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2019 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup at Yacht Club Costa Smeralda - Preview

by Quinag 26 Aug 07:16 PDT 1-7 September 2019
Wallycentos match racing down the Costa Smeralda's 'Bomb Alley' at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. © ROLEX / Studio Borlenghi

The 30th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will take place off Porto Cervo, Sardinia, from 1-7 September. For almost four decades, the event has provided an exacting test for the Maxi, the most powerful, elegant and impressive yacht class.

First held in 1980 and organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) in conjunction with the International Maxi Association, Rolex has been the event's Title Sponsor since 1985.

Maxi yachts are more than 18.29 metres (60 feet) long and demand to be sailed by outstanding talent. The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup requires the utmost professionalism from the race management, something fully appreciated by Rolex, whose involvement in yachting is centred upon a privileged alliance with the most respected yacht clubs around the world. The brand's relationship with the YCCS stretches back to 1984.

The finest minds and craft

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup gathers the very best sailors. Immense skill flows throughout each Maxi yacht, where crew work must be impeccable.

Rivals at sea, on land these foes become friends. Rolex Testimonee Sir Ben Ainslie, the five-time Olympic medallist and four-time Rolex World Sailor of the Year, is a former winner who can attest to this.

"When we are racing, we are at war with each other. When we step ashore, we leave the competition on the water and enjoy great camaraderie, sharing the experiences from down the years," he said. "This is something very special in the sport of sailing."

The current entry of 52 yachts matches the previous record set in 2016. The popularity of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup reflects the event's careful stewardship by both the organisers and their partner. After being held every two years for its first two decades, the regatta has been an annual affair since 1999. The fleet contesting this landmark edition encompasses the full range of craft, from pure racers to high-performance cruisers and classic masterpieces.

Bella Mente, from the USA, is a three-time winner of the Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship. The latest iteration makes its debut this year and the all-star afterguard includes Mike Sanderson, another former Rolex World Sailor of the Year. Mixing exceptional performance with innovative design and uncompromising luxury is the 30.48 m (100 ft) Wallycento, Magic Carpet Cubed, of Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, who is a four-time winner of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. The J-Class hails from the 1930s and is enjoying a renaissance in recent years. Winner of the Supermaxi division in 2018, the 42.7 m (140 ft) Topaz is based on a 1935 design of Frank C. Paine, one of the most important designers of the early twentieth century.

Rolex's support for the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, and the world of yachting more broadly, stems from the brand's perpetual commitment to excellence in all its activities.

A natural and supportive partner

Rolex has always associated with activities driven by passion, excellence, precision and team spirit. It naturally gravitated towards the elite world of yachting six decades ago and today supports the most prestigious clubs, races and regattas.

The brand is Title Sponsor of 15 major international events - from leading offshore races, such as the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race, to grand prix competition at the Rolex TP52 World Championship and spectacular gatherings at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Swan Cup. It also supports the exciting new SailGP series, where national teams race in supercharged F50 catamarans on some of the world's most famous harbours.

Rolex's partnerships with the likes of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, New York Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron are the foundation of its enduring relationship with this dynamic sport.

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