YACHTS

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We ask top sailors and ma­rine in­dus­try gu­rus to choose the coolest and most in­no­va­tive yachts of our times

MIKE SAN­DER­SON NOMINATES THE MAXI 72 THESE BOATS ARE IN­CRED­I­BLY FAST AND RIGHT IN THE SWEET SPOT

The Maxi 72 is the big­gest boat where you feel you’re do­ing things prop­erly. These boats don’t have a cant­ing keel or dag­ger­boards but they are in­cred­i­bly fast, beau­ti­ful to sail – right in the sweet spot – and po­tent un­der IRC be­cause they are so re­fined.

I sail on [Hap Fauth’s] Bella Mente and some­times I get to helm the boat. It’s an in­cred­i­ble priv­i­lege to sail one. You have 20 peo­ple on board and the abil­ity to get guys grind­ing. It’s slick and ef­fi­cient and highly de­vel­oped.

The Volvo boats, by com­par­i­son, make it frus­trat­ingly hard to do a good job. They are hard to show­case and make it look easy be­cause they are so short-staffed. It’s the op­po­site in a Maxi 72; you have enough peo­ple to do any­thing you want. New Zealan­der Mike San­der­son, 47, first raced round the world in the 1993/4 Whit­bread in New Zealand En­deav­our. He won the Volvo Ocean Race as skip­per of ABN AMRO 1 in 2006, and di­rected Team Ori­gin, the Bri­tish chal­lenger for the Amer­ica’s Cup from 2007-2010. A pro­fes­sional sail­maker, he now heads Doyle In­ter­na­tional.

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