What is it like to sail aboard a 72ft stripped-out racing yacht at Cowes Week? Why is this class becoming ever more popular and what does it take to race one. We join Bella Mente for a sail and interview her professional strategist Adrian Stead


Bella Mente is a Judel Vrolijk design, built by New England Boatworks, and launched in 2012 for American owner-driver Hap Fauth. She is one of a growing fleet of Mini Maxi grand-prix race yachts of between 60-80ft, and one of a member-controlled new class of 72s.

The Maxi 72 class includes Dieter Schoen’s new Momo, the sistership to Ran V, which launched last year and also raced at Cowes. And fellow names on the Mini Maxi circuit include Robertissima (ex Ran 2), Allegre, Shockwave and Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou.

See our story of sailing aboard Bella Mente HERE
Bella Mente won the big boat Britannia Cup class at Cowes Week 2015. After racing we caught up with one of her afterguard, Adrian Stead who explained more about what it’s like racing with top technology and crew.

Unfortunately Bella Mente had to withdraw from the FASTNET RACE owing to owner Hap Fauth’s work commitments. Fauth seemed genuinely gutted when he told me that it will be the first big race he has had to withdraw from since 2006!