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New faces and hardware at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

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New faces and hardware at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
New faces and hardware at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

Action between the world's largest racing yachts on the world's most magnificent race course is due to take place over 3rd to the 9th September. Held on the famous emerald waters off Porto Cervo, Sardinia, the annual Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is jointly organised by the event's hosts, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, this year celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the International Maxi Association, the body sanctioned by World Sailing to represent the Maxi classes. The event takes place with the support of Rolex, which has backed the event since 1985.

At present 43 boats are entered in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, plus an additional five competing in the annual Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship. This is one of two World Championships, yacht racing’s governing body, World Sailing, permit the International Maxi Association to stage. The other is the J Class World Championship, the inaugural running of which is taking place in Newport, Rhode Island, this week.

Maxis are typically any sailing yachts larger than 18.29m (60ft). At this year’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup they will range from 60ft footers, such as first time participant Frenchman Jean-Pierre Barjon and his Swan 601, Lorina 1895, up to 36m and one of the most regular Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup competitors, Viriella of Italy’s Vittorio Moretti. The fleet comes with a wide age range from the 1976 vintage, but still successfully campaigned Swan 65 ketch, Shirlaf, of Giuseppe Puttini (which last year lost the lead of the Mini Maxi Racer Cruiser class on countback) to American George David’s all-conquering state of the art canting keeler, Rambler 88; from the 1985-built Martin Francis 28.2m Diablesse to the brand new Malcolm McKeon, Vitters-built 32.5m long Ribelle of Salvatore Trifirò.

Among the fleet are 11 Wallys, including the two Wallycentos Sir Lindsay Owen Jones’ Magic Carpet Cubed and Galateia to the Wally 106 Open Season, campaigned by International Maxi Association President Thomas Bscher, down to the Wally 77 Lyra via the three Wally 80s, Nahita, Tilakkhana and Philippe Ligier’s Ryokan 2.

Other major boat building marques represented are Southern Wind Shipyard with their 102 Seawave, campaigned by Jaroslaw Pawluk, Michael Cotter’s 94 Windfall and the 96, Sorceress, of Canadian Will Apold. Among the entries from Nautor, largest is the Swan 90 Nefertiti, making a welcome return in the hands of American Juan Ball.

Among the latest hardware taking part at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is new IMA member Luigi Sala’s Yoru, a Mark Mills-designed Vismara 62 which will provide some top boat-on-boat competition for her sistership, Roberto Lacorte’s SuperNikka, which so decisively won the Mini Maxi Racing class in 2015.

Another new Italian addition is Aldo Parisotto’s 65ft Oscar 3, the latest launch from Mylius Yachts.

Other new faces this year include Carl Gerrit Deilmann and his CNB76 Tamina and the local Sardinian team of Adelasia di Torres, skippered by Renato Azara, who is campaigning the swift-looking 2010-built Laurie Davidson-designed 70 footer, Pendragon VI. Making the trip from Spain is Andres Varelas Entrecanales and his X65 Pelotari.Project.

Thomas Bscher, President of the International Maxi Association, welcomes the crews: “The IMA is delighted  to see a strong entry for this edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. As usual there is a strong fleet of Wallys, the Maxi 72s are having their World Championship plus this year there is a much larger Mini Maxi contingent. We look forward to excellent racing on the beautiful waters off Porto Cervo”.

Racing takes places from 4th until 9th September with a layday scheduled for Thursday 7th September.

The International Maxi Association will be hosting its annual dinner at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda on Wednesday, 6th September, with the IMA Annual General Meeting taking place on Thursday 7th September.