The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is always one of the most spectacular events of the year.

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is always one of the most spectacular events of the year. The supreme test of Superyacht and Maxi racing, the 2000 edition promises to be no different. Now an annual event – always held in Porto Cervo, Sardinia – this year’s regatta will run from 3rd to 9th September. The event is organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, in conjunction with the International Class A Yacht Association (ICAYA), and with the support of Rolex.

Organisers and competitors alike will be hoping for another sun-kissed week of racing on the waters of the Costa Smeralda. The 1999 regatta saw a glorious mix of wind conditions and drama fuelled racing. In amongst the International Measurement System (IMS) Division, Chris Dickson shaped up against Paul Cayard for the final leg of the International Level Class (ILC) Maxi’s three regatta, 1999 ICAYA championship. It was won by Larry Ellison’s Sayonara, with Dickson his Sailing Master. Whitbread winner Paul Cayard, had to settle for second aboard George Coumantaros’ Boomerang.

Although the ILC Maxi’s will probably be absent this year, Wally Yachts will be back in strength, and thus retaining their domination of the cruising division. Monica Paolazzi from Wally comments, “There will be a massive attendance of the Wally Yachts at this year’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, forming the largest fleet of Wally Yachts ever seen. We expect 12 to race in the cruising division. In addition to the already well known Nariida, Wally B, Yam, Tiketitan, Mr. Gecko, Kauris II, Magic Carpet, and Genie of the Lamp, there will be the new Kenora, launched at the end of last year and three more new yachts that will leave CNB yard before summer. These 30 metre and two 24 metre sloops were developed from the lines of Askherout, Magic Carpet and Genie of the Lamp.”

The combination of advanced technology, fly-by-wire sail trimming, and perhaps, the futuristic looks, were all too much for the competition last year. Wally Yachts took the first three places in the Light Displacement cruising division. Nor was there a shortage of international sailing stars wanting to enjoy the more relaxed atmosphere of racing these yachts. Amongst the 1999 fleet was Whitbread sailor Knut Frostad, and Wally Yacht’s guiding light and former Mumm 30 World Champion, Luca Bassani.

Sailed on a mix of coastal and island courses, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2000 fleet will race in three divisions, encompassing high technology and concept design, through to classic lines and traditional elegance. An IMS division will include both cruiser/racer and racing yachts, with either an IMS or an Offshore Racing Council (ORC) Club certificate. While the Light and Heavy Displacement cruising yacht divisions will both use a special handicap system run by the ICAYA. As well as trophies for each division there will be prizes for the ICAYA Championship winner, the top scoring Wally yacht and Nautor Swan yacht, along with the top scoring Vintage, Classic and Spirit of Tradition yachts.