Porto Cervo, Italy (September 11, 2021) – The wind never picked up on the last day of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2021. Thus, after yesterday’s rest day, the results are maintained after four days of race.
For the third time, the remarkable performance among the maxi fleets was that of Lyra of Canadian Terry Hui. The Wally 77 vintage 2000, once raced by the Murdoch family, was first launched by Hui in 2018 and won the Wally class that year and in 2019, when it scored first and second in all. the races except one.
This year, with the Wallys incorporated into the main IRC fleets, Lyra won the Mini Maxi 3 with four consecutive balls. It was often by a significant margin, although Riccardo de Michele’s Vallicelli 78 H20, who previously dominated the Mini Maxi class, finished second behind Lyra by two minutes under IRC corrected time on day three.
In fact, Lyra is a well-optimized boat with a top professional crew led by Kiwi tactician Hamish Pepper and including round-the-world sailor Phil Harmer, former Team Shosholoza America’s Cup sailor Marc Lagesse and skipper Mark Sadler. .
âIt really helps,â Pepper says. âWe have a lot of sailors from the TP52s and RC44s and every maneuver we do with the grand prix style and we push the boat to get every inch of it. Terry bought us a new mainsail and a new jib and the boat has had a few upgrades like a new rig and the mast is much better balanced so we can get the right tension out of it.
Hui added: âI was lucky to have a good boat and a good crew, but above all to be back. It makes me feel that whatever we take for granted is normal is actually so precious and it makes you realize that what we have done is very special.
In the Super Maxi 100 + ft category, Ronald de Waal’s magnificent J Velsheda had an almost perfect score, losing just the final race in Topaz. The two Js dominated the Super Maxi class with Christian Oldendorff’s Spirit Yachts 111 Geist finishing the regatta tied on points with the Swan 115 Shamanna, but winning in the countdown.
British America’s Cup and Olympic Navigator Andy Beadsworth, sharing tactical duties with American Mike Toppa aboard Velsheda, was having his first week of sailing in Class J. âI really enjoyed sailing on the boat and with the boat. ‘team. We had some phenomenal races against Topez when we were never more than three boat lengths apart.
Beadsworth, who has raced here before and won on boats like Michael Cotter’s Whisper and Windfall, the late Sir Peter Harrison’s Sojana, continued: âThey have differences upwind and downwind, but overall , they are very balanced. They are less maneuverable than many boats and you really have to steer them with the sails. So it’s a team effort to get the boat going around the track, but a team like this makes it deceptively easy.
The closest race was between the old Maxi 72s, who ran away with the top five spots in the Mini Maxi 1. In the end, the Botin-designed Cannonball of Dario Ferrari, finished two points behind the Vesper of Jim Swartz in turn one ahead of Proteus and George Sakellaris. La Bella Mente by Hap Fauth.
Cannonball was the defending champion here and raced with the same equipment as in 2019. âThe crew was very good, the tactician was very good – so we won,â said Ferrari. “I think it’s the best class and between everyone, the race is close.”
The victory inspired Ferrari to compete with Cannonball again in 2022. âThe boat is pretty fast. We haven’t done anything this year to make it faster. With new sails and a few changes we could be more competitive, so why not? The great thing about this class is that you get better and better every year.
Michele Ivaldi and Vasco Vascotto shared the tactical tasks this week on Cannonball. Of their victory. “Of course it’s surprising because we know how strong the other guys are, but this week we’ve done everything smoothly,” said Vascotto. âWe made a few mistakes but not a lot and it’s still a very good boat.
It was Vascotto’s first win in the category after finishing second on three occasions.
Some of the closest races have been in the Maxi class for 80-100 feet where six unprecedented 100 feet were competing as well as the new Swan 98 BeCool. In the end, the 100-footer Wallys tied the podium with Sir Lindsay Owen Jones’ Magic Carpet Cubed leading, two points ahead of former Y3K of Claus-Peter Offen, in turn two ahead of David M. Leuschen’s Galateia. .
For Owen Jones, one of the longtime supporters of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the International Maxi Association, this was the seventh time he had won this event in its various magic carpets, the last in 2016.
“I am very happy,” he said. âNone of us had a clue how it would work against all these amazing boats that won the Rolex Fastnet Race or Sydney Hobart and so on. [ie Rambler 88, Comanche and ARCA SGR] but Magic Carpet is a well rounded boat that does most things quite well. Other boats do certain things very well. This is reflected in the fact that we haven’t won any races but have always been up there which you can only do if you sail well.
On the last day of the race, Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling XI led the Maxi category until her forestay broke.
Impressively, the team went heaven and earth to get a new carbon fiber forestay sent from Carbolink to Switzerland aboard Laidlaw’s private jet. Once arrived last night, the forestay was tensioned across the dock using hydraulic jacks, then hardened by running electric current through it – a process that only took five hours to reinstall.
Highland Fling XI finished the regatta in fourth position, with designers Reichel / Pugh drawing three of the top four in the Maxi class at random.
For Wendy Schmidt, owner of Deep Blue, this Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup has been a great relief. Although his Botin 85 was launched in February 2020, due to the pandemic this was the first race for his “Maxi 72 on steroids”. Deep Blue finished fifth in the fleet of 12 boats.
âIt was our maiden voyage, discovering the boat and its fashions. We had a great competition to do it so we have nowhere to go, said Schmidt, who has raced here before with his Swan 80 Selene. âIt was a great event, wonderful for our crew to get together and fine-tune the boat. ”
There was also a great diversity in the boats leading Mini Maxi 2, where Jean-Pierre Barjon’s Swan 601 Lorina 1895 won Tuesday’s race, IMA President BenoÃ®t de Froidmont’s WallyÃ±o finished fourth while the two overall leaders were longer – Luciano Gandini’s Mylius 80 Twin Soul B is second behind Alessandro Del Bono’s immaculate Reichel / Pugh 78 Maxi Capricorno, originally built in 1995 as Morning Glory.
Del Bono’s Capricorno is a family affair, his father (with a young Alessandro on board) having raced in the Admiral’s Cups, while today Alessandro’s own son, Rinaldo, races on board.
Del Bono last competed in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in the early 2000s and although Capricorno is older it has been fully modernized, reducing the draft from 4.5m to 4m with rigging and optimized sails. âWe knew we were competitive and we finally got the result we were fighting for,â said del Bono. âThe races were very good.
The races were held from 6 to 11 September for the fleet of 44 yachts competing in three maxi classes (Mini Maxi 60-80ft; Maxi 80-100ft; Super Maxi 100 + ft) with the three divisions subdivided according to their characteristics performance.
Event Information – Results – Photos