No announcement yet.

United As One


  • United As One

    Racing in light conditions can often be boring and frustrating but for the penultimate day of the first ever IMA Maxi European Championship it was anything but – for spectators at least - with significant shifts, occasional shut-downs on a coastal course on a WSW-ENE axis deep into the Bay of Naples to the north of the Sorrentine peninsula.

    After a delay ashore and then on the water, the race for the 21 entries got underway just before 1500 CEST with a short upwind leg in 10-11 knots . However with all the boats crowded at the favoured committee boat end of the line, there was a collision between the two lowest rated boats – Giuseppe Puttini’s Swan 65 ketch Shirlaf and Matteo Fossati’s Sharkel 64 Stella Maris, both of which retired.

    After the first upwind, there was a long leg into the heart of the Bay of Naples with a leeward mark off Torre Annunziata, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. The lead trio of Lord Irvine Laidlaw’s Reichel/Pugh 82 Highland Fling XI, Sir Peter Ogden’s JV77 Jethou and Peter Dubens JV72 North Star arrived only for the wind to die. The longer Highland Fling XI just managed to escape the shut down and was a dot on the horizon by the time the new breeze filled in. By this time several much lower rated yachts like Terry Hui’s Wally 77 Lyra and Alessandro Del Bono’s IMS maxi Capricorno had caught up. The new breeze filled in just as Philippe Ligier’s Wally 80 Ryokan 2 arrived and she was the first to round without stopping.

    Unfortunate start line crunch between Shirlaf and Stella Maris caused both to retire.
    All photos:ROLEX / Studio Borlenghi

    Highland Fling XI crosses ahead of Peter Dubens' North Star on port during the first upwind.

    Class one maxi yacht procession downwind

    There was then a long fetch on starboard back to the southwest where there were options to go inshore or offshore with the latter seeming to pay.

    The final leg back to the finish line off the host port of Sorrento was looking routine until the wind died just short of the finish line. With Highland Fling XI parked up just metres short of the line, Jethou came steaming in from offshore and appeared threatening and until she too stopped dead, the light current causing her to drift beyond the outer end of the line. With the elegant black racer stopped and for many awkward minutes pointing the wrong way up the course, so the crew resorted to dinghy tactics and managed to ooch their giant maxi enough to propel it a few metres back up the course and then to finish correctly.

    With the wind fading across the finish area and with the majority of the fleet looking like it would be unable to complete the course within the time limit, the race committee decided to halt the race. At this point all of Class 1 had finished along with Capricorno in Class 2. At a subsequent jury hearing it was decided to finish Class 1 and Capricorno at the finish line and the remainder of the fleet at the previous mark.

    As expected the overall winner today across the entire fleet was Highland Fling XI but surprisingly by only 26 seconds under IRC corrected time from Jethou with Capricorno third, the resounding leader in her class. However overall North Star is now the leader from Jethou, having demoted Lyra to third.

    Jethou currently lies second overall at the IMA Maxi European Championship.

    Jethou clings onto the coattails of the longer Highland Fling XI downwind

    IMA President Beno?t de Froidmont’s Wally 60 Wally?o was runaway leader in Class 3, winning by 3 minutes 17 seconds from Riccardo De Michele’s H2O, finishing the day a worthy fourth across the fleet and holding this same position in the overall IMA Maxi Europeans results.

    Despite his yacht’s finish line acrobatics, Sir Peter Ogden said he had otherwise enjoyed the majority of the race. “It was only difficult at the end. The rest of it wasn’t that bad. On the first leg we held our time. On the second leg they brought the wind down. The next one we extended the time again… The end was interesting. We got trapped so we had to rock the boat. We ran to the other side and it crabbed forward and we got around the buoy!” Not something you need to do every day in a 77ft long yacht. “The top mark was difficult because there was no wind there. We parked there for what seemed like a long time.”

    Jean-Pierre Dreau, owner of the elegant Marseille-based Mylius 60 Lady First 3 was resigned to the outcome: “The sailing was quite good, but the race was a little bit too long.” Regarding the conditions he added: “It is the Mediterranean: you have wind, you have no wind, you have different wind. That is what’s normal here.”

    His tactician, well known IMOCA sailor Christopher Pratt added: “The downwind was really interesting with good strategic calls to be made, but we stayed offshore and it was clearly better to be on the shore. On the way back we made a few tacks to find more pressure and right shift. Then at the finish off Sorrento there was no wind at all for us two miles from the finish.

    “It is always easy to say after the race that they should do ‘xyz’. The PRO tried to do his best but the wind died really quickly at the end. No one was thinking when we rounded the last mark that it would die off Sorrento.”

    Tomorrow is the final day of the IMA Maxi Europeans.

    By the leeward mark in the shadow of Vesuvius Lyra and Ryokan 2 had caught up with the former Maxi 72s

    Spirit of Lorina - Jean-Pierre Barjon's newly acquired Botin Partners 65.

    Biggest boat competing here is Lord Irvine Laidlaw's 82ft Highland Fling XI.

    Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou - a black boat but never short of colour downwind.

    Terry Hui's overall leader Wally 77 Lyra tussles with Philippe Ligier's Wally 80 Ryokan 2

    Full overall results here and by sub-class.

    Overall IMA Maxi European Championship results here

    by James Boyd / International Maxi Association
      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles


    • J-Class Jumpstarts The 2022 Superyacht Cup
      by Photoboy
      Superyacht Cup Palma 2022 got off to a flying start today with a quartet of J Class yachts conducting a superb symphony of sail racing out on the Bay of Palma to launch the latest edition of Europe's longest-running superyacht regatta.Two windward-leeward races in near perfect sailing conditions of 10 to 14 knots, saw the awe-inspiring 40m-plus J Class yachts – Ranger, Svea, Topaz and Velsheda –...
      Yesterday, 12:56 PM
    • Powerful Porto
      by Photoboy

      Yesterday, 11:17 AM
    • Mighty Merloe On A Clipper Cove Beach Break
      by Photoboy
      The ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe was spotted beached up in the lee of Yerba Buena early this week, creating quite a bit of speculation as to the reason.

      The now owner of the former Franck Cammas's Groupama 2 is now the property of Donald Lawson, an African American sailor with high aspirationsfor the trimaran...

      Hello everyone! We had no idea so many people around the world were following us and making assumptions about the boat being abandoned and...
      Yesterday, 09:34 AM
    • A Big Breeze Conclusion In Lagos
      by Photoboy

      The GC32 Lagos Cup, the pre-Worlds for next month’s GC32 World Championship, concluded in big breeze. Despite the flying catamaran fleet heading out an hour early, by the end of the first race, the sea state was still relatively flat but with the wind averaging 22 knots and gusting to 27 it was ‘survival’ for some of the 10 teams, so PRO Stuart Childerley made the welcome decision to abandon racing.

      Otherwise the historic maritime port on Portugal’s
      06-27-2022, 11:45 AM
    • Brest Wishes For Ocean 50's
      by Photoboy

      They crawled from the passage of the first Marquee Western route of Sein dubbed yesterday late afternoon. Joined by phone, Leyton's crew, at fleet head, explained that they had reached peaks at 35 knots to reach the island of Ouessant... Bumpy sea and tonic beans rhymed the Pointe Brittany before an ultra-fast run to join the BirIls crawled from the passage of the first mark of the Western Sein route doubled yesterday late afternoon. Joined by phone,
      06-26-2022, 05:09 PM
    • The Globe40 Sets Sail
      by Photoboy

      Here we are at last. After months, indeed years of preparation, the crews took the OFFICIAL START of the first edition of the Globe40 this Sunday 26 June at 15:00 hours Moroccan time (14:00 UTC) in the Bay of Tangier. Before leaving the Strait of Gibraltar in their wake, the competing Class40s completed a 7-mile coastal course concocted by Race Management between Cape Malabata and the western cardinal mark of Roche Bour?e, opposite the ancient Medina of Tangier, bidding a symbolic
      06-26-2022, 04:22 PM