Please select your home edition
Edition
Rooster GETSEASMART 728x90

IMA announces Mediterranean Maxi Inshore and Offshore Challenge winners

by International Maxi Association 11 Oct 2019 02:25 PDT
For the IMA's Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge, the contest went to the wire between Wallyño and Lorina 1895. © Gilles Martin-Raget / Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez

While the Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge this year was into its fourth season, its inshore brother was introduced anew for 2019 by the International Maxi Association, the World Sailing-recognised body that administers and promotes maxi boat racing globally.

The IMA Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge (MMIC) spanned six events, starting with Sail Racing PalmaVela in May, then taking in Rolex Capri Sailing Week, the inshore races at Rolex Giraglia, Copa del Rey MAPFRE, followed by the big event of the season - Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - and concluding with last week's Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez.

Impressively this first edition of the MMIC went to the wire, not just to the last event but to its last race. Going into Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, Benoît de Froidmont's Wally 60 Wallyño led Jean-Pierre Barjon's Swan 601 Lorina 1895 by just one point. Going into the final day of racing off Pampelonne Beach, they were tied on five points. In this Wallyño managed to finish less than a minute ahead of Lorina 1895 on the water, her time magnified under IRC being the lower-rated.

"It was very close and the outcome came down to the very last moment, which made it tough, so to win was all the more enjoyable," said de Froidmont, who is also President of the International Maxi Association. "It is a good thing for our Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge, because it has proved it can be close, which I hope will encourage more boats to come and join us in the future."

Among the silver Wally 60's top inshore results during 2019 were a win at Rolex Capri Sailing Week, a second place to Lorina 1895 at Rolex Giraglia (but winning in the combined inshore-offshore results). Finally Wallyño gained a small advantage over Lorina 1895, beating her by one place in September's Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

"We did quite well over the season," continued de Froidmont. "We didn't have any technical issues with the boat which we had in the past apart from breaking a few sails..."

He also paid tribute to his French crew, including boat captain and main trimmer Quentin Le Nabour and other afterguard notables such as Tour de France à la Voile skipper Cedric Pouligny and former top Figaro sailor Gerald Veniard.

Winner of the IMA's 2018-19 Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge (MMOC) was Miguel Galuccio's Vera. As usual this series kicked-off with the 2018 Rolex Middle Sea Race and continued on into 2019 with May's Regata dei Tre Golfi (the offshore feeder race to Rolex Capri Sailing Week), the 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar from Livorno to Punta Ala via the Giraglia Rock, culminating in the offshore race of Rolex Giraglia and Palermo-Montecarlo in August.

A Reichel/Pugh-designed and Cookson-built Nauta 84, Vera began life as Pier Luigi Loro Piana's My Song, but was acquired by her present London-based Argentinean owner three years ago. Although relatively new to sailing, Galuccio has surrounded himself with an excellent team and has taken some smart steps to fast track his knowledge, including gaining experience in smaller race boats such as the Melges 32.

This season Vera has proved exceptional offshore. During the 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar she repeated her previous owner's success from 2016, winning overall under IRC but did so in an elapsed time of just 15 hours 10 minutes compared to My Song's 17 hours 57 minutes. She followed this up with a disappointing Rolex Giraglia, due to a park-up off Monaco, but set this right by claiming both line and IRC corrected honours in the Palermo-Montecarlo.

If the MMIC was close, the MMOC was closer still with Vera finishing tied on points with George David's Rambler 88, but winning on countback. Third place went to Marietta Strasoldo's Swan 651 Lunz am Meer.

While integral to Vera's success and Galuccio's development have been his regular tactician, Italian former Laser Olympian Michele Regolo, Vera's success offshore owes much to Volvo Ocean Race veteran Bouwe Bekking.

"There are people in this team who are very young and who will be very good," said Galuccio, who enjoys watching his crew cohese and develop as a team. "Michele is super bright and his starts are like he is on a Laser. Bouwe has been instrumental to putting the processes in place and he has worked very well with the Italians. He also brought in Aksel [Magdhal] in to navigate."

Vera was also in the running for MMIC until a broken rudder at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup curtailed this, still leaving her finishing a respectible third overall behind Wallyño and Lorina 1895. Galuccio admits he prefers racing offshore: "I love the offshore because it is more diverse, there is more wind and much more strategy. And in strong wind when you are on watch you get to see people like Bouwe and Michele driving - they don't drive the inshore."

The IMA's Mediterranean Maxi Inshore and Offshore Challenges will continue with the same events and format in 2020, but the MMOC beginning with next week's Rolex Middle Sea Race starting on 19th October.

For more information on the International Maxi Association visit www.internationalmaxiassociation.com.

Related Articles

Maxi Class: What is the future of pro circuits?
A silent, invisible terrorist has turned the sailing world turned inside out, where to from here? Andrew McIrvine, medical man, and the driving force behind the International Maxi Assoc in recent years, shares his views on the immediate future of the marque regatta circuits and the impacts for owners, event organisers and professional sailors . Posted on 26 Apr
Maxi winners decided at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
A week that has proved challenging to crews and race officials alike The final day of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez 2019 enabled the maxi teams to get some deciding points on the board after a week that has proved challenging to crews and race officials alike. Posted on 7 Oct 2019
Vera on track for Palermo-Montecarlo 'double'
Miguel Galuccio and the crew of Vera claim line honours Palermo-Montecarlo is the fifth and final event of the 2018-19 Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge organised by the International Maxi Association, the World Sailing-recognised body that promotes maxi yacht racing and represents maxi owners globally. Posted on 24 Aug 2019
Palermo-Montecarlo Race - Preview
Palermo-Montecarlo set sail from Sicily This is the 15th running of Palermo-Montecarlo, originally designed by the Monaco Consul and the City of Palermo Sports Council, to 'unite two historically friendly cities through a yacht race'. Posted on 21 Aug 2019
Breakaway for Rambler 88 and Vera
Breakaway for Rambler 88 and Vera One of the biggest 'door closing on those behind' moments in offshore sailing occurred on Thursday night and through the next 24 hours for competitors racing in the special 10th anniversary edition of the 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar Posted on 3 Jun 2019
151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar start
Strong maxi fleet sets sail What is now the Mediterranean's largest offshore race set sail from Livorno, Italy this afternoon. The 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with a giant fleet of 220, up from just under 200 last year Posted on 30 May 2019
Mariette and Naema win Capri Classica 2019
Racing between the giant schooners concluded on Saturday For their final day of racing, the four schooners, ranging in size from 85ft Orianda to 138ft Mariette of 1915, once again started in the Gulf of Naples bound for a turning mark off Punta Campanella, at the tip of the Sorrento Peninsula. Posted on 12 May 2019
Naema noses ahead after incident at Capri Classica
Naema noses ahead after incident at Capri Classica Just when it seemed that the four giant schooners were likely to spend the day tied to the dock, the sea breeze filled in perfectly allowing the penultimate race of Capri Classica to take place. Posted on 11 May 2019
Capri Classica: Mariette of 1915 levels scoreline
Blustery conditions on day 2 at the maxi schooner competition For day two of maxi schooner competition at this inaugural Capri Classica, the Gulf of Naples took on a northern European feel with an overcast sky, Vesuvius obscured by the mirk and a dark grey cloud parked over Capri's highest summit Posted on 9 May 2019
Mega-schooner match race on the Bay of Naples
Action-packed opening day of racing at the inaugural Capri Classica Out on a sunny but chilly Bay of Naples, there was a remarkably action-packed opening day of racing at the inaugural Capri Classica, with lead changes galore, a David v Goliath competition and an encounter with a Neapolitan fishing net best forgotten. Posted on 9 May 2019
Melges IC37 2019 FooterHighfield Boats - Sailing - FOOTERRS Sailing 2020 - RSSS - FOOTER