Published: Monday, 14 September 2015

Eighteen knots of wind and a roaring race around the islands of Porto Cervo, Italy finished off the final day of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup & Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship.

Bella Mente Crowned Rolex Maxi 27 World Champion

(Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex/Bella Mente and Robertissima III)

Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) together with title sponsor Rolex and the International Maxi Association organized the 26th edition of the event, which attracted a fleet of 40 yachts ranging from 18 to 66 metres in length.

Hap Fauth's Bella Mente was crowned Rolex Maxi 72 World Champion 2015. The American team boasting Terry Hutchinson on tactics managed to whisk victory from the grasp of Roberto Tomasini Grinover with his Robertissima III by just one point. Dieter Schön's Momo claimed third place in her debut on the waters of the Costa Smeralda.

“It was just fantastic," says Fauth, "The level of competition was so high and everyone had fun. We had a great time and the organization and hospitality was excellent."

Bella Mente Crowned Rolex Maxi 27 World Champion 1

(Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex/Inoui)

At the conclusion of a coastal course of approximately 30 nautical miles Marco Vogele's 33-metre Inoui was able to celebrate her victory over Viriella and Hetairos respectively in the Supermaxi division.

Newly elected International Maxi Association (IMA) President Thomas Bscher was also celebrating in the Wally division as his Open Season rounded off a week of near-perfect results with a second place in the final race to claim overall victory in the Wally division. After a fierce battle for second place throughout the week, Magic Carpet Cubed, owned by Sir Lindsay Owen Jones, took the silver prize with J One in third place on equal points.

In the Maxi division, which together with the Mini Maxis completed a slightly shorter coastal course, The Southern Wind yacht Windfall, owned by Michael Cotter claimed the Rolex prize and timepiece. Following an event-long leadership battle, Masimiliano Florio's Grande Orazio Pioneer Investments had to settle for second place, just one point behind. The Swan 77 Tugela rounded off the podium finishers.

Bella Mente Crowned Rolex Maxi 27 World Champion 2

(Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex/Open Season and Magic Carpet Cubed)

Riccardo di Michele's H2O managed to beat Shirlaf on countback as both yachts finished with the same score. Third place in the Mini Maxi RC/SOT division went to Wallyño. The Mini Maxi Racing Division saw Roberto Lacorte's 2015-launched Supernikka perform consistently well throughout the week to take first place overall ahead of Britain's Spectre and Maximilian Klink's Caro.

“The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is always a highlight of our sporting calendar - however this 26th edition of the regatta was truly exceptional," says YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo. "The fleet, the owners and the crews were all of an incredibly high standard and mother nature stepped in to provide almost perfect conditions."

The YCCS calendar in the Mediterranean continues with the Sailing Champions League final that will see teams from across Europe and beyond competing on J70 boats (Sept 18-20).