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.