Bella Mente takes second Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship title

Open Season (Wally), WinWin (SuperMaxi), Leopard 3 (Maxi Racing), My Song (Maxi Racing Cruising), Atalanta II (MiniMaxi Racing), Wallyño (MiniMaxi Racing Cruising) and Grande Orazio (Southern Wind) division winners at Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

Porto Cervo, Italy. 10th September 2016. The 27th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Rolex 72 World Championship concluded in fine style yesterday with the Wally and Maxi 72 divisions completing two windward-leeward races and all other divisions sailing a coastal course. The day for racing in Porto Cervo was perfect: a steady breeze of 10-12 knots, sunshine and blue skies. Despite the idyllic scenery, however, the intentions of owners and crews were deadly serious as victory or defeat, in most divisions, would be decided in the final showdown.


Thomas Bscher’s Open Season was the undisputed champion from the off in this 13-boat division, and a victory and seventh place finish in yesteday’s two races were enough to assure a 10 point lead overall. Jean Charles Decaux’s J One made something of a comeback, stealing into second place at the last minute – just one point ahead of third-placed Tango G - thanks to a win in the final race.

Maxi 72

Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente also dominated from the off in the race for the Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship and another solid performance today, with a win and a third place, left this team inscribing their name on the perpetual trophy for the second year running. A final sprint from Proteus, with owner George Sakellaris at the helm, brought them from fourth to second place overall. Germany’s Momo took third place.

Owner Hap Fauth on his championship win: “It feels just fantastic. This was the hardest because we are the target both in practices and in pace. Everyone is aware of our strengths so, for example, there is always a blocking attempt in the starting sequences. But we have been good to respond – we have plan A, plan B and plan C at the start. For us, getting off at the start is a big part of the race, make the first cross and then we are in control.”

Not so fortunate day was for Robertissima, Federico Michetti comments: “It was a super tight racing, we lost 2 place for an on course side in the last race. Despite that we are proud of what we achieve this week: we had only 5 days of sailing, old sails and the boat, which have not been upgraded for 12 months... We are all sailing in real time with speed comparable at OD. I think this shows how great our team and the whole 72 Fleet are.

“However Roberto Tomasini Grinover does not plan to participate the regattas in Minimaxi class; the new yacht, that has been built in Dubai, is sold now.”

YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo commented on the week’s proceedings: “As always the Maxi event provided a spectacular week. We were delighted to host this record fleet of 52 boats and pleased to note that many of these were competing here for the first time – a very positive sign for the future growth of Maxi racing. We faced some difficult conditions but, as always, the Race Committee did a sterling job and this final day was really thrilling. We will see everyone back here in 2017 for a very special edition as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations.”

The Maxi fleet makes way on the docks for over 120 boats participating in the Rolex Swan Cup at the YCCS from 11th to 18th September.

Daily releases, photos and video content are available on the official website of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda  and via the Rolex Pressroom.

Bella Mente takes second Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship title