Stunning start

The first day of the 29th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Maxi 72 Rolex World Championship saw more than 40 participating maxi yachts enjoy fantastic sailing conditions.


Photography by Rolex/Borlenghi

Sailors saw Sardinia at its best with a mistral wind of 12 to 16 knots, with gusts of up to 18 knots at some points on the coastal route. The Mini Maxi groups 1 and 2 had a very similar but slightly shorter course, while the Maxi 72s, competing for their World Championship, faced two windward-leeward races on a different regatta course.

Reigning champion Momo, helmed by YCCS member Dieter Schoen with Marcus Wieser on tactics, immediately racked up two consecutive victories. Dario Ferrari at the helm of Cannonball took two second places. In third place on equal points were the American boats Lucky and Proteus.

Michele Ivaldi, navigator on Momo, summarised the excellent debut: “We had a perfect day, one to remember, both in terms of our result which speaks for itself and the perfect conditions, typical of Sardinia, a little mistral and flat seas!

Advertisement

“On our race course we had wind of 12 to 16 knots, with a few shifts to the right, especially in the second race, ideal and manageable conditions. We got two great starts that gave us the opportunity to ‘unleash the horsepower’ of our boat, the choice of sails was perfect, the boat sailed very well so we were able to control the race from the end of the first upwind leg, we couldn’t have had a better start.”

The Super Maxi category sees three J-Class yachts competing: Topaz, Velsheda and Svea, which respectively occupy the top three positions in the classification followed by the two modern Super Maxis, Vittorio Moretti’s Viriella and Pier Luigi Loro Piana’s My Song, the fastest boat on the water – but penalised in compensated time.

Tactician Alberto Bolzan explained: “Unfortunately, the corrected time result didn’t reflect the way the day went, we’re really happy with how the group worked, with how the boat sailed and the choices we made so we’re heading home with a smile. Over the next few days we will be working on the numbers to improve our performance on a boat that is already fantastic.”

In the Wally Class, Magic Carpet Cubed dominated.

Given the difference in length, the Wallycentos soon stretched away from the rest of the fleet doing battle on the course through the La Maddalena archipelago. As they approached the finish line a spectacular skirmish took place between J One and Lyra, however a subsequent protest led to the disqualification of J One, initially class leader. The new owner and helmsman of Lyra, Terry Hui, a Canadian born in Hong Kong, had an excellent debut.

Among the Maxis it was the Southern Wind Grande Orazio owned by YCCS member Massimiliano Florio that took the best corrected time ahead of the fastest yacht of the fleet gathered in Porto Cervo, Rambler, which finished in second place on corrected time. Third place went to Inti-3, the Wally 94 owned by Lauro Buoro.

In the Mini Maxi 1 group, the defending champions on SuperNikka immediately made their intentions clear on the regatta course, winning ahead of Wallyño and Lorina 1895. Roberto Lacorte, helmsman and the owner of SuperNikka: “A beautiful but challenging day, Spectre gave us a hard time, this year they have updated their sails, but that makes things more fun. We did what we promised to do and got the result.

“Our meteorologist Riccardo Ravagnan perfectly forecasted both the direction and intensity of the wind, in every part of the day. We had an average wind that went from 14 to a maximum of 18 knots, there were drops, passing inside the islands, but the intensity and direction were what we expected, and this allowed us to race with the right configuration.”

 

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement