North Sails NEWS

September 12, 2019

NORTH CLIENTS WIN SEVEN DIVISIONS AND SWEEP FOUR PODIUMS

30th Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup Attracts More than 50 Teams

Four Podium Sweeps & Seven Division Wins

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2019

Mini Maxi Racer 2

1 st

2 nd

3 rd *

Congratulations

SuperNikka

Mini Maxi Racer / Cruiser

1 st

3 rd

Congratulations

Flow

Mini Maxi Cruiser / Racer

1 st

Congratulations

H2O

Maxi Racer

1 st

2 nd

Congratulations

Highland Fling XI

Maxi Racer / Cruiser

1 st

2 nd

3 rd *

Congratulations

Nefertiti

Super Maxi

1 st

2 nd

3 rd

Congratulations

Velsheda

Wally

1 st

2 nd

3 rd

Congratulations

Lyra

* partial North Sails inventory
📸 ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

After five days of racing on coastal courses between the islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago, it’s possible everyone who participated in the 30th annual Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo went home feeling like a winner. “The Costa Smeralda gave us the gift of a perfect week,” said event organizers. “This event is much more than a regatta; it is a combination of the sea, the wind, the natural scenery, the organization, and the spirit of its participants—the owners and crews.”

North clients swept the podium in four classes and won a total of seven divisions, but one of those winners, Highland Fling XI’s strategist and North superyacht expert Mike Toppa, was equally proud of the overnight sail service provided by the company. The North Sails pop-up loft in Porto Cervo was run by Italian service manager Bacci Sgarbossa and his crew of sailmakers. “Maxi sails are not small or light,” Mike points out. “Our service guys showed up on the dock with a special flat bed truck that had a built-in crane to pick up and deliver sails. They were professional, highly skilled, and enthusiastic.” Best of all, there were surprisingly few repairs needed, even after the breeze topped 30-knots in race three. 

📸 ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

Courses for Maxis

Tom Dodson, North superyacht expert and longtime tactician and on the J-Class Velsheda, which won the Super Maxi division, says there were 43 possible course options—a mix of windward/leewards and coastal racing—and the wind was different every day. “Before we left the dock, it was important to choose sails so that most options were covered. All our 3Di sails are from early 2017, halfway through their competitive life, and they’re going well.”

📸 SuperNikka / Fabio Taccola

Mini Maxi Racer 2

SuperNikka won both races the first two days, eventually taking the overall division. “We have been racing with the same crew for five years,” owner/helm Roberto Lacorte says. “Every year we have acquired more performance, and with a fast boat we are free to choose the best tactics and defend ourselves when it’s time. The races are always very tight and close, mistakes are not allowed. I have the good fortune of having a superior crew by my side.” Next year, a bigger boat will be a whole new challenge; “Closing the cycle of SuperNikka with a victory is the best way to start this next adventure.”

Alessio Razeto is one of SuperNikka’s superior crew, and he agrees the team definitely earned the win. “We made almost 40 sail changes!” he says, adding that there was “not one single issue with the sails.”

📸 ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

Mini Maxi Racer/Cruiser Victory

Jack Slattery, US-based sales expert and tactician on Stephen Cucchiaro’s Swan 601 Flow, says the Boston-based team came into the regatta thinking they could win. Along with an upwind inventory of 3Di RAW, they used a Helix Code Zero and asymmetric spinnaker. “We were stronger in the moderate and heavy conditions,” Jack admits. “We had a new rig tune going into the event which favored 12+ True, so we’re working on an improved tuning matrix.”

Flow had a three point lead going into the last day, but they got behind early in the last race. “We had to fight our way through the pack and finally engaged our closest competitor in the last mile and a half, pushing them back just enough to win.” Their secret to success was a combination of good starts, excellent crew work, and sailing their own races, Jack says. “We often made subtle gains around the corners. Those small gains can add up to exponentially larger ones.” 

📸 ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

Maxi Racer/Cruiser: Podium Sweep

Nefertiti, a Swan 90, won the Maxi Racer/Cruiser division, where North inventories swept the podium. North sail designer Gonzalo Ramos Vertiz trimmed main, and he says believing in their inventory was a huge part of the victory. “The boat’s owner, captain and crew all have complete confidence in North Sails. In this kind of heavy big boat, it’s crucial to be able to push the sails to the max.”

📸 ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

3Di shape “just locked in”

Mike Toppa agrees that 3Di sail inventories meet the high expectations set by owners and crews. “It was a tough fleet with competitive boats and talented sailors. We hit a mark in race four and had to take a scoring penalty, which put us a point behind Rambler going into the last day.” Fortunately, he adds, Highland Fling XI is a great all-around boat that performs well throughout the wind range—and so are the sails. “We saw everything from eight to 30 knots in Porto Cervo, and I’m continually impressed at how stable 3Di sails are when it’s windy. The shape is just locked in.”

📸 ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi