The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup Returns for its 31st Edition at Costa Smeralda
For sailing enthusiasts, the appeal of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is undeniably captivating. After all, it boasts a level of competition that is the crème de la crème of competitive yacht racing.
Set against the alluring waters of Costa Smeralda, Italy, the 31st edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will see a congregation of some of the most majestic monohull yachts including the likes of American Maxi 72 owner and skipper Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente—a multiple winner of this regatta—to American Maxi owner George David’s Rambler, which has won line honours at regettas such as Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Middle Sea Race and Rolex Giraglia.
And that's not forgetting the men and women, brains and brawn behind each yacht, comprising of the world’s foremost sailors—a veritable who’s who of the yachting world. Rolex Testimonees Ben Ainslie from the UK and Paul Cayard from the US are legends who have previously raced in the competition.
“From a sporting perspective, precision is core to overall performance in sailing and this is no more so than at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup where there is a natural link with Rolex through the desire to push technology, innovation and sailing skill,” said Ainslie, who is also a four-time Olympic gold medallist.
Agreeing, Cayard, who participated in the competition for more than 30 years said: “The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is an example of how a sponsor and a yacht club can come together, create a long-term relationship and live through all of the evolutions required to remain at the top.”
Since 1985, Rolex has been a close supporter of both the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) and its principal regatta—a close and enduring partnership defined by a shared desire to deliver the highest standards of excellence. Also, the Swiss watch manufacture has been involved in the elite world of yachting for more than six decades with it partnering the most prestigious clubs, races and regattas, as well as leading lights in the sport such as Ainslie and the late British great, Francis Chichester, the pioneer of round-the-world voyages in the 1960s.
Held from September 5 to 11, this intense competition will pit the fleet of the world's best sailors not just against one another but against the world’s most impressive, natural coastal racecourse. With the primary objective to emerge victorious in their respective divisions—a feat deemed a world-class achievement by even those accustomed to success—these entrants will have little margin for error as they navigate against the wild, rocky islands and islets of the Maddalena archipelago.
Some 40 international entrants are expected to take part this year. Each entrant will be organised into different classes based on their yacht's type, size and potential—this allows a fair competition between yachts of similar characteristics. They are categorised into the Mini Maxi, Maxi and Supermaxis, the grouping for the largest yachts in excess of 30.48m in size.