The journey from Porto Cervo harbour to the start of the Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup was enough to set some sailors nerves jangling this morning, as a 3 metre sea and 20 – 25 knots of northeasterly wind greeted competitors. The conditions were more than manageable, but there were traps in the waves and gusts that would catch those unwary, unlucky or unprepared. The Race Committee chose a 35 nautical mile course, which took the fleet on a beat to a windward mark, followed by a fetch to the rocks at Monaci, where the yachts bore off onto a run down into the main channel between the Maddalena Islands and mainland Sardinia.
At Secca di Tre Monti the fleet hardened up for some upwind work in flat water to the top mark of the course at Barrettinelli di Fuori. Then it was back out into the lump and bump of the open sea and a fast reach down to the finish off Porto Cervo. Not everyone was overawed, as ocean ace Torben Grael and Olympic maestro Robert Scheidt conspired to bring Luna Rossa home first amongst the Racing Mini Maxis, although not without their moments. Jean-Charles Decaud’s J One was the fortunate one in the Wallys, while Velsheda and tradition got the better of modernity in Cruising. Great pic from James Robinson Taylor and plenty more here.