Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup Brief

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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.

Southern Wind launches SW96 – ‘Sorceress’

April 19, 2017

Written by Rachael Steele

After the Reichel/Pugh SW90 recently set sail from Cape Town for delivery to her owner, Southern Wind has announced the launch of its SW96 hull: SORCERESS.

The launch of SW96 - SORCERESS at the Southern Wind shipyard

The launch of SW96 – SORCERESS at the Southern Wind Shipyard

The latest hull from Southern Wind is designed by renowned naval architects Farr Yacht Design, who also designed racing yachts SOJANA and LEOPARD 3. The interior and exterior styling was completed by another big name in the yacht industry – Nauta Design, who have previously worked on a number of Southern Wind sailing yachts including MRS MARIETTA CUBE and ALLSMOKE.

The owner was already a keen racer and owned an 80ft custom carbon yacht before commissioning SW96 for both coastal and transoceanic races as well as bluewater cruising.

In relation to her racing design, S/Y SORCERESS features a lightship displacement of 57 tonnes, a lifting keel and a twin rudder configuration.

Sailing yacht SW96 SORCERESS - Built by Southern Wind

Sailing yacht SW96 SORCERESS – Built by Southern Wind

The interior layout places the salon above the engine room, which is accessed via a full-height control room. Forward and mid is the owner’s cabin and three en-suite guest cabins, providing privacy to all guests on board.

After the successful completion of her launch, sailing yacht SORCERESS began her sea trials in preparation for her journey from Cape Town to the Mediterranean, where she is expected to be delivered to her owner in May, before making her September debut at the 2017 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo, Sardinia.

Main Dimensions:
LOA: 29,3 m
LWL: 26,8 m
Beam: 6,95 m
Draft: Lifting keel 3.4 – 5,4 m
Displacement: 57 tons

Bella Mente wins world title at Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

September 12, 2016

Written by Rachael Steele

At the conclusion of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Hap Fauth’s Bella Menta has fought off five other competitors in the Maxi 72 class to retain the world title. Close battles throughout the classes on Friday led to intense racing during the final races with strong challenges issued to any crew looking to retain titles. Learn more about the yachts and the crew reactions below. The following is a press release from International Maxi Association.

Press Release

Third Rolex Maxi 72 World title for Bella Mente
International Maxi Association press release issued on 11th September 2016

Hap Fauth's Rolex Maxi  72 World Champion, Bella Mente. Photo: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

Hap Fauth’s Rolex Maxi 72 World Champion, Bella Mente. Photo: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

American Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente retained her Rolex Maxi 72 World Champion’s crown at the conclusion of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the International Maxi Association.

The defending champion had led from the outset of the regatta, although at one point on Friday her advantage had dropped to less than a point. Today the tables turned and winning the first race in 10-12 knots was enough for Fauth and Bella Mente to hang on to their World title with a race to spare.

“It feels just fantastic,” said a beaming Fauth. This is Bella Mente’s third Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship title win, and her second consecutive. But this was the hardest yet, the US team targeted by the five other Maxi 72s. “Everybody was aware of our strengths and there was always a blocking attempt in the starting sequences. We know what we like to do and they would go out of their way to move us around.”

Tactician Terry Hutchinson praised the team: “A solid effort all round. Copa del Rey was a good toughening event for us. Proteus sailed very well there and it raised the bar in the fleet. We knew for sure that this one wasn’t going to be a cakewalk.

“We work the law of averages and when the regatta got shortened because of the weather, I had a lot of anxiety, because you rely on a longer race series to just chip along. But the guys – from bow to stern – did great work. It is absolutely a pleasure and privilege to work for Hap. He provides us with everything we need to win. And we execute.”

International Maxi Association President Thomas Bscher accepts the Wally class prize. Photo: International Maxi Association

International Maxi Association President Thomas Bscher accepts the Wally class prize. Photo: International Maxi Association

The biggest class completing at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup was Wallys. This was won by the biggest, fastest boat, Thomas Bscher’s Wally 107, Open Season, which claimed today’s first race.

“I am very pleased and for the boat it is great,” commented Bscher. “Sometimes the wind favours the bigger boats and sometimes the smaller boats, so you have to be a little bit lucky. We had a very good start with three firsts and a second and got into a position where you could only lose. We were a bit nervous because two bad results would have killed us today, but the first race was our best all week – everything was 100%, which is rare!”

One of the star performers of the day was Jean-Charles Decaux’s Wally 77, J One, which won the final race elevating her to second overall.

The remaining classes sailed a singleton coastal course today.

Kim Schindelhauer’s 33m Winwin scored a final race win to consolidate her lead in the Super Maxi class. This class included the impressive match racing between the Js, Velsheda and Lionheart. Lionheart claiming the final coastal race to win overall on countback, under the J’s JCA handicap system, retaining their Corinthian King’s Cup for a fourth consecutive time.

Racing off the Costa Smeralda's spectacular course. Photo ©: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

Racing off the Costa Smeralda’s spectacular course. Photo ©: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

In the Maxi Racing class, Mike Slade’s Leopard 3 benefited from George David’s Rambler 88 being OCS. The British maxi then maintained a tight cover over her thoroughbred American rival to score her third bullet of the series and with it overall victory.

Similarly Pier Luigi Loro Piana’s My Song scored her third win today to come out on top in the Maxi Racer-Cruiser class, in what could be this Farr 84’s final regatta under her present ownership. Her replacement, a Reichel-Pugh 130, has been on the dock in Porto Cervo all week.

A final win today for the Mills 68 Prospector (ex Alegre/Caol Ila R) was not enough for her new American trio of owners to prevent Carlo Alessandro Puri Negri’s Atalanta II from claiming honours in the Mini Maxi Racing class.

“I am happy to finish like this,” said Puri Negri, adding that his 2004 vintage, but much modified Farr 70 preferred Thursday and Friday’s lighter conditions. He praised his long term tactician Gabriele Benussi. “He was more than half of the reason we won here.”

Meanwhile in Maxi Maxi Racer-Cruiser, Gérard Logel’s Swan 601 @robas finally scored a race win today, but Benoit de Froidmont’s Wally 60, Wallyῆo claimed the overall class prize.

This was Wallyῆo’s first win at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup for her Geneva-based owner, who sails with a largely French crew. “We have a great team and the boat was well prepared so it was good job by the team and the wind conditions were perfect for us – this boat prefers lighter winds,” explained de Froidmont. “Today was fun. We were quite conservative at the start – we didn’t want to take any risks.”

Looking at this year’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, President of the International Maxi Association, Thomas Bscher said: “I think we’ve had one of the best events I can remember because finally the big boats came back so there will be good growth in that fleet over the next couple of years. Today you can have a 120 footer, which is as nimble as a 100 footer ten years ago. And there are more of them and they are wonderful boats.” He expects 10 more boats to be here next year.

At Wednesday night’s International Maxi Association Owners’ Dinner Dieter Schön’s Maxi 72 MOMO was announced as the 2015 IMA Boat of the Year, while Rambler 88 owner George David was presented with the trophy for winning the 2016 Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge.

A special prize was presented to Carla Comelli, owner of the Wally 107 Kenora.

Maxis hit home stretch in Porto Cervo

September 11, 2016

Written by Rachael Steele

The final day of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup approaches and fair weather coupled with mixed fortunes for the regatta favourites has left the top spots in most categories up for the taking. First time MYRC racer WINWIN has seen success in recent regattas but is holding on tenuously to her lead against INOUI  in the supermaxi division. Read on for more details: the following is a press release from Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

Press Release

MAXIS HIT HOME STRETCH IN PORTO CERVO

Open Season, Bella Mente, WinWin, Leopard 3, My Song, Atalanta II,
Wallyño and Grande Orazio lead

Porto Cervo, Italy. 9th September 2016. An intense penultimate day at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Rolex 72 World Championship left most of the competing divisions with everything to play for in tomorrow’s grand finale. All divisions sailed coastal courses today, with the Maxi 72 and Wally classes completing two races around the islands off Porto Cervo. The breeze of around 10 knots on the starting line hit 15 at some points along the course but began to die out later in the afternoon with some of the courses being shortened to ensure a fair race for all competitors. Racing in the event organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the International Maxi Association is scheduled to conclude Saturday 10th September.

OpenSeason_Wally_2016

Open Season – Wally, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship 2016. Photo Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

 

Wally

Despite breaking her winning streak today, Thomas Bscher’s Open Season remains firmly at the helm of the division with a seven point lead over Tango G – winner of today’s second race. Y3K claimed her first bullet of the week in the final race of the day but remains in fifth place overall. The Wally 77 Lyra posted a 7-3 scoreline today and remains in third place overall, on equal points with J One, owned by Jean Charles Decaux, in third place. Although Open Season will be hard to beat, the scheduled windward leeward races could reshuffle the cards in this 13-boat division, the largest in the event.

Jochen Schuemann, tactician on Open Season: “So far so good. We have had very good, clear starts and at the moment we have a good lead. Our direct opponent Magic Carpet has been unlucky this week, otherwise they probably would be closer. We are looking forward to some up and down courses tomorrow which usually are quite good for us. Today the wind helped the small boats to beat the bigger boats and that’s how it is in sailing sometimes. We sailed a very good race even though we finished eighth – but we are not worried about that result.”

Maxi 72
Bella Mente also had mixed fortunes today with a fifth and a first place in the two short coastal races. The American boat with strategist Adrian Stead now sits four points ahead of Momo, Markus Weiser on tactics. Roberto Tomasini’s Robertissima is less than one point behind in third place. With two windward leewards scheduled for the final day, every tack and gybe will count in the battle for the title of Rolex Maxi 72 World Champion 2016.

SuperMaxi

The 33-metre Baltic WinWin, launched in 2014 and participating in the Maxi event for the first time, has lead the SuperMaxi group from the off, but with just a four point lead over last year’s winner Inoui, the newcomer cannot afford to rest on her laurels tomorrow. The J-Class Velsheda, in third place on equal points with Inoui, will also be battling for a top spot along with Nikata, just one point behind in fourth.

Maxi Racing

The match between the two racing machines in this division, George David’s Rambler 88 and Mike Slade’s Leopard 3, will come down to the line tomorrow. After taking her second consecutive bullet today, Leopard now sits one point ahead of Rambler, meaning that the victor in tomorrow’s race will also claim the division win.

Maxi Racing Cruising

Second today by just five seconds in corrected time, Pier Luigi Loro Piana’s My Song continues to lead overall. A five point delta in this 7-boat division will leave tactician Tommaso Chieffi feeling fairly confident but not totally safe. The battle for runner-up places will be an interesting one between today’s winner Alpina, third-placed Altair-Aegir, Grande Orazio in fourth and Windfall in fifth – all separated by just three points.

Mini Maxi Racing

The Farr 70 Atalanta II claimed her second win today to move up to pole position in the division. The final result will all come down to the line tomorrow as Bryon Ehrhart’s Lucky sits just one point behind, followed closely by Prospector in third place.

Mini Maxi Racing Cruising

Wallyño’s second win of the series consolidated her position at the top of the Mini Maxi Racing Cruising fleet. Meanwhile a second place finish for Arobas today sees her hold on to third place, now on equal points with H2O in second.

Southern Wind

Windfall finally relinquished the lead she has held throughout the week as Massimiliano Florio’s SWS 82 Grande Orazio moved up to the top spot overall. With just one point between the two, tomorrow’s race will be decisive.

My Song - Maxi Racing Cruising, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship 2016. Photo Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

My Song – Maxi Racing Cruising, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship 2016. Photo Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Wallyño - Mini Maxi Racing Cruising, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship 2016. Photo Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Wallyño – Mini Maxi Racing Cruising, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship 2016. Photo Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Prior to what promises to be an adrenaline-filled final day, owners are relaxing this evening at the Rolex Gala Dinner at the Cala di Volpe Hotel, while proceedings will conclude with the prize giving ceremony in Piazza Azzurra tomorrow afternoon.

The Maxi fleet is scheduled to be on the regatta course tomorrow, Saturday 10th September, for a first warning signal at 11.30 a.m. Light winds of approximately 10 knots are forecast.

During the regatta daily releases, photos and video content will be available on www.yccs.com and via the Rolex Pressroom.
For updates on social media #MaxiRolexCup.

PROVISIONAL RESULTS at 9th September 2016
WALLY
Position. Boat (R1, R2, R3,R4, R5, (DISCARD)) – Total
1. Open Season (1,1,1,2,(8)) – 5
2. Tango G (4,2,5, (8),1) – 12
3. Lyra (2,4,(8),7,3) – 16

MAXI 72
Position. Boat (R1, R2, R3,R4, R5, (DISCARD)) – Total
1. Bella Mente (1,2.5,2.5, (5), 1.25) – 7.25
2. Momo (4,1,3.75,2.5,(6.25)) – 11.25
3. Robertissima (3,2.5,1.25,(7.5),5) – 11.75

SUPERMAXI
Position. Boat (R1,R2,R3) – Total
1. WinWin (1,2,4) – 7
2. Inoui (7,1,3) – 11
3. Velsheda (4,5,2) – 11

MAXI RACING
Position. Boat (R1,R2,R3) – Total
1. Leopard 3 (2,1,1) – 4
2. Rambler 88 (1,2,2) – 5

MAXI RACING CRUISING
Position. Boat (R1,R2,R3) – Total
1. My Song (1,1,2) – 4
2. Alpina (6,2,1) – 9
3. Altair – Aegir (4,3,3) – 10

MINI MAXI RACING
Position. Boat (R1,R2,R3) – Total
1. Atalanta II (4,1,1) – 6
2. Lucky (2,2,3) – 7
3. Prospector (1,6(DNF),2) – 9

MINI MAXI RACING/CRUISING
Position. Boat (R1,R2,R3) – Total
1. Wallyño (2.2,1,1) – 4.2
2. H2O (1.2,4,3) – 8.2
3. Arobas (4.2,2,2) – 8.2

SOUTHERN WIND
Position. Boat (R1,R2,R3) – Total
1. Grande Orazio (3,4,4) – 11
2. Windfall (2,5,5) – 12
3. Blues (5,7,7) – 1

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup Video – Day 4 Review

September 09, 2016

Written by Mike Smith

Nahita - Wally, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship 2016.   Photo Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Nahita – Wally, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship 2016.
Photo Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

MAXI BATTLES IN PORTO CERVO

September 09, 2016

Written by Mike Smith

Sailing Yahts Open Season, Bella Mente, My Song, Windfall hold lead while Leopard 3, Lucky, Wallyño move to top.

Leopard 3 and Rambler 88 - Maxi Racing, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship 2016. Photo Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Leopard 3 and Rambler 88 – Maxi Racing, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship 2016. Photo Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

In Porto Cervo, Italy the 52 sailing yachts participating in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup were keen to get back on the water today after yesterday’s second enforced rest day caused by severe wind and sea conditions. A start scheduled for 10.30 had boats out in the starting area bright and early and a 10 knot north-easterly breeze accompanied the various competing divisions across the line.

Coastal courses were set for all divisions which brought the Maxis south to round Mortorio and Soffi islands and – while the Maxi 72s and Wallys finished off Porto Cervo – the remainder of the fleet sailed on into the Gulf of Arzachena and were set to continue to round the Monaci islands before heading back to port. However a dying breeze forced the YCCS Race Committee to shorten the course for the remaining divisions in the early afternoon.

Nahita - Wally, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship 2016.   Photo Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Nahita – Wally, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship 2016.
Photo Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Wally
The 32.5-metre Open Season, Jochen Schuemann on tactics, added a third consecutive victory to a thus-far perfect scorecard. The lighter conditions obviously suited some as Y3K posted her best score of the week with a second place in today’s coastal race, while the Wally 94 Galma took third place, also her top score so far. Today’s result allowed Open Season to lengthen her overall delta to 8 points ahead of the Wally 80 Tango G while the Wally 77 Lyra remains in third place.

Maxi 72
The race for the World Championship title remains incredibly tight at the top of the Maxi 72 fleet with Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente scoring a second place in today’s coastal race to retain her overall lead less than one while point ahead of Robertissima. The Italian team, with Vasco Vascotto on tactics took victory in today’s 16-mail race, thereby overtaking Germany’s Momo which moves down to third place overall.

SuperMaxi
WinWin hangs tight in the top spot thanks to another solid second place finish today and widens the gap just slightly between herself and Nikata in second. Just two points further back is Inoui, climbing back up the leaderboard with a win today after a disappointing seventh place on Tuesday. The newly-launched Highland Fling 15, with Mike Toppa calling tactics, claimed third place in today’s competition.

Maxi Racing
Fortunes were reversed today in the Maxi Racing division as the match race between George David’s Rambler 88 and Mike Slade’s Leopard 3 saw the latter storm around the course to cross the finish line 6 minutes ahead of her rival. With today’s win Leopard, with Ian Budgen on tactics, edges into first place, on equal points with the new Rambler.

Maxi Racing Cruising
No change at the top of the Maxi Racing Cruising Division as Pier Luigi Loro Piana’s My Song notched up a second consecutive bullet to consolidate her top spot overall ahead of the Southern Wind 94 Windfall. Hot on Windfall’s heels are both Altair-Aegir and Grande Orazio – all three of whom sit on 7 points.

Mini Maxi Racing
With a 2-2 scoreline the American boat Lucky lived up to her fortunate moniker today as she moved up to first place overall. Now just one point behind her thanks to a win today is Atalanta II with Gabriele Benussi on tactics, while the American team on Prospector moved down to third place.

Mini Maxi Racing Cruising
A bullet for the Wally 60 Wallyño took her to first place overall today ahead of the Vallicelli 80 H2O. The French Swan 601 Arobas claimed second place today to take her up to third place overall.

Southern Wind
Windfall holds on to her lead of the Southern Wind classification followed by Grande Orazio on the same points score.

Crews gathered at the YCCS this evening to kick back and relax at the Audi Crew Party.
Participants will be back on the regatta course tomorrow, Friday 9th September, with the first starting signal scheduled for 11.30 a.m. The forecast is for variable breeze of 10-12 knots.

Jethou, Momo, Bella Mente - Maxi 72, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship 2016. Photo Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Jethou, Momo, Bella Mente – Maxi 72, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship 2016. Photo Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

PROVISIONAL RESULTS at 8th of September 2016
WALLY
Position. Boat (R1, R2, R3) – Total
1. Open Season (1,1,1) – 3
2. Tango G (4,2,5) – 11
3. Lyra (2,4,8) – 14

MAXI 72
Position. Boat (R1, R2, R3) – Total
1. Bella Mente (1,2.5,2.5) – 6
2. Robertissima (3,2.5,1.25) – 6.75
3. Momo (4,1,3.75) – 8.75

SUPERMAXI
Position. Boat (R1,R2) – Total
1. WinWin (1,2) – 3
2. Nikata (2,4) – 6
3. Inoui (7,1) – 8

MAXI RACING
Position. Boat (R1,R2) – Total
1. Leopard 3 (2,1) – 3
2. Rambler 88 (1,2) – 3

MAXI RACING CRUISING
Position. Boat (R1,R2) – Total
1. My Song (1,1) – 2
2. Windfall (2,5) – 7
3. Altair – Aegir (4,3) – 7

MINI MAXI RACING
Position. Boat (R1,R2) – Total
1. Lucky (2,2) – 4
2. Atalanta II (4,1) – 5
3. Prospector (1,6(DNF)) – 7

MINI MAXI RACING/CRUISING
Position. Boat (R1,R2) – Total
1. Wallyño (2,1) – 3.2
2. H2O (1.2,4) – 5.2
3. Arobas (4.2,2) – 6.2

SOUTHERN WIND
Position. Boat (R1,R2) – Total
1. Windfall (2,5) – 7
2. Grande Orazio (3,4) – 7
3. Blues (5,7) – 12

Velsheda all-square with Lionheart on the Costa Smeralda

September 09, 2016

Written by Mike Smith

Velsheda moved the J Class match at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup to all-square today on the Costa Smeralda when they got the better of Lionheart, leading all the way from the start line to the finish gun of a course which was shortened because of the fading, unsettled breeze. In the aftermath of the strong winds which cancelled racing Wednesday, the awkward leftover seas and uneven, mainly light wind pressure put a premium of maintaining boatspeed, minimising manoeuvres and smooth, fast helming. Indeed it was a day when both J Class Owner-drivers had to work especially hard and efficiently.

lionheart martinez studio

lionheart martinez studio

The course took the Super Maxi fleet on a two mile opening beat to the Alpha mark then south first, to round the little, rocky Mortorio and Soffi islands to starboard, dealing with the awkward transition zones, then in to the Kilo and Golf marks at the entrance to ‘bomb alley’ before finishing in the final vestiges of the breeze at Echo, by the Monachi islets.

After a lacklustre start on the opening day Velsheda proved they had learned from their mistakes and made the better start of the two Js, on the pin end of the start line, on the gun and sailing with pace. This time it was the older boat which won the first cross and was then able to sail their own race and extend away from Lionheart. The ‘men in black’ did close up a little bit towards the finish but in many respects this was a soldier’s course with very little upwind, tactical work. “We did really make a decision to sail our own race. In these conditions you lose so much speed tacking and making manoeuvres and so a couple of times at least we did let Lionheart tack away and do their thing and we did ours and were the better for it.” Commented Tom Dodson, tactician on Velsheda. “But in saying that our trimmers and our owner really did an exceptional job keeping the boat going well. We are much more comfortable in that light stuff now than we were say a year or two ago.” “And we enjoyed the company of the Lionheart crew last night on the Bystander. Maybe our hospitality helped them overindulge?” grinned Dodson mischievously.

“Concentration really was the name of the game today in these soft and shifty conditions, especially towards the end of the race.” commented the Owner-helm of Velsheda.

Velsheda-©-Martinez-Studio

Velsheda-©-Martinez-Studio

“To be honest Velsheda just sailed better than us today. They were going better, got a good start – so did we – but they got away and that was pretty much it. It was game over for us really, there were no real opportunities to get back at them. We did a bit when they double tacked near the finish. But that’s it, all square 1-1 at the moment. Bring on tomorrow.” Bouwe Bekking the Lionheart tactician summarised.

In the Super Maxi class race Velsheda took sixth place today with Lionheart seventh. Inoui, the Briand designed lime green 108 footer won today’s race, Race 2 of the regatta.

J Class Yachts Begin Their Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

September 07, 2016

Written by Mike Smith

The 32 mile traditional course up ‘Bomb Alley’ passing the La Maddalena Archipelago and returning offshore of the islands offered a brisk passage for the J Class yachts to open their account at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. Velsheda made a small error in their timing and so Lionheart made the better start to lead Velsheda all the way around a relatively straightforward track and finished one minute and six seconds ahead. On corrected time under the regatta’s ORCsy scoring Velsheda placed fourth and Lionheart sixth with the Javier Jaudenes designed Baltic Yacht 108 Win Win taking victory in the Super Maxi Class which the two J Class compete in.

J Class yachts open their account at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016 - Yacht Lionheart - © Martinez Studio

J Class yachts open their account at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016 – Yacht Lionheart – © Martinez Studio

After the first scheduled racing day was lost to a buffeting Mistral yesterday conditions for Race 1 started out manageable and ended up moderate. With the wind easing progressively the mean wind speed around the course was between 14 and 15kts. Velsheda were forced to scrub off too much speed in the final seconds before the gun and left them flat footed compared with rivals Lionheart. Lionheart were ahead at the first cross on the two miles opening windward leg and from there built their lead until they lost their jib halyard and had to sail bare headed while it was retrieved during a drop. “We had a good start when I think Velsheda were early on their timing. We held them out to the layline and could cross them and from there we got ahead a bit ahead. Mostly we were around a minute ahead until the jib halyard came undone when we lost a little.” Recalled Lionheart’s tactician Bouwe Bekking. “But overall it was a good fun race.”

J Class yachts open their account at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016 - Yacht Velsheda - © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

J Class yachts open their account at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016 – Yacht Velsheda – Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

“We made it a little hard for ourselves, we really did.” Smiled Tom Dodson the Kiwi tactician from Velsheda. “We wanted the pin end of the line and were just a bit late in pulling the trigger. Lionheart had it spot on and were away.” “We are probably a day short on practice really. We had a couple of small problems along the way which did not help. It was a nice course but with quite a lot of reaching there were not too many opportunities to come back.” Dodson concluded. Interestingly under J Class scoring the two boats level rate on the circular random heavy airs course format and so Lionheart takes first blood in the J Class match up in Sardinia.

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.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015 Started Today

September 08, 2015

Written by Eva Belanyiova

Today marks the first day of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015, held off the coast of the stunning Italian yacht charter destination Porto Cervo in Sardinia, which was represented by close, tactical light airs competition through the five divisions. In the Maxi 72 there was no team dominating throughout the race, however in the 13-strong Wally Class, sailing yacht OPEN SEASON was a sure winner of the day.

Sailing Yacht SENSEI - Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Photo Carlo Borlenghi for Rolex

Sailing Yacht SENSEI – Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – Photo Carlo Borlenghi for Rolex

Design icons such as the 1997 Wally, GENIE OF THE LAMP yacht or the older yachts including the Swan 65 ketch SHIRLAF were seen on water today. The 219-foot sailing superyacht HETAIROS or the 100ft COMANCHE yacht are a great example of vessels that demonstrate just how far yacht design has come in the 35-year history of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

“This regatta,” says Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, owner of Wally Cento Magic Carpet Cubed. “It’s the one we all love because it’s the most difficult. Here everything is always so different and unpredictable. It’s never quite the same twice, no matter how much you practise.”

Sailing Yacht LYRA - Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Photo Carlo Borlenghi for Rolex

Sailing Yacht LYRA – Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – Photo Carlo Borlenghi for Rolex

Open Season‘s owner Thomas Bscher is renowned for his prowess behind the wheel of fast cars, but today he proved equally adept at steering his Wally 107 yacht in the light breezes of the Costa Smeralda to victory in both of today’s windward-leeward races. With three-time Olympic Champion Jochen Schümann calling tactics, Open Season’s early advantage is going to be a tough challenge for the other Wallys to overcome, although defending champion Lindsay Owen-Jones will be as determined as anyone to beat Bscher’s crack crew.

Owen-Jones shares Bscher’s passion for motor racing, and both owners are long-standing members of the Wally family. After scores of 3,2, Owen-Jones’s 100ft sailing yacht WallyCento lies in 2nd overall and he is determined to do better during the rest of the week. A change of course tomorrow could bring a change in fortunes. At least that’s what Owen-Jones will be hoping. His two previous yachts – Magic Carpet and Magic Carpet Squared – are the most successful in the 20-year history of the Wally racing circuit. Indeed the 1997-vintage Magic Carpet, a 77-footer now known as J One, sits on equal points with scores of 2,3 from today, a testament to the longevity of this German Frers design and of current owner Jean Charles Decaux’s ability to get the best out of this perennial performer.

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Photo Carlo Borlenghi for Rolex

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – Photo Carlo Borlenghi for Rolex

The boat that launched the Wally revolution, the one that is widely credited with transforming the look of the modern cruiser/racer, is Genie of the Lamp, a 79-footer built in 1995. Twenty years ago, Genie’s sleek aesthetic was light-years ahead of her time. Genie’s owner for the past eight years, Prince Charles di Borbone des Deux Siciles, was delighted to be helming his family yacht at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – even if he wished for a better result on the scoreboard. “Genie is a very pleasant boat to helm and after 20 years she is still timeless and able to be competitive. But I haven’t done much racing this season and what I’ve seen is that the level has risen. If you step away from the group even for a little bit, it’s hard to catch up!”

What Wally’s founder, Luca Bassani saw 20 years ago, was that yacht design was too much enslaved by the demands of racing rules of the time. “The racing rules might be good or bad, but for sure they limited the development of boats, they limited the use of new technologies and materials, just because that was the tradition. All the boats were following those rules, and for me, that was wrong. Today at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup we can see boats, not only like the Wallys, but like Comanche for example which are moving forward the rules and the performance of the boats – and the fun of the owners.”

Racing resumes tomorrow with Day 2 of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2015.