Rolex Maxi Worlds – Day 1

A beautiful day in Sardinia is very hard to beat. 15 knots of wind from the West made the first race day of this historic event picture perfect. I am sailing as tactician on Jim Swartz’s new STP 65 Moneypenny.

The day’s single race was a 40 mile “Coastal Race” starting from Porto Cervo, sailing up the straights of Madelena and out to the Lavezzi rock. Then we sailed back down the east side the Islands of Caprera, Madelena and Monacci and back into to Porto Cervo. A very scenic tour and challenging at the same time.

About 40 yachts from 60 feet to 145 feet are divided into 4 classes in the Rolex Maxi Worlds. There are the latest high tech machines like the Esence a 140 foot Wally and Rosebud the carbon fiber STP 65-winner of the 2007 Sydney Hobart,, and classics like Ranger and Velsheda which are J boats.

Then there are the stars; Ben Ainsle the three time gold medalist sailing on Alpha Romeo, Ernesto Bertarelli and Brad Butterworth on Numbers, and 5 time Olympic medalist and skipper of Ericsson’s Vovlo 70, Torben Grael, skippering Alpha Junior.

We had a good day today getting second in our class to Numbers, with Rosebud in third place. We struggled a bit upwind arriving at the top of the course behind Rosebud, who rates even with us, but we were very fast jib reaching and then running under spinnaker passing Roebud and a few others.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for a bit less wind and I expect we may get two windward-leward courses.

I am not sure how things went in the other classes so go to or for complete results and some other articles.