MAXI YACHT ROLEX CUP – Supermaxis, Maxis & Dual-purpose Mini Maxis

A full team of bowmen and second bowmen are needed to drop the spinnaker on a J-Class like LIONHEART. pic by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

A full team of bowmen and second bowmen are needed to drop the spinnaker on a J-Class like LIONHEART. pic by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Bowmen calling the start. pic by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Bowmen calling the start.
pic by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

In the 2014 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup fleet there are three Supermaxis, goliaths of the sea measuring upwards of 100-ft. Contrasting designs define the Class. Firefly is a modern interpretation of a classic day racer, while Inoui and Viriella are simply imperious modern yachts that offer their owners graceful habitats afloat. Firefly leads going into the second half of the competition, but only by one point from Inoui , which has the wind behind her challenge having won today’s 31nm race.

Maxi yachts fill the gap between Mini Maxis and Supermaxis, measuring between 80 and 100 feet. Lord Irvine Laidlaw’s 83-ft hybrid Maxi Highland Fling, is among the fastest boats on show. Three bullets in three races gives her a commanding lead over Tom Siebel’s performance-cruiser the 90-foot Swan, Odin.

Unlike their stripped-out sisters, the Racing/Cruising Mini Maxis offer their owners the opportunity to both race and cruise whenever the mood takes them. Seven are present this year and today’s 23.5nm race proved there is plenty of competition in prospect during the final two days. The 62-foot Bronenosec  took the honours today, denting the previously perfect scoreline of the 79-foot Lupa of London. Lupa still leads the class, but Bronenosec has closed the gap to three points.

Fact: The total number of crew registered for the 2014 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is 724, just short of the 736 players selected for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.