Perfect conditions at Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

Mistral winds at 16 to 22 knots gifted the fleet sailing at the 32nd edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo with a day of perfect conditions.

The Race Committee announced yesterday that the start of racing would be moved up an hour to get the most out of today’s predicted conditions. The starting procedures for the coastal race for all classes got underway punctually at 11:00am, as there were no windward/leeward races on the day’s roster.

Tomorrow, September 10 local time, will be the final day of the event and starting time scheduled has been moved up to 10:00am.

The coastal race, set up by the Race Committee, took the fleet upwind to Secca di Tre Monti, then beam reaching to round Isola dei Monaci, then on a long downwind run south around the islets called Mortorio and Soffi. Then it was upwind to conclude off Porto Cervo for a total of 27nm.

The Mini Maxi Classes 2, 3 and 4 sailed on a similar but shorter course of 24 nautical miles.

J Class racing – Carlo Borlenghi, Rolex pic

The J Class yachts duelled as if they were in a match race, showing just how well the teams on these classic 40m yachts can sail. Svea finished ahead of Ranger and Topaz, so is sure to win the event. She was welcomed back to port by blank gunshots, a seafaring tradition that the J Class yachts are keeping alive.

The end results in the Super maxi class have also been decided a day before the conclusion of the event. The Swan 115, Shamanna, will be at the top of the podium thanks to today’s first place finish ahead of Geist. Moat 1 had to withdraw after a technical problem with her mainsail outhaul while both Viriella and Spirit of Malouen X withdrew from the competition.

YCCS member, Pier Luigi Loro Piana, got his first Maxi class win today at the helm of his brand new yacht, My Song. Second and third places respectively for Rambler and Galateia. With today’s fourth place, Highland Fling XI is in the lead overall of the Maxi class with seven points advantage on Galateia and 11 on Bullitt.

Vesper is solidly in the lead of the Mini Maxi 1 class, thanks to a first place today. She is well ahead of Proteus, fourth today, and Bella Mente, third both in today’s race and overall. Two British yachts, Northstar of London and Jethou, lowered their sails right after the start in mourning for Queen Elizabeth II.

In the Mini Maxi 2 class, the French 65ft yacht Spirit of Lorina, won today by just 22 seconds on corrected time ahead of Rose. Third was Ryokan 2. The overall provisional scoreboard for this Class is very tight and it all comes down to tomorrow’s performance: Capricorno ended the day just one point ahead of Twin Soul B and 2 points ahead of Rose.

Today was the fourth bullet in as many races for YCCS member, Riccardo de Michele’s H2O, sailing with Lorenzo Bodini tactician. Second place today for the Swan 65 ketch, Shirlaf ,with Gabriele ‘Ganga’ Bruni tactician. Third place for Blue Oyster. Overall H2O is in the lead ahead of Oscar 3 and Blue Oyster.

Ken Read, tactician on My Song: “The crew has done an exceptional job to get the boat to where it is. The fact that we’re sailing a brand-new boat at 20 knots at the Maxis and sailing as hard as we are, congratulations to the whole team.

“Pigi (Pier Luigi Loro Piana) had a great day sailing today. He’s really getting the hang of the canting keel, two rudder thing. Today he did his best job by far and really sailed the boat well. It’s kind of a case of letting the boat do its thing. When a boat has the jets that this boat has downwind, you just get out of the way and let the boat do its thing and that’s what we’re doing.”

Francesco Mongelli, navigator aboard Vesper: “Today was a picture-perfect day for us. The boat was really fast, just as she always is in these conditions. We sailed well and our closest competitor (Proteus) started OCS. On a bad day we have to look back on days like today when everything went right. We’re really happy both for our results and because Cannonball is back.”

Tomorrow, the final day of racing at this event, will see the starting sequence scheduled at 10:00am. The forecast is for Mistral at about 25 knots.

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the IMA (International Maxi Association) with the support of the event’s long-time title sponsor, Rolex.

Full results:

JPK August 2023
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