Roy DISNEY, Hasso PLATTNER, and Dick and Doug DEVOS, the owners respectively of the maxZ86 racers Pyewacket, Morning Glory, and Windquest, have invited other big boat owners to race on a global circuit for a new Super Maxi Class.
"This group is looking to compete in handicap racing with and against big boats which are the general speed and size of a maxZ86, which fit into a relatively narrow rating band, and which fall inside the speed limits set for the Bermuda Race, Transpac, Fastnet and other international events,"
said the invitation letter, sent to other owners.
The calendar at present is based on the circuit proposed for the maxZ86 Class. The first event is the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta in March, followed by Antigua Sailing Week in April. Other events in 2004 include the Newport Bermuda Race in June and Ford Cork Week in July, followed by the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Sardinia in September and the Rolex Middle Sea Race in October. Not all the boats above are expected to enter all the races listed.
The group has expressed the hope that owners who join the circuit will work with; event organizers, rule-making authorities, designers, the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), and the ISAF to establish a Super Maxi Class with its own World Championship. To that end, they have said they will host a meeting with all interested parties at each of the above regattas, with the aim of evolving a class structure and circuit for the years 2005, 2006, and beyond.
"The idea in its present form is that boats will race under the relevant rating rules and scoring systems for each individual event on the circuit,"
the letter said. "Those eligible to compete will be monohull boats, with or without canting keels, and with or without water ballast. Ratings will follow the capped limits set by individual race organizers. The intended minimum performance requirement for invited boats will be IMS GPH 413.9 which is the lower cutoff for Bermuda Class V. The intent is to treat 2004 as a startup season with the goal of ratifying rules and limits for future years."
The owners said they wanted to emphasize that their concept was "neither intended to compete with nor detract from the very laudable efforts of the ORC/RORC/US Sailing Rule Working Party currently researching a new rating rule."
They added that all events under consideration would only be entered upon the invitation of the appropriate club or clubs.
Publicity for the Class is being handled by Keith TAYLOR. Contact information for all involved with the class, plus current news, background and photos, is on the MaxZ86 class website at the address below.