading SHOCKWAVE (USA) upwind

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 FIREFLY (NED) sailing in coastal mode - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

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

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.

Record Fleet of 250 Yachts ready to start Giraglia Rolex Cup 2015 Offshore Race

June 17, 2015

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

After three days of thrilling inshore racing on the Côte d’Azur, nestled in the gorgeous South of France yacht charter location, the focus at the 2015 Giraglia Rolex Cup now turns to today’s 243-nm offshore race start. Running from Saint-Tropez to Genoa, the offshore race represents the oldest race in the Mediterranean. This year, it is expected to host a record fleet of almost 250 yachts, surpassing the total number of 220 yachts in 2010. The breath-taking fleet will include yachts from over 20 countries, measuring up to 100 feet in length.

Teamwork at the bow of ESIMIT EUROPA 2 Yacht - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Teamwork at the bow of ESIMIT EUROPA 2 Yacht – Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Igor Simčič’s 100-ft Maxi yacht Esimit Europa 2 is undoubtedly the favourite for line honours in this year’s offshore race, although the current weather forecast suggests the record Esimit herself set in 2012 of 14 hours, 56 minutes will not be threatened.

Esimit Europa 2’s main rivals will include a host of highly competitive Maxi 72s, including sailing yacht Caol Ila R, Jethou yacht, as well as sailing yacht Robertissima III (ex Ran 2).

Sailing yacht CAOL ILA R during the second inshore race - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht CAOL ILA R during the second inshore race – Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Caol Ila R yacht was a star performer in the inshore series, although the crew are cautious about their chances for the offshore race. “I don’t think it’s going to be a record breaking race,confirmed afterguard Gordon Maguire. “The forecast has been consistently showing light weather. This area of the Mediterranean is classically unpredictable. We are preparing for a light to moderate race. The computer is currently predicting a 28-hour race.”

The Giraglia Rolex Cup 2015 offshore race start is scheduled for approximately 12:00 CEST today.

Second place overall for Nauta and Reichel Pugh-designed 84’ sailing yacht MY SONG at Les Voiles de St Tropez

October 08, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

Nauta Yachts is delighted to announce that sailing yacht MY SONG took a second place overall at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez 2014 in the IRC  A Class, with three second and one third places, just behind luxury yacht ROBERTISSIMA III (ex RAN), and ahead of JETHOU yacht. Both of these are 2009 vessels, designed by Judel Vrolijk, and are younger than MY SONG yacht by years.

Nauta and Reichel Pugh-designed 84ft superyacht MY SONG - Image courtesy of Loro Piana S.p.A.

Nauta and Reichel Pugh-designed 84ft superyacht MY SONG - Image courtesy of Loro Piana S.p.A.

Luxury yacht MY SONG is a beautiful 84-foot vessel, built by Cookson to a design by Nauta and Reichel Pugh in 1999. Accommodation is provided to up to 6 guests in 3 elegant cabins.

Below is a choice of the stylish charter yachts with design by Nauta.

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez 2014

October 06, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

Les Voiles de Saint Tropez celebrated its 15-year existence with splendour and grand spectacle this year. The popular Mediterranean regatta was hosted by St. Tropez, a fantastic French Riviera yacht charter destination, from September 27 to October 5, 2014.

Les Voiles de St Tropez 2014 - Sailing yachts Marygold and Partridge

Les Voiles de St Tropez 2014 - Sailing yachts Marygold and Partridge - Photo credit to Gilles Martin-Raget

The wind and sea gods gifted them with some exceptional conditions offering 4,000 sailors from the world over, on some 300 Modern or Classic yachts, a packed week of racing, enjoyment and conviviality. And so the curtain falls this Sunday after a final moment shared between competitors with the traditional prize-giving for the 20 competing classes. There were some nice surprises amidst the list of winners, starting with the names of newcomers like Olympian, which triumphed among the gaffers and Dorade among the Marconis, as well as confirmation of the safe bets from their respect circuits, superyacht Magic Carpet3 among the Wallys and sailing yacht Robertissima III (ex Ran) among the large IRCs.

André Beaufils, President of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez: “Another edition draws to a close and every year we find ourselves starved of superlatives in our bid to translate the general satisfaction. We have just enjoyed a beautiful edition. Every year we try to improve what is perfectible with small, added touches, and we continue to find little elements to modify. The competitors were able to get out on the racecourse everyday so they are happy. Our partners are delighted. Their guests cannot stop singing their praises. All our teams, both on shore and on the water have done a remarkable job in a great atmosphere. I am a happy President. After each edition we have a debriefing and we decide on what needs to be improved. That has been the case this year with the renewing of two of our Race Committees. For the future, we are considering making some minor modifications to the race village, if only to adapt to the work of the harbour master’s office, which will be in effect next year. The owners of the large classic boats are always appealing to us and we’re looking for solutions to satisfy as many of them as we can. We’re certainly going to address the balance between the number of traditional and modern yachts and we’re reconsidering our categories so as to best respond to the desires of certain categories of boats. The very core of my satisfaction is rooted in the observation that all our volunteers work with such passion and good humour. Those who are at the venue make Les Voiles their own, anxious that everything runs smoothly. Everything is coloured by good humour.”

Les Voiles de St Tropez 2014 Day 1

Les Voiles de St Tropez 2014 Day 1 - Photo credit to Gilles Martin-Raget

A snapshot of Les Voiles 2014

‘Grand Tradition’ group

As its name suggests, this group gathers together today’s largest classic craft and naturally it was dominated by the power of the immense charter yacht Elena of London (Herreshoff 2009) and her 1,300m2 sail area, ahead of superyacht Mariquita, the large gaff cutter by William Fife (1911) and the young centenarian charter yacht Moonbeam IV (1914).

Epoque Aurique A (Period Gaffer A) group

This year the category gathered together 14 sumptuous gaff-rig cutters, schooners or sloops, measuring 9 to 19 metres in length, half of which were over 100 years old. Up against the stalwarts of the podium in Saint Tropez, Nan of Fife (Fife 1896) and Bonafide (Sibbick 1899), it was newcomer Olympian, an American P Class from 1913, which triumphed supreme, leaving Chinook (Herreshoff 1916) to battle over the runners-up prizes with another surprise newcomer, Folly (Camper and Nicholson 1907) helmed in Saint Tropez by German Frers.

Epoque Aurique B (Period Gaffer B) group

A category placed under the glare of the spotlight this year by the awarding of the Rolex Trophy, this highly prestigious group is very coherent in terms of performance and is widely considered to be the ultimate expression of the classic spirit. The group’s triumphs went to the oldest yachts in the entire Les Voiles’ fleet. Launched in 1885, the gaff cutter Partridge honoured her fabulous creator, John Beavor Webb, by getting the better of the formidable yet dynamic ‘small gaffers’, Jap (Fife 1897) and Lulu (Rabot-Caillebotte 1897).

Les Voiles de St Tropez 2014 Day 1

Les Voiles de St Tropez 2014 Day 1 - Photo credit to Gilles Martin-Raget

Marconi A group

Among those carrying triangular sails or Marconi rigs, a most splendid spectacle was offered up by one and all, both in terms of pure aesthetics and the sporting intensity of the races. The American 12 m JI Seven Seas of Porto (Crane 1935) showed herself to be a cut above the rest, utterly dominating every race. The pacy sloop Rowdy, (Herreshoff 1916) hadn’t experienced such stiff competition for a long, long while. However, she managed to salvage something from the wreckage by securing second place ahead of another star of Les Voiles, the famous Marconi yawl designed by Olin Stephens, sailing yacht Manitou (1916).

Marconi B group

The Class Q designed by Paine (1930), Jour de Fête, entrusted to the expert hands of Pascal Oddo, triumphed during each of the three races validated in this group. Leonore, the other Q Class designed by Johann Anker, was unable to respond other than by keeping the Marconi sloop Sirius (Stephens 1930) astern of her to snatch second place.

Epoque Marconi C (Period Marconi C) group

This was another group, which was remarkably well balanced and gave rise to some delightful battles. Of these, it was the now legendary newcomer (Sparkman and Stephens 1930) Dorade yacht, helmed by her American owners Matt and Pam Brooks, which triumphed after a superb hand-to-hand combat with the no less legendary Skylark of 1937 (Olin Stephens) and Cholita (Potter 1937)

Epoque Marconi D (Period Marconi D) group

Smaller in size, the protagonists of this group from between the 1920 and 1950s raced entirely coherently. The May design Arrow from 1924 imposed ahead of the Cornu design Jalina (1946) and Sonda, a sublime 8m from 1951 designed by Gruer.

Classic Marconi A group

The large Italian Marconi sloop Il Moro di Venezia was embroiled in a fierce combat throughout the week but ultimately managed to resist the attacks of the formidable 12 m JI Sovereign skippered by the Bérenger brothers (Boyd 1963) and Ikra Boyd 1964). Eventually Philippe Monnet was able to get his 1956 Sparkman&Stephens design Lys onto the podium to conclude the achingly tight racing in this group.

Classic Marconi B group

The André Mauric design Marconi sloop Fantasque took the win ahead of Maria Giovanna (Stephens 1969) and Outlaw (Illingworth 1963)

J Class: Ranger supreme

Four J Class boats really were a feast for the eyes amongst amateurs and experts alike offshore of Pampelonne. These giants managed to complete 4 races and charter yacht Ranger, a beautiful replica by Jackson dating back to 2003, utterly outwitted her adversaries superyacht Velsheda (2nd) and Lionheart yacht.

15 m JI; The Lady Anne’s revenge

Though the Annual Trophy for the 15 m JI was already in the hands of sailing yacht Mariska (Fife 1908) before Les Voiles even kicked off, the Britons on The Lady Anne (Fife 1912) made it a point of honour to conclude this fine year with victory in Saint Tropez. Mariska snatched second with one Pierre Antoine Morvan at the helm, ahead of Hispania (Fife 1909) and Tuiga.

“Vintage” 12 m JI

Four Vintage 12 m JIs were competing in their own race circuit at Saint Tropez. Wings (Nicholson 1937) secured the win with two victories of the three races run, ahead of Vanity V (Fife 1936) and Vim (Stephens 1939)

Tofinous and Code 0

They represent the classic spirit in its modern version and so it was that the Tofinous and Code 0s were able to race on the same race zone as the classic yachts, combining their carbon sails with the large cotton sails. It was the Tofinou 12 Camomille who bagged the win ahead of the other Tofinou 12 Milou and Aloha 2, François Bouy’s Code 1.

Modern craft

Five groups from the IRC rule were this year accepted on the Modern round in Saint Tropez.


This category witnessed an absolute jewel of a battle between the impressive Maxi 72 prototypes, with Robertissima III (Judel Vrolijk 2009) taking victory and sailing yacht Jethou (JV 2012), just beaten to second place by luxury yacht My Song, the Nauta 84 designed by Reichel Pugh in 1999.


The X Yacht INXS RD by Philippe Frantz made a stunning comeback after a calamitous first day to rack up four race wins and dominate the densest and most homogenous group of the modern yachts. She was some three boat lengths ahead of Les Voiles’ stalwart, James Blackmore aboard Music, the large Frers-design Swan, and the other Music, a Swiss Baltic 590.


Another newcomer to Les Voiles that really made her presence felt is the TP 52 Nanoq and her “all star” crew led by James Spithill, who secured victory thanks to a marvellous start to the week. Astern of her was the other TP 52 Gladiator skippered by Tony Langley, and Spirit of Malouen VI skippered by Sébastien Petit Huguenin.


Some of the greatest international builders can be found amongst this eminently competitive group. Adrien Follin and Give me Five were victorious by a narrow margin against Frédéric Bouillon and his Wallis. Michael Mueller on Pappes made it onto the third step of the podium.


It was a fine victory for the A35 Chenapan with 3 successes out of the 5 races validated, ahead of another A35, Tchin skippered by Jean Claude Bertrand and the Lago 950 Java Bleue, skippered by the lovely Jacky Maitre.


Equalling the record, some twelve Wallys graced Les Voiles in their dedicated round off Pampelonne. Magic Carpet3 took the win, though the grand slam eluded them after they lost their hold on victory in the third race to Magic Blue, which managed to secure second place overall ahead of the 94-foot superyacht Galma.


Rolex Trophy (1st Period Gaffer B yacht): Partridge

Edmond de Rothschild Trophy (1st Modern yacht over 16m): Robertissima III

BMW Trophy (Wally Class): Magic Carpet3

Town of Saint Tropez Cup (1st Modern yacht outright): Robertissima III

Yacht Club de France Trophy (YCF): Alcyon

Trophéminin (Women’s Trophy) (1st female crew): No Limit

French author: Denis van den Brink

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014, August 31 – September 6

July 03, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

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.

Giraglia Rolex Cup 2014 to kick off tomorrow

June 12, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

Set to run from June 13 to 21, this year’s 62nd Giraglia Rolex Cup has had a special feel about it ever since the Yacht Club Italiano announced that the offshore race would exceptionally finish in Monte-Carlo this year, as part of the celebrations surrounding the inauguration of the Yacht Club de Monaco’s new clubhouse. The added allure of Monegasque principality has been reflected in the entries. Of the 242 yachts registered for the 2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup, some 214 are expected to attend the 241-nm race from Saint-Tropez to Monte-Carlo via the Giraglia rock.

Giraglia Rolex Cup 2014 course map

Giraglia Rolex Cup 2014 course map

The Giraglia Rolex Cup was first held in 1953 as part of the Yacht Club Italiano and Yacht Club de France’s contribution to rebuilding friendship between their respective countries in the aftermath of the Second World War. It immediately became a firm favourite in the Mediterranean yachting calendar. Rolex first partnered the event in 1997, and the event has grown in size, complexity and stature all the while retaining its Italiano-Franco flavour and popularity.

The 2014 event starts at midnight on 13 June with a 59-nm race from Sanremo to Saint-Tropez. Immediately following will be three days of inshore racing in and around the Gulf of Saint-Tropez from 15 – 17 June. Then, on Wednesday, 18 June, the main event, the offshore race, sets off to Monte-Carlo, via the now iconic landmark of the Giraglia rock located just off the northern tip of Corsica.

Mini Maxis JETHOU (GBR), STIG (ITA) and ALEGRE (GBR) reach the Giraglia rock at daybreak in the 2013 race - Image by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Mini Maxis JETHOU (GBR), STIG (ITA) and ALEGRE (GBR) reach the Giraglia rock at daybreak in the 2013 race - Image by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

The Slovenian Maxi flyer superyacht Esimit Europa 2, owned by Igor Simcic and skippered by Jochen Schumann, is expected to set the pace. In 2012 the all-blue, canting-keeled rocketship set a course record between Saint-Tropez and Sanremo of 14 hours 56 minutes and 16 seconds; less that half the time taken by the line honours winners in 1953 (a photo-finish between Ea and Amity in 30h 26’ 15’’).  Esimit Europa will be pursued by three other Maxi’s including Leanardo Ferragamo’s Swan 90 charter yacht Solleone skippered for the race by French single-handed sailor Marc Thiercelin.

A strong contingent of seventeen Mini Maxis, including four state-of-the-art out-and-out racers will form a harrying pack. Given the right conditions, the British crews of sailing yacht Jethou, luxury yacht Alegre and Ràn will be hoping to emulate Shockwave yacht’s victory in 2010, as will the Italian team on Robertissima III yacht, who will be equally conscious that an Italian yacht has not won since the 13.7m Tartaruga in 2008.

Saint-Tropez will host three days of inshore racing and the start of the Giraglia Rolex Cup - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Saint-Tropez will host three days of inshore racing and the start of the Giraglia Rolex Cup - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

In the middle of the fleet, where competition will be typically fierce in spite of the largely Corinthian leanings of the crews, last year’s winner Alizée, owned by Laurent Camprubi, has returned understandably hoping to repeat a glorious performance and be the first yacht in many years to achieve back-to-back victories. Camprubi will have his work cut out. First the conditions have to favour a yacht of around 13-metres, and then Camprubi has to get his tactics and strategy absolutely right. And, all the while, his crew needs to eek every last performance edge from their craft throughout the course, day or night, rain or shine, wind or no wind. It is a tough task and not to be under-estimated.

The international fleet looks set to fall just short of the previous record fleet of 220 yachts set in 2010. All the same it is a kaleidoscope of nationalities, drawn mainly from Europe, with Italy best represented followed by France, United Kingdom, and, impressively, Russia. More exotic flagged yachts come from the British Virgin Islands, USA and even New Zealand.

Aerial view of Saint-Tropez's Vieux Port and the Giraglia Rolex Cup fleet during the 2013 edition

Aerial view of Saint-Tropez's Vieux Port and the Giraglia Rolex Cup fleet during the 2013 edition - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

The 2014 Giraglia Rolex Cup begins on Friday, 13 June with the main offshore race scheduled to start on Wednesday, 18 June. The final prize giving will be held at the Yacht Club de Monaco on Saturday, 21 June at noon CEST.

Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2014 Winners

May 24, 2014

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

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.


Mini Maxi Racing

Robertissima (GBR), Roberto Tomasini

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

Azzura (ITA), Alberto Roemmers