Please select your home edition
Rooster Wetsuit Range

Jethou edges ahead at Loro Piana Giraglia inshore maxi racing half-way stage

by James Boyd/International Maxi Association 10 Jun 00:42 BST From 8 June 2024
Robeto Lacorte's FlyingNikka was only intermittently airborne in today's lumpy conditions - 2024 Loro Piana Giraglia © Loro Piana / Studio Borlenghi

While conditions at this time of year in Saint-Tropez are renowned for being light and thermal, today competitors at Loro Piana Giraglia were treated to easterlies into the high teens combined with a short violent chop. This was the second day of Loro Piana Giraglia inshore racing, organised by the Yacht Club Italiano in collaboration with the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez. These four days of inshore and coastal races form the third event in the International Maxi Association's 2024 Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge.

Today the maxi fleet again raced two windward-leewards on Pampelonne Bay, but the lumpy seastate made life challenging even on the largest maxis. The slightly depleted turn-out (due to the seastate) thinned out further as yachts were forced to retire with technical issues during racing. Nowhere was this more apparent than in Maxi A where Karel Komárek's Wallycento V won the first race, albeit by just 10 seconds from Peter Dubens' NorthStar, but then suffered a severe hydraulic failure in the second race, forcing her to abandon.

With Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones' Wallycento Magic Carpet Cubed not competing today, a 5-3 elevated Chris Flowers' Wallycento Galateia to fourth place in Maxi A and to the top spot among the 100s racing in Maxi sub-class 1. "We had a couple of good starts, which always helps," explained Galateia tactician Kelvin Harrap, calling in the afterguard here alongside John Cutler and Markus Wieser (standing in for regulars Murray Jones and Jordi Calafat). "If you can get your nose in front on a 100 footer then you can put your elbows out... In the first race we gybed a bit early on the first run - with this course you can't go through the finish line, even if you are laying the gate [the gate is downwind of the finish line], so we had to gybe, while V did it in one. In the second race we didn't make that mistake..."

Even aboard the newly water ballasted 100 footer, the conditions were felt: "It was about 18-20 knots most of the day, but the seastate increased and made it fairly hard especially upwind," continued Harrap. "The water ballast makes it a little harder because it is at the back of the boat where it increases the pitching. But it was a great day and Chris [Flowers] is getting better every day."

In the broader Maxi A class, there has been a lead change with Peter Harrison's Jolt eased out by Sir Peter Ogden's Maxi 77 Jethou, albeit by one point. Jethou with a 3-1 and Peter Dubens' NorthStar with a 2-2 were the top Maxi A scorers today, enjoying exhilarating high octane racing, surfing down waves on the runs.

"It was a big day out!" commented Ian Walker, Jethou's tactician. "We saw about 20 knots - not hugely windy, but there was a big short seastate. It was really uncomfortable especially when the wind went right - you were punching into the waves on starboard tack. It was really punishing but then great fun downwind. Peter [Ogden] did a good job - it wasn't easy to steer."

As to the racing today the Volvo Ocean Race winner commented: "The second race we sailed really clean. The boat is going well and if we can stay away from the other boats and let the boat run... We did a good hoist and a good gybe and got the lay lines right. But in the first race we were in the pack and it took us a while to get ahead of the other boats and we didn't have enough time to make up our time on NorthStar. Plus we were a little bit messy on the first run as most of the boats were... Today was a big work out for the grinders."

Big waves are typically not the strong suit of IMA President Benoît de Froidmont's Wally 60 Wallyño but today they hung in there. Just. In the first race they maintained their perfect scoreline in Saint-Tropez inshore races that has lasted since the end of 2022, albeit by just one second from Guido Paolo Gamucci's Mylius 60 Cippa Lippa X. Then in the second race the Italian canting keeler finally prevailed.

"Upwind was like being in a washing machine - it was very tough, especially the first race," said Gamucci, adding: "Wallyño is very difficult to beat, but our real direct competitor here on the water is Spirit of Lorina [Jean-Pierre Barjon's Botin 65]. We are always close to them but usually they beat us."

Calling tactics on board Cippa Lippa X is former Olympic Laser sailor Michele Regolo, who observed: "The Swan 90 [Alex Schaerer's Strathisla] was suffering less than us upwind. So we had to fight at the start. Spirit of Lorina is better upwind and we are better downwind - we were surfing downwind today at 18 knots, which was beautiful."

Despite Benoît de Froidmont's Wally 60 Wallyño losing the second race, they were still second and maintain a resounding lead in Maxi B. "It was not the best conditions for Wallyño, so we are pretty happy with the results," admitted her ace French tactician Cédric Pouligny. "We managed to stay pretty clear at the beginning of the race and then we were happy to sail on our own. We didn't make any mistakes - it was easy to make bad drops today, but we sailed conservatively."

After two days of windward-leewards, tomorrow the two maxi classes will race coastal courses starting from within the Golfe de Saint-Tropez. Meanwhile navigators are eyeing up the forecast for Wednesday and the Loro Piana Giraglia offshore race to Genoa, which currently looks set to be in record-breaking conditions.

More information on Loro Piana Giraglia is available here.

More information on the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Inshore Challenge is available here.

For more on the International Maxi Association visit

Related Articles

Spirit of Lorina crowned top IRC maxi
Loro Piana Giraglia's offshore finale from Saint-Tropez into Genoa Jean-Pierre Barjon has already enjoyed much success with his Botin 65 Spirit of Lorina having won the International Maxi Association's Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge in 2021-22. Posted on 14 Jun
Black Jack first home in Loro Piana Giraglia
Finishing 15 minutes outside the race record After Wednesday's ultra-light start on the Golfe de Saint-Tropez to relatively benign conditions following a thunderstorm before arriving into Genoa, it was hard to believe that thanks to a big breeze sleigh-ride in between - to the Giraglia rock & beyond Posted on 13 Jun
Jethou and Wallyño reign supreme
In Loro Piana Giraglia inshore races, offshore race starts Wednesday A second 20 mile coastal race, this time from Saint-Tropez down to a turning mark off L'Escalet and back, rounded off the inshore series for the maxis competing in Loro Piana Giraglia. Posted on 11 Jun
Loro Piana Giraglia Day 3
Spectacular conditions for day three of maxi coastal racing After two days of windward-leewards on the Bay of Pampelonne, day three of inshore racing at Loro Piana Giraglia saw a change with 19 of the 24 strong maxi fleet racing a single coastal course, starting and finishing in the Golfe de Saint-Tropez. Posted on 10 Jun
Loro Piana Giraglia Day 1
Early maxi class leads for Jolt and Wallyño The first of four days of inshore racing at Loro Piana Giraglia got under way today on the Bay of Pampelonne, close to Saint-Tropez. Posted on 8 Jun
New look Giraglia attracts record maxi entry
The first of four days of inshore racing start on Saturday Loro Piana Giraglia 2024 sets sail tomorrow with the first of four days of inshore racing on the Golfe de Saint-Tropez, prior to Wednesday's traditional offshore race from Saint-Tropez to Genoa via the famous rock off north Corsica. Posted on 7 Jun
Honours for Atalanta II and ARCA SGR
In shortened 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar After last year's ultra-light 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar, this year's race from Livorno to Punta Ala saw the organisers forced to make not one but two pre-race course changes Posted on 31 May
Big wind for 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar
Around 242 yachts will set sail tomorrow at 1400 from Livorno to Punta Ala Around 242 yachts, including eight in the 'IRC Over 60' maxi class and three more maxis in the ORC class, will set sail tomorrow at 1400 from Livorno to Punta Ala on the 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar. Posted on 30 May
IMA Maxi Europeans at Sorrento overall
Hap Fauth's Bella Mente claims the title in style In a great display of on-the-water dominance within an already elite-level class, Hap Fauth, tactician Terry Hutchinson and the all-star cast of the Maxi 74 Bella Mente today claimed the third edition of the IMA Maxi European Championship. Posted on 23 May
IMA Maxi Europeans at Sorrento Day 3
New leader as V scores two bullets Starting an hour early, two coastal courses including the popular lap of Capri were completed on the third and penultimate day of the IMA Maxi European Championship, supported by Rolex as Official Timepiece. Posted on 22 May