Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2022. Photo credit: Rolex/CaBorlenghi
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup: top-notch sailing continues on Day 2
Day 2 brought a second almost ideal day of sailing in Porto Cervo in the 32nd edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, a regatta organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the IMA (International Maxi Association) and with the support of the long-standing title sponsor Rolex.
Today's racing saw the J Class and the Mini Maxi 1 class complete two windward-leeward races, while the Race Committee chose a course inside the channel that separates Sardinia from the archipelago of La Maddalena for the remainder of the competing divisions. After rounding an upwind offset mark, all classes taking on the coastal course headed downwind towards the Bisce pass and the island of Spargi, which the larger yachts rounded clockwise for a total of 33 miles, while the Mini Maxi 2, 3 and 4 classes rounded a mark prior to reaching the island, for a total of 26.5 miles.
Porto Cervo and the Costa Smeralda granted participants an encore to yesterday's spectacular first day at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, with the breeze once again coming from the south east and blowing at around 12 to 15 knots on the coastal course, and a little more for the windward-leewards. This was combined with waves of approximately 1.5 metres. The four J Class yachts, like the six Mini Maxi 1 entries, are very closely matched within their categories, so close encounters and thrilling mark roundings ensured an exciting day on the water. The J Class winner of the day, thanks to two first place finishes, was Svea with Bouwe Bekking calling tactics. She was followed by Ranger, helmed by Ed Baird, and Velsheda, with Tom Dodson on tactics. The boats hold the same rankings in the provisional overall classification.
Among the Mini Maxi 1 group, Proteus and Vesper were the winners of today's races. In the provisional general classification Vesper, with tactician Gavin Brady, hangs onto the lead ahead of Proteus and Cannonball, with Michael Menninger and Vasco Vascotto calling tactics respectively.
In the Supermaxi division, the Swan 115 Shamanna remains firmly in the lead, adding another victory to yesterday's first place. The Spirit Yachts 111 Geist took second place today and sits in second place overall, while the Swan 115 Moat 1 also took third today and provisionally holds third place in the overall classification.
In the Maxi class today it was the Southern Wind 82 Grande Orazio that lead the fleet ahead of the Wally 100 Y3K, and the RP 82 Highland Fling XI, who remains in command of the overall standings.
A heated battle is on for the first three positions in the Mini Maxi 2 with the Mylius 80 FD Twin Soul B owned by Luciano Gandini claiming the win today ahead of the RP 78 Capricorno, owned by Alessandro Bono, and the Wally 78 Rose, who retains her position at the top of the provisional ranking on equal points with Capricorno.
In the Mini Maxi 3&4 classes, Riccardo De Michele's Vallicelli 78 H2O repeated yesterday's winning performance to confirm her leadership of the provisional overall classification. Second and third of the day were the classic Swan 65 Shirlaf, owned by Giuseppe Puttini, and the Mylius 65 FD Oscar 3, owned by Aldo Parisotto.
Steve Hayles, navigator on Svea: "When you win things seem simple, we had good speed and Bouwe [Bekking] is very good at simplifying things that are not really simple. We also had some problems with the electronics that we tried to solve between races, but that didn't stop us from sailing our own way and having a good close fought battle with Velsheda."
Luciano Gandini, owner of Twin Soul B: "It was a fantastic day which kicked off with a great start. Today's wind was the ideal intensity for our boat, we rounded the upwind offset mark first and from that moment everything became easier. The architect of the race, along with the entire crew of course, was our tactician Tommaso Chieffi, who was also able to optimally manage the traffic of boats from the other classes. Racing together with this fleet in and around the islands of the archipelago is fantastic. We sailed well, I enjoyed myself at the helm like I hadn't done in years!"
Lorenzo Bodini, tactician on H2O: "Today's conditions were ideal for us, we sailed very well. The goal was to win and we are happy because we brought home two great first places. The race could be described as a long windward-leeward, we were able to minimise the manoeuvres that would have cost us more compared to more agile boats than ours. The owner was very good at the helm, he is always happy to race in these waters."
Racing will continue tomorrow with starting procedures scheduled to commence at 12 midday. The plan is to have two windward-leeward races for the Maxi classes, while the other divisions will be set a coastal course. Weather forecasts are currently predicting a light breeze.