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Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup celebrates 28th edition

There are exactly fifty Maxi Yachts in the marina at Porto Cervo, the same number of Maxis as years that the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda has been founded.

This Monday the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, which has been running since the early 1980s, will start the 28th edition of the competition, which includes the Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship.

Both coastal and windward/leeward courses will be included in this event that ends Saturday, 9 September.

Widely regarded as a showcase for the latest thinking, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup takes place on the Costa Smeralda, a stunning setting offering testing conditions.

This annual event is eagerly anticipated, and attracts an awe-inspiring fleet of yachts all over 60 feet (18.29 metres) in length.

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The Maxi72 Class will be formed of pure racers that have to conform to rigid Class Rules to compete in the Rolex Maxi72 World Championship that will be held within this event.

Eyes are on Ribelle, a 33m designed by McKeon for a member of the YCCS. This yacht will be helmed by Francesco De Angelis, a name that many will recognise as being that of the skipper aboard Luna Rossa when she won the Louis Vuitton Cup in Auckland.

Other AC stars like the Kiwis Dean Barker and Brad Butterworth will be aboard Rambler, the 88' racer that just won Line Honours at the Rolex Fastnet Race.

Lucky, a smaller entrant at "just" 63', will be flying the New York Yacht Club's colours and has arrived in Porto Cervo after capturing Line Honours in the Palermo Montecarlo.

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Veteran VOR racer Bouwe Bekking will be skipper aboard the Baltic 112' Nilaya, a yacht that has already won this event in the past. After the Maxis he will head off around the world with the VOR yet again, this time at the head of Team Brunel.

Another VOR veteran and two time Olympic silver medallist is Ian Walker, who will be racing here as tactician aboard Magic Carpet Cubed, Sir Lindsay Owen Jones' Wallycento.

The Wally 106' Open Season, owned by IMA president Thomas Bscher, will have Jochen Schuemann aboard.

Sorceress, the newly launched Southern Wind 96 designed by Farr Yacht Design and Nauta Design will be debuting here in anticipation of her World Premiere at the upcoming Monaco Yacht Show.

Nautor's Swan will have three Swan 601s and two vintage yachts, the Swan 65' Shirlaf and the Swan 651' Lunz Am Meer, racing at this event.

All eyes are on the Maxi72s where defending champion Hap Fauth's Bella Mente will have Terry Hutchinson as tactician. They will have to fight hard to defend their title from Momo, Cannonball, Proteus and Caol Ila R.

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