The 2016 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in full swing in Porto Cervo

Written by Gemma Fottles

The 27th Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is well underway in Porto Cervo, with today marking the third day of racing for the fleet of impressive competitors. The 2016 edition of the Cup sees a record number of Maxis participating in the race, as well as a high number of yachts making their debut at the event.

As well as providing a revered stage for yacht racing, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is a great platform to demonstrate the latest innovations in sailing yacht naval architecture and design. 2016 is no exception and organisers state that the list of designers in attendance this week is a who’s who in the field of high-level naval architecture. With the sailing yacht market seeing a rapid decline in interest and innovation in recent years - particularly following the Global Financial Crisis where several sailing dedicated shipyards were forced to close their doors - the event is an ideal opportunity to showcase the latest thinking in Maxi yacht design.

Rolf Vrolijk of Judel/Vrolijk - designers of defending Rolex Maxi 72 World Champion, Bella Mente - is in Porto Cervo this week in support of the 35 metre Nikata. He states, “The main reason you see so many of these boats coming up at the moment is the development in the way they are equipped, built and ultimately perform. Sail plans are more performance oriented, construction materials are lighter, lifting keels offer more potential.”

The competition kicked off on Sunday 4th September, and will draw to a close on Saturday 10th September.

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