The 30th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup officially commenced today with the traditional skippers' briefing followed by the first of the social events, the welcome cocktail on the terrace of the YCCS.

Organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with the support of title sponsor Rolex and the International Maxi Association, the event has gathered 53 Maxi yachts on the docks of Porto Cervo: a fleet varying in length from 18.3 to 42 metres, and hailing from 17 nations including the two J Class competitors - Velsheda and defending champions Topaz.

The first edition took place in 1980, when the YCCS and ICAYA, the association of owners of Maxi yachts - which has now become the International Maxi Association (IMA) - created a regatta dedicated to this exclusive type of vessel. Initially held on a biennial basis, since 2000 the event has become an annual appointment. As the yachts have evolved over time, so too has the regatta developed, with this 30th edition seeing the fleet divided into 8 different categories, grouping together the growing number of participating yachts.

The programme of the 30th edition includes 5 days of racing on the famous coastal routes between the islands of the archipelago of La Maddalena for which Yacht Club Costa Smeralda regattas are internationally renowned. For certain classes there will also be more technical racing on windward-leeward courses, while for the entire fleet Thursday 5 September will be a rest day or will be used to recoup any races not held due to weather conditions.

Riccardo Bonadeo, Commodore of the YCCS commented on the event: "Reaching the thirtieth edition is a significant mark rounding, I have seen this regatta grow since its first edition in 1980, first as a competitor and then in my role as Commodore. The fact that 53 yachts have gathered in Porto Cervo for the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is a result that speaks for itself, and for which I would like to thank both the owners and our partner Rolex, without whose collaboration this event would not have reached the prestige it holds today. Together with them we are looking to the future, with new ideas that we want to develop in order to make the event ever more attractive".

Tomorrow, 2 September, the regattas will get underway with a warning signal scheduled for 12 noon CEST and a forecast of a westerly wind of 10 knots that is set to intensify to 18 knots. The J Class yachts who are competing under IRC, will take part in a coastal regatta around the islands of the La Maddalena archipelago.