Thirty-five Maxi yachts from 13 nations will head to the starting line today to compete for the Maxi World Championship title in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in partnership with Rolex.
This year marks the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup debut for Australian vintner Robert OATLEY'S new 66-foot, Reichel/Pugh-designed Wild Oats, and Genuine Risk, a 90-foot Dubois-designed racing "sled" owned by Randall PITTMAN of the US. Both Genuine Risk and Wild Oats will be competing for the first time against Roy DISNEY'S MaxZ86 Pyewacket, and the 90-foot Alfa Romeo sailed by New Zealander Neville CRICHTON, who will be looking to repeat his victory in last year's event. The Wally class, with 10 boats, will have new competition from Argentinian Alberto Roemmers racing his recently launched 98-foot Alexia.
"We have a spectacular week planned for the racers both on and off the water,"
said Yacht Club Costa Smeralda Commodore Gianfranco ALBERINI. "The racing should be extraordinary because of the advanced technology involved, the intense level of competition, and passion of the competitors. Rolex and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda have also created an outstanding social schedule befitting the celebration of our 20-year relationship."
Racing will take place throughout the week, ending with the awards ceremony on Saturday, September 11. The Maxi yachts, which have been defined as yachts larger than 65 feet, have been divided into three divisions: Racing Oriented, Wally, and Cruising Oriented. The regatta will include windward- leeward courses and coastal races which take full advantage of the funnel of strong winds that typically stream through the islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago. Five racing days have been scheduled with a lay day on Thursday. First gun is planned for 12:00 each racing day.
"The variety of boats and racing conditions should provide a spectacular site,"
continued Alberini. "The cruising class showcases the largest and most traditional yachts in the regatta including American George LINDEMANN'S 180-foot Adela and Ferruccio FIORUCCI'S beautiful 135-foot Alejandra as well as British yachts Velsheda and Eleonora. The Wally division is equally impressive with 10 Wally boats competing. Wally Yacht founder Luca BASSANI Antivari will sail his 89-foot Wally Tiketitan against Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera's 105-foot Kauris III and L'Oreal CEO Lindsay Owen-Jones's 94-foot Magic Carpet Squared."
For Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2004 entry lists, results and other event information visit the event website at the address below.