The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup was founded in 1980 and has had the unconditional support of Rolex since 1985. The 31st edition is held from September 5 to 11 and has brought together an impressive fleet of 44 boats of lengths between 60 and 11 140 feet (between 18.29 and 42.7 meters).
In this special edition, marked by the adaptation of its organizers and participants to the global health situation, the competition menu will consist of five days of coastal regattas that will allow crews to enjoy some of the most beautiful, challenging and technical routes in the world. . The surroundings of Porto Cervo and the spectacular archipelago of La Magdalena, in the extreme north of Sardinia, for a few days become an exceptional scene for this fight of giants to which the best specialists in the world attend punctually every September.
The regatta format admits both boats designed for cruising and racing thoroughbreds. To guarantee a fair fight, the organizer Yacht Club Costa Smeralda divides them according to their size and potential, which guarantees maximum equality between boats with similar benefits. Mini Maxis (between 60 and 79 feet), Maxis (between 80 and 100 feet) and Supermaxis compete, the category that brings together the largest boats, over 100 feet in length (30.48 meters).
By definition, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is the very essence of sailing competition. The environment, the organization and the participants are exceptional. Among those registered for this edition, teams with a large pedigree in regattas from the Rolex sailing dossier stand out: The Maxi 72 Bella Mente by the American Hap Fauth has won the regatta on several occasions; the Comanche ‘aircraft carrier’ holds the current Rolex Sydney Hobart record; George David’s lightning-fast Rambler racks up real-time victories in the Rolex Fastnet Race, the Rolex Middle Sea Race and the Rolex Giraglia; and Sir Lindsay Owen Jones’ WallyCento Magic Carpet Cubed has won the Rolex Giraglia, both real and netted, and is a regular on the podium at Porto Cervo. The largest ship in this edition is the Topaz, a newly built J-Class based on a 1935 design, measuring 140 feet (42.7 meters) in length.
To win any of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup trophies, crews must show much more than mastery of their boats. Overtaking such a roster of rivals requires adaptability, skill and excellence, values shared by Rolex in its defense of the Perpetual spirit and as the event’s title sponsor. In the opinion of American legend Paul Cayard, Rolex ambassador and regatta regular: “The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is an example of how a sponsor and a yacht club can come together, create a lasting relationship and evolve together to stay at the top”.
The final awards ceremony of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will be held at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda on Saturday, September 11.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism