This September, the Costa Smeralda, Sardinia, Italy, will once again be the world’s premier racing rendezvous for Maxi yachts. Sponsored by Rolex since 1985 and organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) and International Maxi Association (IMA), the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - and the Rolex Mini Maxi Worlds, this year in its fifth edition - are unmissable events for yacht designers, sailors and Maxi owners alike'.
Andrew McIrvine, Secretary General of the IMA, spoke about the importance of the two outstanding regattas to be hosted in tandem next month.
'The IMA was the first organisation to be granted world championship status for a handicap class, which speaks volumes about the prestigious nature of the event. The fifth Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship is open to all yachts which qualify as Mini Maxis (18,29 metres - 24,08 metres) however the IMA recognise that there is a huge difference between the Racing Class and the Racer/Cruiser Class. As last year a separate prize will be awarded to the winner of the Racer/Cruiser Class within the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and separate from the World Championship.
The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, organised by the YCCS and supported by the IMA, is the showcase event for all the Maxi fleet and its divisions other than those competing in the World Championships. This regatta includes separate division for the Wallys, Maxis and Supermaxis and for this year the J Class. For over 30 years, the yachts have flocked to Porto Cervo and the regatta provides the largest natural gathering of IMA members in the world. It is the ideal venue for the IMA Annual General Meeting and a perfect occasion to introduce our new members such as Jeremy Pilkington, owner of Lupa of London. This boat won the Mini Maxi Racer/Cruiser Class last year. They are also the first IMA yacht to enter the IMA/RORC Transatlantic Race, which will take place this November, from Lanzarote to Grenada.
'Other new members who will be introduced at the AGM are Benoit de Froidmont, owner of Wallyno, and Roberto Tomasini Grinover, owner of Robertissima III.'
Many IMA members will be competing in the 2014 Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. Niklas Zennström won the Mini Maxi World Championship last year at the helm of Rán II and the reigning world champion is returning with the new Rán V. Andres Soriano is back with Alegre, which was just a point behind last year. IMA Vice-President for Mini Maxi Racers, Hap Fauth returns to the championship with Bella Mente hoping to take the trophy back to America. Sir Peter Ogden will be competing, once again, this time with his new and highly optimised Jethou. Roberto Tomasini Grinover will be racing his Robertissima III, (previously Rán II). This boat was the overall winner of the 2014 Rolex Capri Sailing Week. They will be making their first attempt at the Mini Maxi World Championship – but in the boat that won in 2014.
In the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, IMA President Claus-Peter Offen will be racing 2011 winning Wally, Y3K. IMA Vice-President of the Wally Class, Thomas Bscher racing Wally Cento, Open Season is expected to have a hard fought gentlemen's duel with Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones racing Magic Carpet Cubed. IMA member Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones has won the Wally division on five previous occasions in his series of Magic Carpets. Gérard Logel, IMA Vice-President for Mini Maxi Racer/Cruiser division, returns with Arobas.
The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship will take place 31 August - 6 September 2014.
More information about the regattas can be found here
For more information about the International Maxi Association, click here