While the 2020 season of maxi yacht racing has been largely wiped out thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first steps back to normality are soon to be taken with the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup set to go ahead in Porto Cervo over 30 August to 4 September.
Organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in conjunction with the International Maxi Association and supported from the outset by Rolex, this will be 31st running of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. The annual highlight of the maxi yachting season, this is an international congregation of all maxi yachts (ie of 60+ft LH) from grand prix racers to cruisers; from brand new launches to classics, all lured by the supreme racing off Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda, one of the world’s best yacht racing arenas. In non-pandemic years the event has an excellent social program from the regatta’s opening cocktail party within the YCCS clubhouse to the traditional Rolex party held at the Cala Di Volpe hotel. However due to the measures designed to prevent any resurgence in the pandemic, the 2020 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will be a very different regatta.
This year’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup fleet will be smaller than usual. Unsurprisingly, absent will be many of the grand prix maxis, especially the 100s and Maxi 72s, whose crew usually fly in from across the globe but who this year have found that travelling to Europe has either been prohibited or is just impractical due to quarantine restrictions.
However with more than 20 yachts entered, the line-up has surpassed expectations given the present difficulties attending. Competitors range from the new Farr-designed, Baltic Yachts-built and DSS foil-equipped 142 footer Canova to the 100 footers Leopard 3 and Adalberto and Guido Miani’s A Family Affair (ex-Skandia Wild Thing) to the highly competitive 60 footers, like International Maxi Association President Benoît de Froidmont’s Wally 60 Wallyño, Peter Dubens’ Frers 60 Spectre and Gerard Logel’s Swan 601 @robas.
Back again is the Mylius 18E35 Fra’ Diavolo of Vincenzo Addessi. Last year the Gaeta Yacht Club President’s team finished tied at the top of the Mini Maxi class 2, losing only on countback. — James Boyd / International Maxi Association