A fleet of around 50 maxi yachts is due to gather in Porto Cervo from 3rd to 9th September for the 33rd edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with title sponsor Rolex and the International Maxi Association.
As always, the fleet will be a varied one, ranging from cruising yachts to pure racers, all with a minimum length of 60 feet (18.3 metres).
The boats will be divided into different classes according to type and performance characteristics, with each class producing its own Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup winner.
New for the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2023 is the multihull category – photo © Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
Courses will be structured to allow competitors to race around the islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago, enjoying a unique natural backdrop, while the schedule for the more technical classes will also feature windward-leeward courses. Each day, based on the forecast winds, the Race Committee will choose the most suitable course, usually differentiating the length for the various classes so that all competitors end up racing over a similar amount of time. Once the fleet has returned to the docks and completed the usual post-race operations, a range of social events are scheduled ashore for both crews and owners with their guests.
Completely new to the event for this year will be a division reserved for the increasingly popular class of multihull yachts. Enrolled for this debut outing are: Allegra, a custom design by Nigel Irens owned by YCCS member Adrian Keller and winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race in her class, the Gunboat 80 Highland Fling 18 owned by YCCS member Lord Irvine Laidlaw, and the Gunboat 68 Convexity 2.
The 33rd Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will also host the regatta debut of Y3K, a brand new Wally 101 owned by club member Claus-Peter Offen, which will compete against fellow supermaxi yachts such as the Swan 115 Moat, the Spirit 111 Geist, the Maxi Dolphin Viriella, and Inoui, all topping 30 metres in length and regular participants in YCCS regattas.
The magnificent J Class yachts will once again return to grace the waters of the Costa Smeralda for the occasion. Measuring over 40 metres in length, these classic designs were the stars of the America’s Cups of the 1930s. Their elegant, slender forms embody the classic idea of a sailing yacht in the collective imagination, and “the Js” always attract a great deal of admiration whether on the quayside or the race course. This year Svea, Topaz and Velsheda will be sailing on the waters off Porto Cervo.
Classic lines are not reserved solely to the J Class, however, as this edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will feature Baruna of 1938, a 22-metre hull designed by the renowned Sparkman & Stephens studio, fresh from a major and lengthy restoration.
Moving from the world of yachting of the past to that of the present and a flurry of recent projects, the entry list includes the Wally 93 Bullitt, owned by YCCS member Andrea Recordati, and the ClubSwan 80 My Song owned by another YCCS member, Pier Luigi Loro Piana, which returns to Porto Cervo after her debut at the event last year.
As always, such high-profile yachts are crewed by top-level sailors including some of the yachting world’s greatest champions. During the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, the docks at the YCCS are guaranteed to present a veritable who’s who of the elite of international sailing, attracting not only owners and sailors, but many of the leading names in international yacht design.
The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will conclude on 9th September, while the YCCS season will continue with two events dedicated to the International 5.5 Metre Class, the Scandinavian Gold Cup, which is part of the historical fabric of this former Olympic class, followed by the World Championship from 24th to 29th September.
More information at www.yccs.it
by Yacht Club Costa Smeralda