The wind off Porto Cervo never filled in on the final day of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. Thus, following Friday’s layday, the results at the end of play on Thursday stand.
For the third time, the stand-out performance across the maxi fleets was that of Canadian Terry Hui’s Lyra.
The 2000 vintage Wally 77, once raced by the Murdoch family. This year, with the Wallys incorporated into the main IRC fleets, Lyra won Mini Maxi 3 with four straight bullets.
At the opposite end of the maxi spectrum, in the 100+ft Super Maxi class, Ronald de Waal’s magnificent J Velsheda enjoyed a near perfect scoreline, dropping just one race to Topaz on Thursday.
The two Js have 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 on countback.
The closest racing was between the former Maxi 72s, which ran away with the top five spots in Mini Maxi 1. Ultimately Dario Ferrari’s Botin-designed Cannonball, finished two points clear of Jim Swartz’s Vesper in turn one ahead of both George Sakellaris’ Proteus and Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente.
Some of the closest racing has been in the Maxi class for 80-100 footers where an unprecedented six 100 footers were competing plus the new Swan 98 BeCool.
Ultimately 100ft Wallys tied up the podium with Sir Lindsay Owen Jones’s Magic Carpet Cubed coming out on top, two points ahead of Claus-Peter Offen’s older Y3K, in turn two ahead of David M. Leuschen’s Galateia.
On Thursday, Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling XI was enjoying a commanding lead in the Maxi class until her forestay broke. Impressively the team moved heaven and earth to get a new carbon fibre forestay sent out from Carbolink in Switerland aboard Laidlaw’s private jet.
Once arrived last night, the stay was tensioned on the dock using hydraulic rams and then cured by running electric current through it – a process taking just five hours, before it was reinstalled.
Highland Fling XI ended the regatta in fourth, designers Reichel/Pugh having drawn three of the top four in the Maxi class.
There was also great diversity in the boats at the top of Mini Maxi 2, where Jean-Pierre Barjon’s Swan 601 Lorina 1895 claimed Tuesday’s race, while the two overall leaders were longer – Luciano Gandini’s Mylius 80 Twin Soul B taking second to Alessandro Del Bono’s immaculate Reichel/Pugh 78 Maxi Capricorno, originally built in 1995 as Morning Glory.
At the prizegiving, the IMA’s Secretary General Andrew McIrvine presented Sir Lindsay Owen Jones with the Trophy for finish ‘Highest Placed IMA member’.
While the Paolo Massarini Trophy (named after the manager of several notable classes, such as the Wallys, who died last year) was presented to Capricorno’s Alessandro del Bono by Paolo’s wife Alessandra.
The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup was the third event in the International Maxi Association’s Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge which continues with Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez and then Palmavela in October.