Port Cervo to Monaco maxi race

As entries roll in for September’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, the pinnacle event of the maxi racing calendar, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, the Yacht Club de Monaco and the International Maxi Association have joined forces to create a novel event returning the maxi fleet back to the European mainland.

The race format for the Porto Cervo-Monaco IMA 24 Hour Challenge is simple, but unique. Competitors will set sail from Porto Cervo at 1100 on Sunday, 11 September, the day after the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup has concluded.

The route.
The route.

The course will take the maxis to Monaco, but aside from this is left open. Competitors can pass through the Strait of Bonifacio and sail up the west coast of Corsica, which is a distance of roughly 200 miles. Otherwise, if wind conditions look more favourable, they can instead leave Corsica to port and sail a route some 30 miles longer around the north of the island.

If competitors finish within 24 hours, then their times will be recorded as usual. Competitors who haven’t reached Monaco by 1100 on Monday 12 September will instead have their distance to the finish calculated. IRC TCCs will then be applied to determine a winner using time on distance scoring.

The event is open to all maxi yachts (ie of 18.28+m LOA) who have completed registration for the 2022 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup (MYRC). This will be the first edition of what will become an annual fixture in the maxi racing calendar.

By the Monday evening all the competitors are expected to have arrived in Monaco where there will be a prizegiving at 1900 followed by an owners’ dinner at the Yacht Club de Monaco.

Wallyño sailing upwind, crew on the side.
Wallyño is the first entry in the Porto Cervo-Monaco IMA 24 Hour Challenge. Pic – Rolex / Studio Borlenghi

The first entry in the Porto Cervo-Monaco IMA 24 Hour Challenge is IMA President Benoît de Froidmont with his Wally 60 Wallyño, who said: “I am delighted that we have managed to launch this new event in the maxi calendar that unites two of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs. I am also looking forward to trying out this interesting new format of yacht race.”

Michael Illbruck, Commodore of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, commented: “We’re very proud of this new event with two prestigious partners like the Yacht Club de Monaco and the International Maxi Association. The hope is that the owners participating in the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will be as pleased and enthusiastic as we are to be announcing this new addition to the YCCS sporting calendar.”

Bernard d’Alessandri, General Secretary of the Yacht Club de Monaco said: “As part of our twinning agreement with Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, it is a great honour for us to be associated with the prestigious Maxi class federated in the IMA (International Maxi Association).

“This race is part of our Monaco Capital of Yachting project that aims to position the Principality as a centre of excellence and innovation in all matters relating to yachting. That’s why we were very keen to offer owners an original race format that would showcase the performance of their boat and crew on one of the most beautiful courses in the Mediterranean.”

By James Boyd / International Maxi Association

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