Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - A touch of yesteryear

by KPMS on 2 Sep 2014
Rainbow - 2014 Max Yacht Rolex Cup © Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi http://www.carloborlenghi.net
The 25th Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup commenced with gusto today as the 35 competing Maxi yachts completed a coastal course through Sardinia’s Maddalena archipelago. Strong winds ensured conditions were exacting for the five classes of Maxi yacht contesting the event, among them the beguiling J-Class yachts, where competition offers competitive racing and a compelling insight into sailing heritage.

Owing to their sleek lines, tall masts and decks gleaming with polished winches and varnished woodwork, the five attending J-Class boats catch many admiring glances on the docks of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. The America’s Cup boat of choice in the 1930s, victim of the steel shortage during World War 2 when a number of its kind were destroyed, has enjoyed a revival since the turn of the century. In 2000, the J-Class Association was formed encouraging the construction of replicas of the perished originals. Lionheart, Rainbow, Ranger, Shamrock V and Velsheda are the five J-Class boats on show in Porto Cervo for the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. The former three are replicas of original designs; the latter two restorations. Graceful to watch, captivating and fun to sail, the Class is equally defined by the Corinthian spirit of its competition.

Jeroen de Vos designed the replica of the original Rainbow for Dykstra and Naval Architects. It was launched in 2012 after two years of intense work between the design studio and shipbuilders Holland Jachtbouw. The great challenge for a latter-day J-Class designer is creating a finished yacht which is aesthetically loyal to its original design, complies with class rules, includes a full, luxury interior and is capable of high performance.


In order to compete on racecourses as demanding as those at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, the contemporary take on the J-Class requires 21st century engineering musts. 'We worked with the original line span from 1934 - it's the one fixed factor in the design,' explains de Vos, 'the boat now has an engine and there are an extra ten centremetres of freeboard to allow for all the systems and interior - all the stuff that they didn’t have in the ‘30s. Additionally, there are powered winches, there is a little deck house, the rig is taller and there is more sail area so while it looks the same from a distance, the way the boats are sailed is completely different from the old days.'

Bouwe Bekking is a professional sailor of considerable expertise, drawing on a career competing on boats as varied as Farr 40s, Volvo 70s and Supermaxis. At the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, he is a key decision maker on Lionheart, a restoration completed in 2010. 'I’ve been sailing with Lionheart for about three years,' explains Bekking. 'All the boats are pretty similar that’s the nice thing about the J’s. Sailing them goes back to heritage of the America’s Cup, the roots of offshore racing, they are magnificent to view, great to sail.'


The similarities in design of the J-Class yachts ensures close competition in the Class, rewarding who sails best on a given day. They are challenging boats to manoeuvre – loads are enormous, they weigh in excess of 170 tonnes, the sail area can cover up to 1,000m². The crew of 35 skilled sailors onboard need to plan and execute manoeuvres effortlessly, communicate efficiently. 'Every manoeuvre has its time and point to make a decision. The tactician and the navigator know those cut off times and they have to make a decision at a certain point,' explains de Vos. 'We have departments onboard; the foredeck, mast, middeck and trimmers and back of the boat and a crew boss who needs to reach a couple of people. Then there are the radios, so communication is quick.' 'It’s practice, practice, practice,' adds Bekking, 'so you can get in a routine that allows the guys can do a good job. However, we approach it like sailing a Farr 40, sometimes jibing every 2-3 minutes. The pressure is on but its great fun when you can pull manoeuvres off in such short distances.'

In parallel with the yesteryear elegance is fierce competition and a will to win as intense as the all out racers contesting the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship. 'They all want to win, the owners are competitive, the atmosphere is nice. It’s great competition, everyone can win,' says Bekking.

Velsheda is the defending J-Class champion, however today it was three-time Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup winner Ranger who claimed the first bullet. Defeating Rainbow by only five seconds on corrected time further demonstrates the close nature of the competition.


The eagerly anticipated first race of the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship was dominated by Andres Soriano’s Alegre, particularly important as today’s coastal race is doublescored. American Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente claimed second place while Niklas Zennström’s Rán 5, on its competition debut, finished in third.

Elsewhere, defending champion J One won the Wally class, pursued by Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones’s Wally Cento Magic Carpet Cubed. Firefly won Supermaxi, Lord Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling prevailed in Maxi Racing and Lupa of London triumphed in Mini Maxi racing/cruising.

2014 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – Provisional Results Day One
?
Place, Boat Name, Boat Owner, Races- Total Points

Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship
1. Alegre (GBR), Alegre Yachting Ltd., 1.5; 1.5
2. Bella Mente (USA), John Fauth, 3; 3
3. Rán 5 (GBR), Niklas Zennström 4,5; 4,5

Mini Maxi R/C
1. Lupa of London (GBR), Jeremy Pilkington, 1; 1
2. Arobas (FRA), Gerard Logel, 2; 2
3. Wallyno (LUX), Benoit de Froidmont, 3; 3

Maxi Racing
1. Highland Fling XI (MON), Irvine Laidlaw, 1; 1
2. Odin (CAY), Tom Siebel, 2; 2
3. Bristolian (GBR), Bristolian Marine Ltd., 4; 4

?J-Class
1. Ranger (CAY), R.S.V. Ltd., 1; 1
2. Rainbow (NED), Chris Gongriep, 2; 2
3. Velsheda (GBR), Tarbat Investment Ltd, 3; 3?

Supermaxi
1. Firefly (NED), Eric Bijlsma, 1; 1
2. Inoui (SUI), Marco Vögele, 2; 2
3. Viriella (ITA), Vittorio Moretti, 3; 3

Wally
1. J One (GBR), Jean Charles Decaux, 1; 1
?2. Magic Carpet 3 (GBR), Sir Lindsey Owen Jones, 2; 2
3. Y3K (GER), Claus Peter Offen, 3; 3

Complete results may be found here

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) and the International Maxi Association (IMA). Rolex has been title sponsor since 1985.

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Naiad/Oracle SupplierBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearKilwell - 1