Doyle-powered teams are making last minute preparations ahead of the pinnacle Grand Prix sailing event of the season, the IMA Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, in the spectacular surroundings of Porto Cervo.
The fleet of internationally acclaimed maxi yachts are due to race from the 3rd to 9th of September for the 33rd edition of the event across a variation of courses ranging from coastal courses through the islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago to windward-leeward courses.
Once again, Doyle Sails is proud to be the sailmaker of choice for the majority of the high-performance race yachts that will be on the start line this week, with more than 75 Doyle sails delivered specifically ahead of the event. For Doyle Sails, it is always the busiest event of the year with a significant number of Doyle-powered yachts and Doyle Sails people on the ground including Mike Sanderson, CEO of Doyle Sails International. This year Mike returns to sail with long-time Doyle Sails supporter and friend Hap Fauth onboard his Botin 75 Bella Mente. “It’s wonderful to be sitting on the plane after several years of “testing times” for the world. Even though last year was pretty much back to normal I was forced out due to a very disappointing skiing injury and so super excited to be back with our Bella Mente family for another crack at the big prize of the year for boats like Bella, “ said Mike, who is currently enroute to Porto Cervo. “For Doyle Sails this will be our biggest and most competitive line up of boats throughout the divisions and we look forward to working with our owners and teams over the coming two weeks with their local Doyle experts and their new sails to really maximize each team’s potential”, he continued.
Finishing the 2022 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in third place, Bella Mente are looking to fight back and claim the top spot this season. The team will also be trialing Doyle Sails’ latest technology in the lead up so it will be all eyes on the 75ft racing machine ahead of the event. “This year we have made some pretty bold changes to the boat with twin rudders, water ballast and lots of smaller developments in hydro and aero world, so really exciting to see how those all play out over the next two weeks,” said Mike.
Farr 100 Leopard 3 will be back in action with Chris Sherlock at the helm. Sherlock, of Doyle Sails Palma, and his team have had worked hard in the lead up to the event with a successful Palma Superyacht Cup result before winning the 2023 Aegean 600. After a major refit this year, the yacht is in fighting form with a new rig, rigging and winch package, along with a new Doyle Sails inventory.
Contention for the title in Maxi Class 1 will be tight as Leopard will be lining up against fellow Doyle-powered maxi’s Deep Blue, Galateia and Bullitt. Luke Molloy, also of Doyle Sails Palma, is sailing onboard long time customer Andrea Recordati’s Wally 93 Bullitt, who, after finishing 3rd at the 2022 event will be looking to climb up the podium.
David M. Leuschen’s WallyCento Galateia will once again line up alongside other maxi’s in Maxi Class 1 after a successful start to the season winning the 2023 Palma Vela regatta. Daniel Fong, professional sailor and Grand Prix sail designer for Doyle Sails, will be onboard this year supporting the team as a sailor, but also as the sail designer behind the new high-performance Stratis J1 and full suite of downwind flying sails that has recently been delivered to Galateia.
With 10 new Doyle Stratis sails onboard for the event, it will be Dario Ferrari’s Botin 72 Cannonball, looking to continue their run of successful results in what is arguably the most intense division of the event, with eight yachts in Maxi Class 2. Doyle Grand Prix Sail Designer and professional sailor Jordi Calafat is onboard as tactician.
David Duff of Doyle Sails International will sail with Wendy Schimdt and their tight knit crew on the Botin 85 Deep Blue and Doyle Sails Italy will support Manticore, Franz Wilhem Baruffaldi Preis’s Mylius 60 fd, which will line up in the Maxi Class 4, the largest division for the regatta.
Recently launched Cafe Racer Open Season, owned by Thomas Bscher, will be making her long awaited debut in the racing scene after spending the inital part of the summer in Palma. Open Season will showcase her brand new race inventory of Doyle Structured Luff headsails, Cableless Code Zero and staysails this week. Senior project manager and sailmaker Antoine Thullier, is onboard with the race team this week. The project has been led by Luke Molloy who has been an integral player from design phase through to commissioning – recently spending time with the yacht to complete the sea trials last week and a training block with race team ahead of their first racing event. The 68fter has spent the earlier part of the summer cruising, designed to sail without backstays in cruising mode allowing the owner to sail simply and safely with minimal crew.
George Sakellaris’s maxi yacht Proteus returns for another year and will be looking for redemption, last year they were the winners of the Maxi European Inshore series, and posted a second overall at the Maxi European event. While luck wasn’t on their side at the Aegean 600 in July with a rigging issue pre-start, the yacht is back in mint condition ahead of the event with Richard Bouzaid onboard as primary trimmer.
The highly anticipated 101 Y3K, the latest launch from Italian yard Wally test yacht out of the Italian Wally yard will also be making her racing debut this week, having recently completed a successful round of sea trials in Italy where a full suite of Doyle Structured Luff sails were fitted alongside Mainsails, Cableless Code sails and downwind flying sails.
With Doyle Sails now firmly the sailmaker of choice to the world’s most high-performance race yachts, events like the 2023 Maxi Rolex Cup are a true testament to the by sailors, for sailors ethos which sees Doyle Sails home to not only the best sailmakers in the world, but the best sailors.
ABOUT DOYLE SAILS // Doyle Sails strives to deliver success through high-performance, high-quality, custom sails that continue to redefine the boundaries of sailmaking technology and innovation; whilst connecting sailors to inspire, support and encourage sailing.
Our obsession with sailing takes us to every corner of the world and onboard every yacht. We become part of teams, share in the adventures of friends and families, sharing our knowledge and experience with those with the same passion. Sailing is in our DNA, and we are the custodians of a legacy that has been supporting sailors for four decades and counting.