Beginners luck

Costa Smeralda once again delivered glorious conditions during the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship.

10 September 2018


The pinnacle event in the maxi yacht calendar, the 2018 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup attracted 41 yachts this year.

The most remarkable victory was that of the Wally 77 Lyra in the Wally class, despite it being the first ever regatta for her owner-driver, Chinese Canadian Terry Hui.

“It was a very pleasant surprise, a superb experience to be in Porto Cervo, one of the best harbours in the world, and sailing with some of the best sailors in the world,” said Hui. “The Wally owners are an interesting, friendly group, so I’ve been very lucky. The real story is that all the crew compensate for all of my mistakes!” Hui only decided to start sailing two and a half months ago, but bought the Lyra campaign from James Murdoch complete with the majority of her crew.

The J Class claimed the top three slots In the SuperMaxi class, with Topaz sealing the deal by one point. The Southern Wind 82 Grande Orazio took top spot in the Maxi class, with owner Massimiliano Florio dedicating his victory to Southern Wind Shipyard’s founder, Willy Persico, who died in May.


In the faster Mini Maxi class, Roberto Lacorte’s Vismara 62 SuperNikka claimed his third Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup victory, while Riccardo De Michele’s Vallicelli 80 H20 took out the slower Mini Maxi class.

German Dieter Schön’s Momo retained her Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship title with a day to spare.

“We are very pleased – the whole team is happy. Overall we’ve had a very good season,” said Dieter Schön.

“The boat is performing well, but the boat is also sailed very well. If both come together, you get good results.”

Of this year’s event, newly appointed International Maxi Association President, Benoît de Froidmont commented: “The event has been a great success. The organisation as usual was perfect and the conditions were extremely good for sailing and all of the participants were happy with the racing. The diversity of the fleet has been good and we didn’t get any complaints about the class splits.”

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