Peter Dubens’ North Star secured victory at the IMA Maxi Europeans by a quarter point.
Owner Peter Dubens, tactician Nick Rogers and the North Star crew squeezed George Sakellaris’ Proteus from the top spot of the IMA European Championship to claim the regatta by a mere quarter point after discarding their worst result.
At the prizegiving Dubens was not only awarded the IMA Maxi European Championship trophy but also the trophy for the best-placed IMA member.
While Sir Peter Ogden’s 77ft Jethou was the star performer today, the lower rated North Star had been hanging on to her larger rival’s coattails.
Dubens commented, “Today was very tense. We had to put a boat between us and Proteus and it wasn’t easy, especially when we had to do a penalty. We were lucky to get out of that.”
All was going well until the final mark rounding off Punta Campanella, explained tactician Nick Rogers: “There was a big lift on port into it and an easy layline, but then the wind disappeared and suddenly we weren’t laying and we had low boat speed and we had to tack.”
“We couldn’t get behind My Song and suddenly Vesper did what she had to do and we ended up doing a penalty turn just after the mark. But all the crew and Peter were mega-focussed and we got really good lanes of pressure into the finish.”
After Thursday’s final coastal – a course set by PRO Stuart Childerley, zigzagging around the southern Bay of Naples, between Capri and Punta Campanella – the former Maxi 72s claimed the five top spots overall in the Championship . . .
Dario Ferrari’s Cannonball was third while Jim Swartz’s Vesper beat Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou, also by a quarter point after Vesper didn’t sail on Tuesday and Jethou was disqualified from a race yesterday.
Following the Maxi 72s, in sixth place overall was Riccardo de Michele’s Vallicelli 78 H20 ahead of Pier Luigi Loro Piana’s ClubSwan 80 My Song and IMA President Benoît de Froidmont’s Wally 60 Wallyño, which put in a superb performance today finishing fifth overall.
Outside of the Maxi 72s, in sixth in today’s race and finishing miles ahead of the next boat, was Belgian Jean-Philippe Blanpain’s Vismara-Mills 62 Leaps and Bounds 2.
Other teams have been treating this event as a means of mixing some serious racing with visiting this exotic corner of Italy and soaking up its extensive apres-sail.
Winning the prize for the furthest travelled was Craig Clifford and his crew on the Marten 72 Aragon who herald from Tasmania and the UK.
The IMA’s Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge continues on 1 June with the 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar offshore race from Livorno to Punta Ala, via the Giraglia Rock.