The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
We attended the Rolex Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in 2016 and 2017, what an exciting event!
Porto Cervo, Sardinia:
This yearly event is hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, which is typically held the first full weekend of September. This year’s event is scheduled for the 2 – 8 of September 2018. Maxi sailboats, the world’s biggest high-performance luxury yachts, have made the pilgrimage to the rocky coastline since 1980 to race from Porto Cervo, around the islands and back. The race started with a 70-foot boat length limit and has grown to include those in excess of 200 feet. Today, most of the boats are private state-of-the-art super yachts with price tags topping $10 million. The vessels are beautiful perfectly polished with their crews of strong men and women who maintain and transport them in the port and off to sea.
The high tech sailboats are massive and very impressive. These large vessels line the boat club port of Porto Cervo and people come from all over the world to showcase their boat and compete in the races. The energy is electric, as the participants are excited and the town enthusiasm is magnetic. You will see participants in restaurants popping open bottles of champagne and reminiscing stories of past races and their adventures.
They are the pinnacle of naval architecture and design, largely helmed by committed amateurs. And while they may be divided into seven classes, they all share three things — cutting-edge technology, luxury and sheer size. I was drawn to this event in 2016 and returned the following year in 2017. The bright blue seas of the costa Esmeralda coupled with all of the events, makes this a “must see” yearly event.
below by John Clarke, NY times:
“The race reflects the past where owners helm their own boat and compete against one another,” Weiland said. “Today, a lot of the competition is professional like the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race. You just don’t see wealthy owners helm their own boats like you did in the past.”
The Wally and Maxi 72 classes have strict owner rules that require the owner to drive the boat. The other classes do not have the same requirement, but are often helmed by the owner with crews of both professionals and amateurs, often friends and family.
There is no winning purse — but the victor gets bragging rights, a trophy and a Rolex watch.
“They don’t do it for the prize, they do it for the sport and the accolades of their peers,” said Giles Pearman, a spokesman for the Rolex sailing series that includes the Sydney-Hobart and Fastnet races, two of the toughest offshore races that feature large monohull boats.
Photo credits to the New York Times, NY