Maxis prepare to embark on 2012 Transatlantic Superyacht & Maxi Regatta

Maxis prepare to embark on 2012 Transatlantic Superyacht & Maxi Regatta


Tenerife, Spain. 24 November 2012. Six sailing giants have assembled in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain) for the start of the 2012 Transatlantic Superyacht & Maxi Regatta 2012. The regatta is scheduled to leave Santa Cruz in Tenerife on Monday, 26th November at 13.00 hours, destined for Virgin Gorda (British Virgin Islands) and the new winter base of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

The event, organized by the International Maxi Association (IMA) and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda with the collaboration of Real Club Nàutico de Tenerife, will see participating yachts cover approximately 2700 nautical miles and encounter varied wind and sea conditions. The passage on the NE tradewinds route usually takes between 10 to 16 days. The course record is held by last year’s line honours winner, Hetairos, which crossed the finish line off Virgin Gorda after 8 days, 10 hours, 58 minutes and 30 seconds.

After leaving Tenerife the boats will be looking to pick up on the northeast trade winds between approximately 30° latitude and the equator, which generally blow at a steady 11 to 15 knots. As the maxis near Virgin Gorda and the finish line,  the more gentle Alizé Caribbean trade wind will kick in and crews can expect to be accompanied by 10 to 12 knots of north easterly winds. The regatta is perfectly timed to tie in with the traditional transfers from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean for the winter season, and will have participants arriving on the other side of the Atlantic as the big boat racing season kicks off there.

Currently in its fifth edition and as always starting from Tenerife, the 2012 Transatlantic Superyacht & Maxi Regatta - reserved to maxi yachts (with a minimum LOA of 60 feet)  and superyachts (minimum LOA 80 feet) - will see a wide range of boats competing this year.

The largest boat in the fleet is the 55-metre three-masted schooner Shenandoah of Sark, built in 1902 for Charles Fahnestock by Townsend and Downey Shipbuilding of Shooters Island, New York, to a design by Theodore E Ferris. 

Representing Southern Wind shipyard is Cape Arrow, a Southern Wind 100, winner of the 2012 Southern Wind Trophy held during the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2012 in Porto Cervo. She has a highly-skilled Italian team on board including Guido Maisto (tactician), Claudio Novi (bowman) and Niki Mosca (tailer).

British pro Adrian Stead serves as tactician aboard Niklas Zennström’s  30.47-metre Farr 100 Rán Leopard. Zennström is one of the three IMA members who entered the race (together with the Peter Harrison’s 35-metre Sojana -  skippered by Marc Fitzgerald – and Nilaya. Sojana was also the winner (line honours) of the 2010 edition of the Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup. 

The 32-metre Nilaya, owned by Filip Balcaen and  with Bouwe Bekking calling tactics, won Line Honours at the Rolex Volcano Race 2012 and dominated the Supermaxi division at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in September in Porto Cervo.  “Nilaya is a supermaxi that can deliver to the highest performance, with the comfort and flexibility to carry out world cruising,” said Bouwe Bekking. “The crew is a mix of friends of the owner and some professionals. We have raced very successfully for 10 years together on the owner's previous boats so we have a well oiled crew where friends have taken some crucial positions onboard. It will be the first race across the Atlantic for our owner, as well as for his friends who join us,  the permanent crew and some pros with heaps of experience. Together we have 17 round-the world-races under our belts, and I don't know how many Transatlantics”.

The 27.46-metre Med Spirit belongs to a French owner, but thanks to a partnership with the Russian Yachting Federation (RYF), the boat is dedicating the participation in the race to the centennial anniversary of the Federation. Med Spirit will be the very first Russian boat competing in the Transatlantic Race. Her Russian-French crew also raced in the  Rolex Middle Sea Race (2011 and 2012), RORC 600 and ARC 2011. Skipper Vladimir Kulinichenko, (Kuli) was part of the crew of the first Soviet Union maxi boat - Fazisi - at the Whitbread Round-the-World race 1989-90,) and was part of Team Russia VO70 crew during the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09. 

A satellite tracking system, accessible online, will keep fans and supporters up to date on each yacht’s progress for the duration of the race.

Trophies will be awarded at the prize giving ceremony scheduled to take place at the latest on December 12 in Virgin Gorda. The YCCS Virgin Gorda Clubhouse was officially inaugurated last January, while the purpose-built YCCS Marina has been operational since March 2011.

For further information and live tracking please visit, or

IMA Press Office - Maria Luisa Farris
Tel. +39 345 8257605
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YCCS Press Office

+39 0789 902200
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