Please select your home edition
Leaderboard FD July August September 2023

Terry Hui's Lyra crowned first IMA Maxi European Champion

by James Boyd / International Maxi Association 20 May 2022 11:57 PDT 14-20 May 2022

A complex week of racing at the International Maxi Association's inaugural Maxi European Championship, comprising last weekend's Regata dei Tre Golfi offshore, followed by four days of inshore and coastal courses on the Bay of Naples, culminated today in the one all competitors had been waiting for - the traditional lap of Capri, measuring just under 15 miles.

This set off in a light southerly with an upwind leg into the channel between the Sorrentine peninsula and Capri before continuing on a clockwise lap around the Italian island, past famous landmarks such as the Faraglioni rocks, the Green Grotto and the imposing lighthouse at Punta Carena.

Among the lead trio Peter Dubens JV72 North Star managed to overhaul the yesterday's class one winner Lord Irvine Laidlaw's Reichel/Pugh 82 Highland Fling XI and Sir Peter Ogden's JV77 Jethou approaching the Faraglioni where the wind went light. Enough wind remained to get the 21 maxi boat fleet around the rest of the island, despite Capri's magnificent and distacting backdrop. The maxis then returned to the Bay of Naples and headed back to the race committee boat. This proved anything but easy as a giant wind hole created a void in the race track, forcing boats off to remote corners in an attempt to stay in pressure. Suffering worst in this were Jethou and Alessandro Del Bono's IMA maxi Capricorno.

First to benefit from the breeze finally filling in on the left side was Highland Fling XI ahead of North Star, however the park-up had allowed many slower boats to catch up and incredibly third home on the water was Terry Hui's Wally 77 Lyra ahead of Guido Paolo Gamucci's canting keel Mylius 60 Cippa Lippa X (both competing in Class 2). But with the heavyweight Frers-designed Lyra having a substantially lower rating than her rival, she won today's race overall (the lead trio had spent too long parked - even Highland Fling's time corrected out to eighth), by more than five minutes from Cippa Lippa X under IRC corrected time.

Despite being second across the line, a disappointing 11th under IRC for North Star and a devastating 19th for parked-up Jethou caused them to drop to second and third place on the Maxi Europeans podium, displaced by the all-conquering Lyra by a mere 0.75 points. North Star had won last weekend's Regata dei Tre Golfi.

Lyra's crew and her Chinese-Canadian owner Terry Hui are no strangers to winning, having frequently prevailed in Wally or maxi classes at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. "It was an interesting day," said Hui, pleased to receive yet more silverware. "The wind is very inconsistent. And just before the last gybe to the finish, we found wind but then the kite ripped. And it was like - do we change it or not? We changed it. So it was a bit unlucky - to find wind and then your kite is gone." So for a second time this week, Lyra blew up a spinnaker but speedy crewwork was enough to enable them to recover quickly and go on to win.

Lyra's tactician for this event was Australian double Tornado Olympic medallist Mitch Booth, who explained how they dealt with the final shut down: "We stayed on the edge of the breeze line and sailed around the fleet. It was another challenging day but we're very happy with the results.

"It has been an interesting event to race in one fleet with so many different sorts of boats. Obviously different boats have their day in different conditions, but it is great to see such a strong fleet of high level, very well sailed boats. I am very impressed with the high level of competition. The weather didn't give us an even hand, but we all got the same."

North Star owner Peter Dubens went ashore to congratulate Terry Hui, despite seeing victory slip through his fingers. "The conditions are challenging - a bit like St Tropez," he mused. "Today was perfect until we sailed into a hole. We got it right around the island, right off the start, but we should have kept going left [at the end]. It was a bit tricky. The boat is going well - better than last year. The Maxi European Championship is a lovely idea."

Aside from Lyra, Cippa Lippa X's performance was most worthy, just 60 foot long but finishing among the fastest boats. The white Mylius was fast from the outset today as one of the few port tackers. According to former America's Cup tactician Paolo Cian they lost out going too close to Capri. They made up their time by being becalmed the least during the park-up returning to the Bay of Naples. This is Cian's first season on board the Mylius canting keeler. "It is a little bit surprising because the boat is performing well in conditions when it is not supposed to," he admits. "We have to look at its configuration and work out the angles to sail the boat downwind. It is going better and better each day."

Benoît de Froidmont sailed a solid week, his Wally 60 Wallyño having finished fourth in the Regata dei Tre Golfi. Coming home fourth too today secured them Class 3 by 1.25 points from Vincenzo Addessi's Mylius 18E35 Fra' Diavolo, and fourth again overall. "Going around Capri is beautiful," de Froidmont admitted. Having started midline they had lost out by going too close to Capri but recovered in the second part of the race. "I am very happy - the crew did an extremely good job with the boat and we were well prepared." Fourth was welcome considering Wallyño's extensive refit over the winter and the Covid period and sets her up nicely to defend her title in the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge this year.

"When we started the regatta we never expected to do well," continued de Froidmont. "Over the week it was getting closer, so I am extremely happy to do the 'double' between the offshore and the inshores."

The IMA Maxi Europeans are part of Tre Golfi Sailing Week. Supported by Rolex as Official Timepiece, this is organised by Naples' Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia (CRVI) under the patronage of the Italian Sailing Federation (FIV) and in cooperation with Yacht Club Italiano, Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia and the IMA.

As International Maxi Association President, de Froidmont added: "This event has been extremely successful and extremely competitive. Looking at the starts you can see all the boats are here to compete which is good to see. The organisers did a fantastic job as it is quite difficult to hold a regatta in a new place. We were pleased - the collaboration with the CRVI was good."

IMA Maxi European Championship race five results, full results by class, overall combined.

Related Articles

Smaller maxis endure storm
En route to Regata dei Tre Golfi victory The Regata dei Tre Golfi, supported by Rolex as Official Timepiece and which started from Naples on Friday, saw the upper half of the 25-boat maxi fleet suffer from repeated hold-ups, calms and transitions. Posted on 19 May
Action-packed 24 hours in Regata dei Tre Golfi
The race had five different leaders, with massive reshuffles Light weather yacht racing can easily be frustrating or boring. But the 69th edition of the Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia's Regata dei Tre Golfi was definitely not. Posted on 18 May
Regata dei Tre Golfi offshore sets sail
69th edition signals the start of the IMA Maxi Europeans The 69th edition of the Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia's offshore race, the Regata dei Tre Golfi sets sail this afternoon (Friday, 17 May) at 1635 from Naples' Porticciolo di Santa Lucia. Posted on 17 May
Galateia and V go to the wire at 20th PalmaVela
Three of the five maxis won races under IRC corrected time The maxis competing over the last 4 days in inshore and coastal racing at the Real Club Nautico de Palma's PalmaVela may have been a diverse five, ranging from the 143ft/43.6m J Class Svea to the Wally 80 Rose, but their competition was the closest Posted on 5 May
IMA Caribbean Maxi Multihull Series concludes
Allegra claims inaugural series by a point The first running of the International Maxi Association's Caribbean Maxi Multihull Series concluded on Sunday with the end of the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival held out of Nanny Cay, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Posted on 9 Apr
Strong 100 footer competition IMA Maxi Europeans
31 registered entries for May's event at the Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia With seven weeks remaining until the third edition of the IMA Maxi European Championship, so far there have been 31 registered entries with 24 firmed up for the event, organised by the Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia in conjunction with the IMA. Posted on 8 Apr
IMA Caribbean Maxi Multihull Series finale preview
Two horse race as the series heads for its BVI conclusion Next week the International Maxi Association's inaugural Caribbean Maxi Multihull Series (CMMS) has its deciding event in the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, taking place out of Nanny Cay, Tortola. Posted on 29 Mar
New IMA Mediterranean Maxi Multihull Challenge
IMA's latest series will provide a framework and some focus for the owners of maxi multihulls To complement its recently announced IMA Caribbean Maxi Multihull Series, the International Maxi Association is to hold its first IMA Mediterranean Maxi Multihull Challenge in 2024. Posted on 6 Mar
IMA Caribbean Maxi Multihull Series launched
Starting with the RORC Caribbean 600 Following its successful series in the Mediterranean for maxi monohulls, the International Maxi Association has similarly gathered together the most popular local sailing events to create the IMA Caribbean Maxi Multihull Series (CMMS). Posted on 14 Feb
Strong entries already for 3rd IMA Maxi Europeans
Returning to Sorrento and the Bay of Naples Following two successful editions, the IMA Maxi European Championship returns to Sorrento and the Bay of Naples for a third consecutive year in May 2024. Posted on 6 Dec 2023
MySail CrewRooster Wetsuit RangeETNZ Store 2024 728x90 BOTTOM