IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge 2018-2019

In support of the its overall mission to encourage and support all forms of maxi racing internationally, three years ago the International Maxi Association introduced the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge. At the time the trend appeared to be towards participation in day racing and away from distance events and so this series was started specifically to entice more maxis to race offshore again. It appears to be succeeding as there has been a significant improvement in numbers entering the events the IMA has included in this series and duly supported. First to be included were the longest and most classic events. The Rolex Middle Sea Race was the clearest candidate to be chosen and became the first race in the first series. Over the last decade, thanks to the efforts of Rolex in conjunction with the Royal Malta Yacht Club, this race has continued to grow and attract the highest quality of entry. In 2018, the race’s 50th anniversary year, it broke its own previous record both for overall numbers and, number of maxi yachts; a momentous event with which to start the 2018-19 IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge.
Into the 2019 season and, for a second time, the Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge includes another long-standing Mediterranean classic, this one with a unique midnight start. The Regata dei Tre Golfi departs from the Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia, in Naples, to finish in Capri. In fact, this race is only one year younger than the Rolex Giraglia having been first run in 1954, so 2019 will be the race’s 65th edition. For the third year the 151 Miglia - Trofeo Cetilar will also be included. This is the youngest offshore race in the IMA calendar, but in 2019 will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. This race starts in Livorno, goes up to Pisa, then across to the Giraglia rock before heading south again to a turning mark, then back north to the finish line off Punta Ala. With excellent parties and hospitality at the start and finish, this race has grown very fast. The penultimate event in the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge is Rolex Giraglia. First run in 1953, making this the 66th edition in 2019, this event is a joint operation between the Yacht Club Italiano and Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez and is also swelling in numbers, especially in its maxi classes.
This year the race goes from Saint-Tropez to Monaco rather than Genoa but, as usual, still around the Giraglia rock. The 178 entries last year included 35 maxis – an impressive number. Finally, the last race in the series, the Regata Palermo- Montecarlo goes from the Circolo della Vela Sicilia in Palermo via a gate monitored by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda off Porto Cervo, and on up through the Strait of Bonifacio to Monaco for the finish at the Yacht Club de Monaco. Last year HSH Prince Albert of Monaco came to support the start. This race, as with all the others in our series, is growing. IMA members must compete in a minimum of three races from the series, with their best three results counting if they do more. As well as IMA prizes at the individual events, the winner is presented with a splendid vintage silver cup which is the Challenge’s new perpetual trophy. This will be awarded annually at the IMA Dinner in September at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda during the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

Results

2015-2016 winner: RAMBLER 88, George David
2017-2018 winner: ATALANTA II, Carlo A. Puri Negri
2018-2019 winner:

International Maxi Association
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