With a fine turn-out plus integrating the Wallys into the IRC maxi fleets, racing feels very different at this year’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.
Compared to pre-pandemic times this is especially true in the Maxi Class where the Wallycentos are enjoying intense boat-for-boat racing against George David’s Rambler 88 and the 100ft Comanche.
This was despite a light day on the water when the wind was generally closer to 5 than 10 knots and shifting through 40-50°.
An order is already developing in some fleets including the Maxis.
Here Sir Lindsay Owen Jones’ Magic Carpet 3 and Claus-Peter Offen’s Wally 100 Y3K came respectively second and third both today and yesterday, while the substantially smaller Reichel/Pugh 82 Highland Fling XI won both races.
In the middle of the Maxi class leaderboard there is a group of boats including Rambler 88, Leopard 3 and Comanche, whose crews are hoping for more breeze.
Elsewhere in the fleets, two other boats still have a perfect scoreline: Canadian Terry Hui’s Wally 77 Lyra, winner of the Wally class in the last two Maxi Yacht Rolex Cups, again prevailed in Mini Maxi 3/4 but by only 6 minutes 37 seconds from Fabio Cannavale’s Baltic 78 Lupa of the Sea (compared to yesterday’s 33.5 minutes).
In the Super Maxi fleet of 100+ footers, it was again the J Class yachts that dominated.
Although with the Swan 115 Shamanna today not far behind. Of the Js, Ronald de Waal’s Velsheda (top image) once again took honours on corrected time by 3 minutes 34 seconds from Topaz.
Aside from some ultra-tight mark roundings in the Maxi fleet, the tightest competition is, as ever, between the former Maxi 72s in Mini Maxi 1.
Among these five, today it was the turn of American Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente to win, his highest rated and newest boat claiming victory by 4 minutes 37 seconds from yesterday’s winner Dario Ferrari’s Cannonball.
As in the Maxi class, so in Mini Maxi 2 size seems not to matter.
While yesterday Alessandro Del Bono’s Reichel-Pugh 78 Capricorno won at the top of the 60-80ft Mini Maxi size range, today the immaculate ILC maxi was relegated to second by one of the smallest, Jean-Pierre Barjon’s Swan 601 Lorina 1895.
Wednesday, further light winds are forecast. Racing continues until Saturday.