PHOTOS: CARLO BORLENGHI / ROLEX
AMERICAN HAP FAUTH’S Bella Mente retained her Rolex Maxi 72 World Champion’s crown at the conclusion of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo, Italy Sept 4-10, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the International Maxi Association.
This is Bella Mente’s third Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship title win, and her second consecutive. But this was the hardest yet, with the US team targeted by five other Maxi 72s.
“It feels just fantastic,” says Fauth. “Everybody was aware of our strengths and there was always a blocking attempt in the starting sequences. We know what we like to do and they would go out of their way to move us around.”
The biggest class completing at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup was the Wallys. This was won by the biggest, fastest boat – Thomas Bscher’s Wally 107 Open Season, which claimed the first race on the last day.
One of the star performers was Jean-Charles Decaux’s Wally 77 J One, which won the final race elevating her to second overall.
Kim Schindelhauer’s 33m Winwin scored a final race win to consolidate her lead in the Super Maxi class. This class included the impressive match racing between the Js, Velsheda and Lionheart. Lionheart claimed the final coastal race to win overall on countback, under the Js’ JCA handicap system, retaining its Corinthian King’s Cup for a fourth consecutive time.
In the Maxi Racing class, Mike Slade’s Leopard 3 benefitted from George David’s Rambler 88 being OCS. The British Maxi then maintained a tight cover over her thoroughbred American rival to score her third bullet of the series and with it overall victory.
Similarly, Pier Luigi and Loro Piana’s My Song scored her third win to come out on top in the Maxi Racer-Cruiser class, in what could be this Farr 84’s final regatta under her present ownership.
A final win for the Mills 68 Prospector (ex Alegre/Caol Ila R) was not enough for her new American trio of Owners to prevent Carlo Alessandro and Puri Negri’s Atalanta II from claiming honours in the Mini Maxi Racing class.
Meanwhile in Maxi Racer-Cruiser, Gérard Logel’s Swan 601 @robas finally scored a race win, but Benoit de Froidmont’s Wally 60 Wallyῆo claimed the overall class prize. This was Wallyῆo’s first win at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup for her Geneva-based Owner, who sails with a largely French crew. “We have a great team and the boat was well prepared so it was good job by the team and the wind conditions were perfect for us - this boat prefers lighter winds,” explains de Froidmont.
On Wednesday night’s International Maxi Association Owners’ Dinner, Dieter Schön’s Maxi 72 MOMO was announced as the 2015 IMA Boat of the Year, while Rambler 88 Owner George David was presented with the trophy for winning the 2016 Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge.
A special prize was presented to Carla Comelli, Owner of the Wally 107 Kenora.