Menorca Maxi kicks off today in Spain
Everything is ready in the Club Marítimo, set on the shores of Mahón’s beautiful meandering bay, to play host to a fleet of nine Wallys and three J-Class yachts, crewed by some of the world’s top professional sailors.
According to Ariane Mainemare, Principal Race Officer, the twelve yachts will have a blast during Wednesday’s practice starts and races, with 15 to 20 knots of southeasterly breeze and big waves. Two windward/leeward races are in store for Thursday, followed by a coastal race on Friday, weather allowing.
The latest forecast calls for the breeze to weaken to lower double digits on Thursday and Friday and stabilizing during the weekend.
The windward/leeward races will be held approximately 1.5 miles south of the bay’s mouth. Depending on weather conditions, Friday’s coastal race, between 25 and 35 nautical miles long, will take the two fleets along the island’s striking coastline, rounding spectacular landmarks such as the Favaritx lighthouse or the Isla del Aire. On Saturday, if the breeze allows it, organizers plan to put the second race’s finish line inside the spectacular bay of Mahón, a few hundred meters from Club Marítimo.
For Luca Bassani, Wally founder and CEO, the island of Menorca embodies the spirit of the Wally Class: “We always try hold our regattas in very beautiful places because our owners like to race but also like to cruise. As a result, having an event in such a fascinating place is the perfect combination.”
The fact most of the crews have never sailed, let alone raced, in Menorca will add an interesting aspect in this week’s races. Bassani is calling tactics onboard Antonio Cacace’s Magic Blue and looks forward to an exciting and fun week. “Magic Blue has always been a fast boat that has won many regattas. In fact we finished second in Palma a couple of weeks ago. However, I think that speed will not be the only decisive factor this week. The weather forecast calls for light breeze, putting a premium on tactics. The fact it’s a brand new venue for the crews will make it even more stimulating, as you can make big gains but at the same time you can commit big mistakes.”
Ken Read, skipper and helmsman on J-Class Hanuman, commented: “Menorca is a beautiful place and will be an amazing venue. We love the island and the people seem great. This is the very first time I sail here and in fact, out of the 28 people onboard only one has actually sailed here.”
“As far as Hanuman is concerned, we really have no excuses. The boat is good, the sails are good and the crew is good. It’s up to us now and it’s very simple. We have been successful with this boat and If we sail well we think we can win, if we don’t sail well, we don’t win. That’s how competitive the group is.”
“The forecast is quite light and that isn’t perfect for us. We would certainly like a little bit more wind because that’s when the boat is at its best. However, we are prepared for lighter breeze but all the boats have made nice improvements during the winter, so it will be interesting.”
The event is an initiative of the Island Council of Menorca and is organized by Club Marítimo de Mahón, with the support of Port of Mahón, one of the Mediterranean’s biggest and most beautiful ports. Being chosen by two of the world’s most prestigious superyacht classes is a clear demonstration of Menorca’s know-how and ability to hold world-class sailing events.