Porto Cervo frustrates on day two of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

written by James Boyd, International Maxi Association
published 09/04/2018

The two race committees made valiant attempts to get the 41 boat fleet sailing, but ultimately a stable wind failed to materialise on day two of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship. Highlight of the maxi-boat calendar, this prestigious event, first held in 1980, is run by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the International Maxi Association, the World Sailing-recognised body that promotes maxi boat racing globally.

After a wait of almost three hours under the AP flag ashore, the southeasterly sea breeze filled in and the fleet was sent out. As Principal Race Officer Peter Craig explained: “We had a pleasant surprise early afternoon when that breeze came in from the direction people thought it would. But as soon as the clouds rolled in, it dissipated.” 

This was followed by a lengthy wait out on the water in no wind. “We thought the day was over,” admitted Craig, “but then it came banging out of the west.” Within 30 minutes the westerly, seemingly coming from nowhere, had built to 20 knots directly off Porto Cervo, sending crews scrabbling for more modest headsails. 

“Unfortunately while it came in hard, it dissipated again,” continued Craig. “By the time we were setting up, it went quickly to 10 knots and then it went down from there.” At 1613 local time the race committee took the inevitable decision to abandon racing for the day. 

Charlie Ogletree, project manager and tactician aboard the magnificent US-owned J Class yacht, Svea, alongside the likes of America’s Cup heroes Ken Read, Peter Isler and Francesco De Angelis, said: “The race committee made the right call not to race. You could see westerly in here and that was fighting the sea breeze. It was a tough day to be a racer or race committee. Tomorrow is looking like more of a stable sea breeze day, from the southeast.” Svea currently holds third place in the Super Maxi class. 

Tomorrow today’s schedule will be reattempted with the Wallys sailing windward-leewards and the remaining classes on coastal courses. The forecast indicates light winds again: “They say it is sailable but I don’t know who to believe anymore,” admits Peter Craig. “We will try and make it happen and we’ll sail on the layday (Thursday).” 

Report by James Boyd / International Maxi Association
For more information and results on the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup visit: