Big boats put on a show at record Maxi Worlds

Porto Cervo hosts largest ever big boat re­gatta

Yachting World - - On The Wind -

Arecord at­ten­dance en­sured that Septem­ber’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo, Sar­dinia was noth­ing short of spec­tac­u­lar. The 52-strong fleet, all mea­sur­ing over 60ft (18.29m), in­cluded the six Mini Maxi 72s com­pet­ing in their world cham­pi­onship event along­side the best of the cur­rent crop of big boat rac­ers and cruiser-rac­ers.

The Maxi Worlds were di­vided into seven classes, in­clud­ing some of the most re­cent su­pery­acht launches in the bur­geon­ing 33-35m car­bon per­for­mance sec­tor. Armed with the lat­est deck gear and sails, and crewed by elite pro­fes­sional sailors, yachts such as Win­win, Inouï, Nikata and High­land Fling all raced off Sar­dinia’s pic­turesque rocky coast­line. Al­though two days were lost to strong winds and big seas, the event show­cased mod­ern big boat rac­ing at its finest – a demon­stra­tion of pre­cise and pow­er­ful rac­ing ac­tion.

Wally had the largest class, with 13 yachts rac­ing, and will have its largest ever col­lec­tion of 16 yachts at the Voiles de St Tropez in late Septem­ber. “We’ve never seen such a big class of maxis in any era,” said Wally Yachts founder, Luca Bas­sani.

Bas­sani started the Wally class in the late 1990s, at a time when there were no maxi sized cruiser-rac­ers. Now these per­for­mance cruising su­pery­achts make up the ma­jor­ity of su­pery­acht and maxi re­gatta rac­ing fleets. It is the re­al­i­sa­tion of Bas­sani’s vi­sion.

The Wally fac­tor

So why there has been such a surge in num­bers? Bas­sani in­sists that a yacht’s cruising ap­peal helps to main­tain its re­sale value com­pared with stripped-out rac­ing maxis. Glance at the Maxi Rolex en­try list this year and you see that only Ram­bler 88 and the mini Maxi 72s stand out as pure rac­ers; the rest are Wallys, Swans, and cus­tom-built per­for­mance cruiser su­pery­achts. Even the two J Class rac­ers Velsheda and Lion­heart have de­cid­edly lux­u­ri­ous in­te­ri­ors, as is stip­u­lated by the orig­i­nal J Class rules.

To ad­here to Wally class rules, for ex­am­ple, yachts have to have gensets, air­con, a min­i­mum num­ber of beds and heads, etc. “They need to keep a cruising abil­ity and they have to keep a re­sale fac­tor,” says Bas­sani. He com­pares this to a past

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