Maxi Fleet, Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2022. Photo credit: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi
32nd Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup concludes in Porto Cervo
The final classification of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup remains unchanged from yesterday due to the cancellation of the coastal race scheduled for today's final day of competition, caused by a strong and intensifying mistral wind.
The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the IMA (International Maxi Association) and with the support of long-standing title sponsor Rolex.
The entire fleet left their docks in Porto Cervo Marina for a start scheduled for 10 a.m., and gathered in the starting area located about 2 miles south east of the Li Nibani islets. The Race Committee had selected three courses, based on the size of the boats in the various divisions, in an area that was relatively sheltered from the strong northwesterly wind. Despite careful preparations to send the boats on their final race, the committee made the decision to send the fleet back to port in the face of gusts of over 30 knots and forecasts showing the wind increasing further.
Svea is crowned winner among the J Class yachts, followed by Ranger and Velsheda respectively. In the Supermaxi division the Swan 115 Shamanna triumphed over the Spirit Yachts 111 Geist with the Swan 115 Moat 1 in third place.
In the Maxi division, the largest with 13 entries, Highland Fling XI took the win ahead of the Wallycento Galateia and the Wally 93 Bullitt. In the Mini Maxi 1 group of pure racing yachts, Vesper claimed victory ahead of Proteus and Bella Mente. The scores were incredibly tight at the top of the Mini Maxi 2 class, where Capricorno got the better of the Mylius 80 Twin Soul B by just one point, with the Wally 78 Rose taking third place.
H2O earned a clear run of four consecutive wins to triumph with a clear margin in the Mini Maxi 3&4 category. She was followed by the Mylius 65 FD Oscar 3 and the Dehler 60 Blue Oyster.
The 32nd edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will also be remembered as hosting the race debut of FlyingNikka, the first ever Mini Maxi foiler. Given her radically different design compared to traditional boats, FlyingNikka raced in her own class, the Mini Maxi 0, where she was the sole participant.
YCCS Commodore Michael Illbruck reflected on the week during the closing prize giving ceremony: "The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is a special event, unique I would say, which we are proud to organise. Some of the best sailors in the world come to Porto Cervo to sail on J Class boats, designed in the 1930s, as well as maxi yachts at the cutting edge of naval technology. We will continue to raise the bar and follow a path of innovation and excellence. My thanks go to our partner Rolex, the Race Committee and the International Jury, the YCCS staff and all the owners and sailors who are the real protagonists of this event, and my congratulations go to all the winners of this 32nd edition."
Quotes from the division winners:
Bouwe Bekking, tactician on the J Class Svea: "We had a fantastic week, we did a lot of training, we sailed well, had good starts and that helped a lot. The crew work was excellent, the boat was well prepared, no breakages which is a big thing with these J Class boats which weigh 185 tonnes. Porto Cervo is a fantastic place. Sailing around the rocks and also the mixture of a couple of up and down races as well – good committee, good organisation, fantastic scenery, it's where you can see the most beautiful pictures of these boats."
Christopher Brand, boat captain of the Supermaxi Shamanna: "We're delighted with the result, the boat goes brilliantly and the crew was perfect. We thank the organisation for setting up a Supermaxi class separate from the J Class yachts, which improved the competition. Congratulations to our opponents."
Irvine Laidlaw, owner of the Maxi Highland Fling XI: "The boat is 13 years old this year and we're delighted that we can still compete and compete well against all these other boats that are significantly younger. We'll be back next year with a new 80-foot cat and we're looking forward to that very much, it's the best place in the world to go sailing and hopefully we'll have the fastest catamaran in the world."
Jim Schwarz, owner of the Mini Maxi 1 Vesper: "It's very special, such a special place, a special regatta. The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is the best, it's as simple as that. We will definitely be back."
Alessandro Del Bono, owner of the Mini Maxi 2 Capricorno: "I'm feeling a lot of emotions all at once, first of all because there are three generations of my family on board, from my father Rinaldo to my son, secondly because our boat has a great history (she won the Admiral's Cup in 1995) and will be 27 years old this year, then I'm proud of the crew who showed their ability despite having an average age well above the others, and finally for the beauty of racing in Sardinia."
Riccardo De Michele, owner of the Mini Maxi 3 H2O: "We couldn't race today because the wind was too strong, we agree with the decision of the Race Committee because when we were returning to the dock it had already started to increase, touching over 30 knots. During the four days of racing the weather conditions were ideal for our boat and the results stacked up. My compliments go to all my crew, manoeuvres were performed well and safely. I'm happy, it's been a beautiful week!"
With the conclusion of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, the organisational structure of the YCCS now welcomes the competitors of the Rolex Swan Cup, scheduled from 11 to 18 September, with more than 90 yachts from the Finnish shipyard gathering in Porto Cervo. Racing is scheduled to start on 13 September.