Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup (Photo by Carlo Borlenghi)

A record-sized fleet of the world’s largest performance yachts is readying itself in Porto Cervo, Sardinia for next week’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. Organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the International Maxi Association (IMA) with Rolex as title sponsor, this year’s event takes place over 4th-10th September and has 52 entries. Of these, 25 belong to members of the IMA, the body which since 1979 has been guiding and structuring maxi yacht racing globally, in collaboration with the world’s leading yacht clubs.

In terms of length, the fleet spans the giant 49.7m Ohana to entries at the shorter end of the IMA’s permitted size range – 60 footers such as Gérard Logel’s Swan 601 @robas and the Wally 60 Wallyño.

The biggest class at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will once again be the Wallys (an associated class within the IMA), which features 13 examples of the modernist high performance luxury yachts. Leading the charge off the Costa Smeralda will be the two Wallycentos, Sir Lindsay Owen Jones’ Magic Carpet Cubed and the latest example launched last October, David Leuschen’s Galateia, plus the elongated version, (now 32.7m) Open Season of International Maxi Association President, Thomas Bscher.


Photo: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

The Supermaxi class has a formidable line-up including Irvine Laidlaw’s new Swan 115 Highland Fling 15, plus two Baltic Yachts-built high performance carbon fibre one-offs: the Nauta 115 Nikata and the Javier Jaudenes-designed Win Win – both making their Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup debuts. This year sees the return of Sir Peter Harrison’s Farr 115 ketch, Sojana, following a lengthy refit.

The Js are back this year. Lionheart and Velsheda will match race their way around the race track.

The Maxi class (79-100ft) will see two high profile yachts making their Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup debuts. Best known for her offshore program, Mike Slade’s Farr 100 Leopard 3 has travelled to the four corners of the earth to compete in races such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart, the RORC Caribbean 600 and the Fastnet Race, in which she has twice scored line honours victories.

Despite only being two years old, George David’s Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed Rambler 88, also has notched up thousands of sea miles. This year alone she has won the IMA’s annual Volcano Race (from Gaeta, Italy, south around the volcanic Aeolian Islands off northeast Sicily) and last week claimed line honours in the Palermo-Montecarlo race, the fourth and final event of the IMA’s inaugural Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge.

The Maxi class also includes four entries from Southern Wind Shipyard, including the Farr-designed 100ft Blues and Michael Cotter’s Windfall. There are two SWS 82s: Massimilano Florio’s Grande Orazio was winner of the IMA’s Volcano Race in 2015, while Ammonite is brand new, campaigned by leading Australian skipper Marcus Blackmore.

Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship

As ever a major feature of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is the Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship. This year six examples of the ultra competitive, owner-driven, grand prix racers will be lining up, their challenge being to dislodge Hap Fauth’s dominant Judel Vrolijk design, Bella Mente. The reigning Rolex Maxi 72 World Champion  goes into this year’s Worlds straight from victories at Copa del Rey MAPFRE and the inaugural Maxi 72 North American Championship held in Newport, RI in June.

“This is our favourite regatta,” commented Fauth, who is President of the Maxi 72 Class, which is affiliated to the IMA. “There will be six 72 footers and competition will be fierce. It is always challenging conditions both for the around the buoys and the coastal race. It is normally all you want.”

As to Bella Mente being favourite for a third World title, Fauth added: “We have the oldest boat and I am the oldest helmsman, but we have got a very good team. Our execution over the course of a regatta has been good and if there is one reason why we might have a small advantage it is because of that. But it is a very small advantage: The margin of victory in this fleet is two or three seconds – the boats are very close.”


Photo: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

 

The Mini Maxi class (60-79ft) also has a strong line-up. Roberto Lacorte’s Mark Mills 68 Supernikka returns to defend her title, while she will be up against another Mills 68, the more thoroughbred racer, Prospector, which as Alegre and then Caol Ila R was one of the most competitive boats in what is now the Maxi 72 class. Also to be watched will be American Bryon Ehrhart’s Reichel Pugh 63, Lucky. Winner of last year’s Transatlantic Race, Lucky in her previous life was Loki, winner of the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart.

In 2015 the Mini Maxi Racer-Cruiser class had one of the tightest finishes and the top four boats return this year, including winner, Riccardo de Michele’s Vallicelli 80 H2O, which finished on equal points with Giuseppe Puttini’s Swan 65 Shirlaf (which this year will face stiff competition from new IMA member Marietta Strasoldo’s Swan 651 Lunz Am Meer.)

Andrew McIrvine, Secretary General of the IMA commented: “It will be an exciting year with a number of new boats competing, especially in the SuperMaxi division where a new generation of more race-oriented boats are appearing. The challenge of manoeuvring these huge craft around the tight courses around the islands of the Maddalena makes for a great spectacle and keeps so many sailors coming back year after year.”

Racing will take place over a mixture of windward-leeward and coastal courses. As usual there will be a magnificent social programme including the annual International Maxi Association Dinner and parties sponsored by Rolex and Audi.

Entry List

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016 Tracking

 

#sail #race #racing

 

Sojana (Photo courtesy of Superyacht Cup Palma)

Sojana (Photo © www.clairematches.com )

“Competitive yacht racing, a relaxed informal social programme and the perfect location for superyachts – it does not get any better!”

The Superyacht Cup is the longest running superyacht regatta in Europe, a favourite with yacht owners, friends, captains and crew who visit Palma de Mallorca annually for the four day event. With warm early summer conditions and reliable sea breezes, the Bay of Palma offers some of the most idyllic racing conditions in the Mediterranean. The racing is run by the highly experienced international Race Officers and the team at Real Club Nautico de Palma. The participating superyachts are all moored together stern-to in the Superyacht Cup Regatta Village located at Muelle Viejo with the iconic Palma Cathedral and Palm tree lined Paseo Maritimo providing a stunning back-drop.

A five minute walk from the Regatta Village you can find Boutique City Hotels, first class restaurants, the best in international shopping as well as famous architecture, art galleries and historical museums. Palma has something to offer everyone visiting this international yachting event in a vibrant and cosmopolitan City.

Superyacht Cup 2016 Palma 2016 Entry List

Boat Size Design Shipyard
Atalante 39m Hoek Design Claasen Shipyard
Firebird 27m Humphreys Yacht Design Oyster Yachts
Ganesha 46m Dubois Naval Architects Vitters Shipyard
Germania Nova 55m Max Oertz Factoria Naval de Marin
Heartbeat 24m Hoek Yacht Design Claasen Shipyards
Inoui 33m Briand Yacht Design Vitters Shipyard
Kiboko Dos 28m Reichel/Pugh Southern Wind Shipyard
Mari Cha III 44.7m Briand Yacht Design Sensation Yachts
Mariette 41m N.G. Herreshoff Herreshoff Manufacturing Co
Naema 42m Hodgdon Yachts Graafship NL
P2 38m Philippe Briand Perini Navi
Penelope 30.7m Dubois Naval Architects Oyster Yachts
Salperton 45m Dubois Naval Architects Fitzroy Yachts
Saudade 45m Tripp Design Wally Yachts
Sea Wave 31.7 Farr Yacht Design Southern Wind
Sojana 35m Farr Yacht Design Fast Cruising
Stay Calm 24m Frers Yacht Design Nautor Swan
Tempus Fugit 27m Humphreys Yacht Design Arkin Pruva Yachts
Tenaz 39m Dubois Naval Architects Pendennis Shipyard
Tulip 26m Frers Yacht Design K&M Yacht Builders
Unfurled 45m Frers Yacht Design Vitters Shipyard
Visione 45m Reichel/Pugh Baltic Yachts
Win Win 33m Javier Jaudenes Baltic Yachts
Mariette (Photo courtesy of Superyacht Cup Palma)

Mariette (Photo courtesy of Superyacht Cup Palma)

 For 20 years now, the beautiful bay of Palma has been setting the stage for a mouth-watering selection of mega yachts to participate in a gripping superyacht regatta like no other. Most years, the Superyacht Cup draws entries from 300 tonne giants to sleek and slippery speed machines, but we’re excited to announce that it is during this ‘vintage’ edition that we’ll also see a selection of the iconic ‘classic’ schooners grace the racing circuit.

We already mentioned the 41m two-masted schooner Mariette of 1915 taking part. She was drawn up by Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, the renowned designer responsible for a whole array of unbeatable America’s Cup defenders. Although this seasoned sail yacht was built 100 years ago, she not only remains in fine form, (premium partners Pendennis‘ refit facilities keep her in tip-top shape), but also still races at the top of her game. She scored premium slot at the 2012 Pendennis Cup, and additionally claimed a respectable third place in last year’s Transatlantic Race, ahead of all-carbon racers Rambler and Comanche, no less

The stunning Mariette of 1915 will be up against one of our newest SYC additions: the 60m traditional gaff-rigged schooner Germania Nova. She was built as a true replica of the classic 1908 racing schooner Germania, using the same hull lines, deck- and sail-plans as designed by the acclaimed Max Oertz. The original Germania was built to kick stern and with a top speed of 19 knots, in one year alone, came first in more than half of the races in which she competed. For the new Germania this will be her very first outing on the race course. We already know she is on a par with her predecessor’s beauty and elegance…but will she also be able to match this record-breaker’s winning ways? We’ll need to wait another two months to find out.

The 60m traditional gaff-rigged schooner Germania Nova. Image courtesy of Northrop & Johnson.

Completing this jaw-dropping scene will be the 42m schooner Naema, designed by Hodgdon Yachts and built by Graafship NL.

The performance Perini P2 will be competing for the fourth time, yet this year this regatta regular will be sailed hard by a new crew with America’s Cup veteran Tony Rey on tactics. And even though she’s a new boat for the team, they’ve already claimed victory twice this year. First at the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in Virgin Gorda where they triumphed in Class B and later during the St Barths Bucket: she won to hold on to the lead and edge out second-place finisher, the Vitters built Ganesha, by one point in overall scoring. We’re sure the 46m Indian deity will want to get her own back in Palma!

We’re also thrilled to see the 45m Visione return, no doubt owner and crew will have their sailing muscles flexed in order to continue last year’s battle with, amongst others, the highly competitive Inouï, (Vitters). The well powered Baltic-built beauty was designed by Reichel / Pugh – responsible for the lines of other rockets such as Magic Carpet 3. Although built in 2002, well before many other SYC competitors, she is still the boat to beat. She came second in class during Antigua’s Superyacht Challenge this year and took third in class during the St Barths Bucket in March.

The 45m well powered Baltic-built beauty Visione. Image: www.clairematches.com

Classic style yachts always look good on the water and the 46m Windrose of Amsterdam is no exception. She won the ShowBoats Award for Highest Technical Achievement just after her launch in 2001 and made headlines by breaking the Transatlantic record both in 2002 and 2005. This award-winning superyacht signed up last week, bringing our number of entrants up to a total of 22.

 For this silver edition the Superyacht Cup has teamed up with the Sailors for the Sea – Clean Regattas Programme. Main objective is cutting down on single use plastic bottles used onboard for racing. Changing habits is never easy, but with a bit of advance planning it can become easier, cheaper and will be a positive impact on the environment -protecting the waters we love to sail on. Mallorca-based Marine Hydraulic Solutions, leading provider for a complete service of maintenance, refit, repair and installation for hydraulic systems, will proudly provide thirsty sailors with free re-usable bottles which can be rinsed, refilled and chilled again. There will be a tent on-site from where MHS will distribute 20 bottles to each yacht and take care of the 18 litre refill containers, deposits and returns.

MHS offers a complete service for maintenance and installation of all hydraulic systems found on board and this year’s entry list is teeming with yachts that MHS has worked on previously, for example, the 26m carbon rigged racer Tulip or the new, larger and faster 39m Atalante, designed by Hoek Design Naval Architects and built by Claasen.

The 26m carbon rigged racer Tulip, only one of the SYC entrants MHS has worked on. Image: www.clairematches.com

Another two solid Superyacht Cup supporters which are also responsible for a broad spectrum of top-level superyacht solutions are silver sponsors Reckmann and Rondal. Rondal is a powerhouse of modern engineering expertise, situated in the heart of the skills-rich Dutch maritime sector. They create quality equipment, like spars, rigging, winches, feeders, hatches and entrances for the world’s finest superyachts, including many past and present SYC entrants. Equally as high standing are the custom projects delivered by the passionate people at Reckmann. For nearly 125 years, Reckmann has been at the forefront when it comes to high-performing sailing products, such as mast, rigging and hydraulic systems, as well as the full range of accessories in the regatta field.