As Race Day 3 of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship concludes, competition in each of the five participating divisions grows ever fiercer. With the exception of the Wally division, where a battle is raging between Magic Carpet Cubed and J One for second place behind an unbeaten Open Season, just a few points separate the top boats in each competing category.
After completing a further two windward-leeward races today, the provisional leadership of the Maxi 72 World Championship has changed hands for the third time, with Dieter Schön's Momo moving into pole position ahead of the US team on Bella Mente and Italy's Robertissima.
Leaders in the remaining divisions, which completed their third coastal course of the event are Giuseppe Puttini's Swan 65 Shirlaf (Mini Maxi RC/SOT), Roberto Lacorte's 2015-launched Supernikka (Mini Maxi Racing), Michael Cotter's Windfall (Maxi R/C) and Marco Vogele's Inoui in the Supermaxi division.
A northeasterly breeze of 12-14 knots allowed the Mini Maxi division to complete a 30 mile race using the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago as natural course marks while the Maxi and Supermaxi divisions added in an extra leg to lengthen the course to 36 nautical miles.
Guest of honour for this 26th edition of the "Maxis", as they are known to sailors worldwide, is Jim Clark's 100-foot racing machine Comanche. The custom built monohull powered round the course in just over 2 hours 40 minutes to take line honours. "The priority for the boat is to take part in every great offshore race on the calendar." explained skipper Ken Read. "So far we've done a Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, we've raced across the Atlantic, and we've done a Rolex Fastnet Race."
With the forecast showing a brisk northerly breeze for tomorrow the scheduled lay day has been pushed back to Friday and racing is due to start at 11.30 a.m.
The entry list, event programme and technical documents are available on the YCCS website.
Images courtesy of Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex