The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup: sunny clime, rocky outcrops, ideal wind conditions and high-class sailing. 2013 marks the 24th edition of the world’s premiere rendezvous for Maxi yachts held in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. Five days of racing on the Costa Smeralda commences tomorrow with 37 eye-catching Maxi yachts (ranging from 60 to a gigantic 157-ft) negotiating an environment as challenging as it is dramatic.
Preparation, whether physical, strategic or tactical, plays a crucial role in the lead up to a contest that demands perfection and where competition across the board is fierce. Crews started the last day before racing undertaking tailor-made fitness regimes onshore before honing starts, manoeuvres, tactics and communication on the water.
The 37-strong fleet comprises 13 yachts competing in the fourth running of the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship. The Class, governed by an owner/driver rule, is in the ascendancy with a host of yachts in contention this year. Ran 2 (GBR) won the first two editions in 2010 and 2011. She narrowly relinquished her title in 2012 on countback to Hap Fauth’s fellow 72-ft Bella Mente(USA).
This week for the Maxi Worlds Richard Hewson will be sailing the RP82 Highland Fling in a class of four boats. The competition is always excellent at these regatta’s and top crew work, good tactics and precise navigation will be critical for a victory.
An absolute contrast to the cut and thrust of the ultra-modern Mini Maxis is provided by the presence of four elegant timeless J-Class yachts, all in excess of 120-ft. Two of which – Shamrockand Velsheda – were first launched over 80 years ago. The sight of these yachts gliding elegantly through the Maddalena Archipelago will provide onlookers with a vista of rare grace. Equally, the talent and technology offered by the Maxi, Supermaxi and Wally classes – showcases for contrasting styles and designs – will provide compelling sailing. The largest attending yacht is the 157-ft Nativa from Italy.