Published: Monday, 11 September 2017

The 28th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup reached a climax, as competing yachts continued to push to the wire to assert their individual claims to their class throne.

Newcomer Ribelle Shines In Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2

(Photos: Rolex - Lord Irvine Laidlaw's Highland Fling XI R)

In the closely fought Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship, it was Dieter Schön’s largely German crew on Momo that executed best across the week. David Leuschen’s Galateia overcame the teething-problems experienced in 2016 to dominate the Wally class. In the SuperMaxis, Ribelle achieved the dream start to her Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup career. 

Elsewhere, the Maxi class went to Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling XI R, with the Swan 90 Nefertiti a surprise second.

Mini Maxi Racing was a comparative stroll for Peter Ogden’s fast-moving Jethou, while in Mini Maxi Racing Cruising Roberto Lacorte’s Supernikka won Group 1 with Riccardo de Michele’s H20 securing Group 2, both in the face of intense opposition.

Arnaud Boestch, Rolex SA Communication & Image Director said: “The partnership between Rolex and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda is one of the most enduring in sailing. Beyond a shared passion for the sport, our relationship is founded on common values that reflect the spirit of this noble past-time.” 

“Rolex has been involved in sailing for close to 60 years and we have been privileged to support the activities of the YCCS during so much of that time.”

“The YCCS is a widely-respected organization that leads and innovates. We congratulate it on reaching this significant milestone and we look forward to a long and fruitful continuation of our collaboration.” 

Newcomer Ribelle Shines In Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 1

(Photo: Dieter Schön's Momo)

Salvatore and Paola Trifirò, the owners of Ribelle, are members of the YCCS. Winning at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup at their first attempt with their new yacht: “This is the cherry on the cake!” exclaimed Paola.

“Not only have we won the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, but we have done so during the 50th anniversary of the YCCS. We have so many friends and have enjoyed so many sporting occasions here, it is really a part of us. It is a complete dream to win this year of all years.”

Ribelle is quite different to the Trifiròs’ previous boat – the 49.7m, 370 tonne aluminium cruising sloop Zefira.

The 32.64m, 84 tonne Ribelle (rebel) is so named to reflect the spirited approach of her owners in creating a striking lightweight carbonfibre performance cruiser that has turned heads all week with her lines and turn of speed against seasoned opposition.

“The world had totally changed in the years since we built Zefira," added Paola."We wanted a combination of things: lighter, faster, more manoeuvrable, fewer crew, potential to race and innovative lines. We were already satisfied with the boat, but this result is proof that the satisfaction is justified.”

Helming Ribelle for much of the week was Italian sailing legend Francesco de Angelis, a regular competitor in Porto Cervo and at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. 

De Angelis was delighted with the win: “Porto Cervo is a beautiful environment. The racing conditions are so challenging with breeze that can be light or strong mixed with the rocks and islands. There are so many different inputs, it is never easy here, let alone winning.”