The 33rd edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup drew to a close on Sunday after four days of close racing out of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo.
The final classification remained unchanged from the penultimate day of competition after the last day of racing was cancelled due to lack of wind. The race committee took the decision to send the 45-strong fleet back to port for prize giving.
Fresh off of a win at the PalmaVela regatta, David Leuschen and Chris Flowers' 30.5-metre Wallycento Galateia won the Maxi A class with a seven-point lead from Leopard 3 and eight points ahead of fellow Wally, Bullitt. While Leopard 3 made the strongest start to the event, Andrea Recordati’s newly refitted Bullitt won two races in lighter winds, but it was Galateia that maintained a consistent series of podium finishes.
On his return to the dock, David Leuschen said: "It has been an exceptional week, the key factors for our success have been our consistency, nothing but second and third-place finishes, and our starts, probably the best we have ever had in a regatta. Winning the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is an extraordinary achievement, for us it’s like the Holy Grail, so we feel very good."
In the Super Maxi class there was a two-horse race between Claus-Peter Offen’s new custom Wally 101 Y3K and Juan Ball’s Swan 115 Moat, both having scored two bullets, but with Y3K prevailing by one point in her first-ever event.
Y3K, the brand new Wally 101 owned by YCCS member Claus-Peter Offen, won the Supermaxi class on her debut outing, ahead of the Swan 115 Moat and the Briand 108 Inoui. Karol Jablonski, Offen's trusted tactician of many years, explained how they got there: "We are more than pleased with the result. We only had three days to test the boat and we are very happy with the job Wally has done. It is all about teamwork and how fast you learn about the new boat. We’ve been improving from day to day. I must admit that conditions in the first three days were perfect for learning about the boat, because it was blowing quite hard. Then we had light breeze conditions, so we had to learn very fast how to sail the boat in the light breeze as well. It’s a learning process, and we managed well in this first event."
The most dominant performance of this year's Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup was in the J Class where Niklas Zennström and Filip Engelbert’s Svea achieved a perfect scoreline, beating fellow Js Velsheda and Topaz in every race. The result means two class wins in a row for the 43.6-metre Vitters sailing yacht following her win at last year's Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.
And for the first time, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup introduced a new Maxi Multihull class that welcomed three boats to the circuit: a 24-metre APC78 Allegra, the new Gunboat 80 flagship Highland Fling 18, and a Gunboat 68 Convexity2. Allegra made a strong start claiming the first two races in strong winds, while it was Highland Fling 18 that prevailed in lighter winds that followed in the latter half of the week. Ultimately, Allegra claimed class victory finishing two points ahead.
Owner Adrian Keller said: "We couldn't have wished for better, the venue is top class, the first two days were great racing, and I think some of our colleagues on the monohulls have understood that catamarans can also be competitive. I think we will see more participants next year, we have agreed among ourselves to make a joint effort to attract more boats, so it will be even more exciting in the future. A big thank you to Sardinia and the YCCS of which I am a member, wonderful hosts.”
The 34th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will take place from 8 to 14 September 2024.