Rolex Giraglia 2020 is part of both the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore and Inshore Challenges
In line with the IMA’s principle mission –to encourage and support all forms of maxi racing internationally –4 years ago the Association created the “IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge”. At the time, the growing trend among the maxis was shifting towards day racing and away from offshore events. At investigation of IMA Secretary General Andrew McIrvine, the IMA Med Offshore Challenge was started specifically to address this: to entice more maxis to race offshore again. The drive appears to be succeeding as there has been a significant increase in maxis entering the events the IMA has included in this series.
To qualify for the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge result, IMA members must compete in a minimum of 3 of the 5 offshore races listed below, with each team’s best three results counting. As well as IMA prizes at the individual events, the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge’s 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.
First to be included in the IMA Challenge was the Rolex Middle Sea Race, the Mediterranean’s ‘classic 600 miler’, conceptually similar to the Rolex Fastnet Race, Sydney Hobart and Newport-Bermuda. Over the last two decades, thanks to the efforts of the Royal Malta Yacht Club in conjunction with Rolex’s support, this race has continued to grow. In 2018, the 50th anniversary race broke its own previous record both for overall numbers and number of maxi yachts. Typically the event attracts 100+ entries.
The Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge includes another long-standing Mediterranean classic: the “Regata dei Tre Golfi”, mid May, that departs at midnight from the Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia in Naples, after a buffet dinner ashore at the club. Today it forms part of Rolex Capri Sailing Week.
To follow (end of May) is the 151 Miglia -Trofeo Cetilar. This event, championed by IMA committee member Roberto Lacorte and backed by his company, is the youngest offshore race in the IMA calendar, celebrating its 10th anniversary last year. As ever the race starts in Livorno and, after a short leg north to Pisa, heads across to the Giraglia Rock off north Corsica before continuing south again to a turning mark, then heading north to the finish line off Punta Ala.
The penultimate event in the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge is Rolex Giraglia. First run in 1953, celebrating its 68th edition in 2020, this event is jointly run by the Yacht Club Italiano and Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez. Currently it is enjoying a period of growth, especially in its maxi classes. Having finished in Monaco last year, in 2020 the race returns to its more regular finish in Genoa after, as usual, rounding the Giraglia Rock. Last year 15 maxis took part in the race’s IRC Over 60 class.
Finally, the series finishes with the Palermo-Montecarlo offshore race. This race starts from the Circolo della Vela Sicilia off Palermo’s Mondello beach, from where it heads across to the east coast of Sardinia and up to a gate monitored by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda off Porto Cervo. Competitors can then decide if they are going to leave Corsica to port orstarboard before making the final reach across to the finish off the Yacht Club de Monaco.
For more info on the IMA Mediterranean Offshore and Inshore Challenges: firstname.lastname@example.org
IMA Mediterranean Offshore Challenge PAST WINNERS
2018-19 Vera, Miguel Galuccio (ARG)
2017-18 Atalanta II, Carlo Puri Negri (ITA)
2015-16 Rambler 88, George David (USA)