One year ago, in the glamorous Piazzetta di Capri was the prizegiving of the Rolex Capri Sailing Week 2018. The awards had just been presented and the “Scialapopolo” traditional group was about to start with their programme of Caprese songs and dances. Alex Schaerer, owner of the Maxi 72 ‘Caol Ila R’ – winner of his division of the Tre Golfi offshore, and also just awarded the IMA prize for the highest scoring IMA member – took the microphone and thanked everybody that had made that week – and that event – so unforgettable: «I would like to thank not only the organising authorities and my crew. May I take the occasion to thank all the people from Capri, because only here in Capri do we have the feeling to be so….. welcome, and that all the local community are taking part in the event. To all of them, to the Capri people, on behalf of the ‘Caol Ila R’ crew, I say thank you»
The Rolex Capri Sailing Week has been including maxi yachts for many years now. With several different formulae in the last 12 years, maxi yachts are planning to be back to Capri once again, with the event that officially marks the start of the “big boats series” in italian waters. Andrew McIrvine, IMA Secretary General, is a keen enthusiast of the formula that brings together one of the oldest offshore races in the Med, with the picturesque start at midnight from Naples, and the subsequent Capri inshore series. He is delighted by the good synergy that the IMA has found with the organising yacht clubs and with the operational team, both ashore and inshore. «It ‘s like being among old friends. We love to work together with one clear objective; to make owners and crews happy, racing safely and to ensure a high standard of race management. We are expecting that a good number of maxis and mini maxis will enter, both in the offshore race and in the Capri series. Maxi owners greatly enjoyed last year’s event, and we had no hesitation in re-scheduling the Tre Golfi offshore race as the second leg of the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge. When we decided to create a parallel series for the best inshore races for 2019, the “IMA Mediterranean Maxi Inshore challenge”, then the Rolex Capri Sailing Week was an obvious choice to be part of that series. This puts it together with events like Sail Racing PalmaVela, Copa del Rey from Palma de Mallorca, Rolex Giraglia inshore series (Saint-Tropez) the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup (Porto Cervo) and finally Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. The winner will be the maxi yacht with the best points for 3 out 6 of the events. The IMA has just acquiresd 2 fantastic vintage silver trophies to award to the winners of the 2 challenges. Together with Rob Weiland, Class Manager for the Maxi 72 Class, and the whole IMA team, we are happy to work together with the organising yacht clubs. Our goal is simply to make the event the best that we can – and make owners and crews happy to race here – and wanting to come back».