Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – A brisk 15-18 knot north-easterly breeze and increasingly choppy seas made for an exciting second day of racing at the MYRC and Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship. The event, underway through 12th September in Porto Cervo, is organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with title sponsor Rolex and the International Maxi Association.
With only Thomas Bscher’s Open Season holding onto her initial lead gained yesterday, an all-new set of contenders has moved up to take the top spots in their respective divisions: Robertissima III, owned by Roberto Tomasini Grinover (Maxi 72), Riccardo Di Michele’s H2O (Mini Maxi RC/SOT), Maximilian Klink’s Caro (Mini Maxi Racing), Windfall, owned by Michael Cotter (Maxi R/C), Vittorio Moretti’s Viriella (Supermaxi).
The YCCS Race Committee took advantage of the conditions to send the fleet on a long coastal race with the Maxi 72, Wally, Supermaxi and Maxi Racing fleets completing a 38 mile course that took them to the northerly edge of the La Maddalena archipelago and down through Bomb Alley before hitting the finish line off Porto Cervo. The Mini Maxi and Maxi R/C divisions completed a slightly shorter course by cutting inside the island of Spargi.
Less than four points separate the top four boats in the hotly contested Maxi 72 class where owners and crews are going all-out in the race for the title of World Champion 2015. Robertissima, with Vasco Vascotto on tactics, claimed a second place in the coastal race to move up to first overall ahead of yesterday’s leader Jethou. Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente, which fields an international crew featuring star tactician Terry Hutchinson, gained three places on the overall leaderboard to occupy third, just half a point ahead of Momo. Caol Ila R suffered a broken mast which put an end to their sailing for the week but thankfully no serious injuries were incurred.
‘We had a jib top on the long close reach and we were screaming along at 23 or 24 knots, I didn’t even look back,’ commented Fauth. ‘We put half a mile on everybody. She’s got legs when there’s a little bit of breeze and we’ve done a lot of offshore sailing, so we like this stuff.
In the Wally division the 33-metre Open Season maintained her perfect record with a third consecutive victory in three races run. Magic Carpet Cubed, winner of the Giraglia Rolex Cup in June, moves to second place while the Wally Cento Y3K, with Danish match-racing champion Jesper Radich calling tactics, sits in third.
A victory today for the 80-foot H20 catapulted them to the front of the Mini Maxi RC/SOT division ahead of the classic Swan Shirlaf and the French team on @Robas. A bullet for the Botin 65 Caro took her to the top of the Mini Maxi racing fleet ahead of the 19-metre yacht Supernikka and Spectre.
The Maxi division sees a battle underway between two Southern Wind yachts with the SWS 94 Windfall, Britain’s Andy Beadsworth on tactics, slipping into the lead thanks to today’s win but sitting on equal points with second-placed Grande Orazio, owned by Massimiliano Florio.
Likewise in the Supermaxi division today’s winner Viriella, which boasts an all-Italian crew, moved up to first place on equal points with Inoui while the largest yacht on the fleet – the 66-metre Hetairos – rounds off the classification.
With similar conditions forecast for tomorrow competitors and spectators alike will be in for another exciting ride. The first warning signal is scheduled for 11.30 a.m. with all divisions except the Wally and Maxi 72 classes due to complete coastal courses.