Bella Mente, with American Magic skipper on board, is European MAXI Champion

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After four days of inshore trials and the historic 69th Regatta of the Three Gulfs, the Americans of Bella Mente with American Magic skipperTerry Hutchinson on board win MAXI European Championship. Behind them are the British of Jethou and North Star, the defending champion. The Czech V, with Ken Read, president of North Sails, as tactician, is first among the 100-foot Maxis (fourth overall) and wins the Loro Piana Challenge Trophy, the official sponsor of this event along with Rolex.

IMA MAXI European Championship: how it went.

The Bay of Naples this year gave the participants, who came from all over the world, splendid and varied conditions that tested even the most emblazoned sailors. After a long one with fluctuating weather and wind conditions(see story here) and a windless first day of inshore racing that left the more than 20 crews and about 400 sailors stranded, the rest of the week continued smoothly with five races contested in total.

Beautiful Mind

In the end, as always, there is a winner, and this year is the American Bella Mente, a former Mini Maxi 72 owned by owner Hap Fauth, aided in the cockpit by the outgoing Terry Hutchinson, skipper of America’s Cup challenger American Magic, and Adrian Stead, British Olympian and ace of fleet racing on the world’s major circuits. Also on the crew is Italian Romolo Ranieri, Luna Rossa’s historic sailor and winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2001.

Among the 100-footers to prevail was the Czech V, which won the Loro Piana Challenge Trophy, reserved for the first place in Group 1. Also among the top 10 was Andrea Recordati’s Italian Bullit, a Wally 93, another marvel of the 20 Maxi fleet.

V wins the Loro Piana Challenge Trophy, reserved for the first runner-up in Group 1, at the European MAXI Championship in Sorrento
V wins the Loro Piana Challenge Trophy, reserved for the first runner-up in Group 1, at the European MAXI Championship in Sorrento

I would say we crossed the finish line as well,” commented a satisfied Roberto Mottola di Amato, president of CRV Italy. “Scaramantically I kept putting off the growing satisfaction, it was a beautiful week, wonderful weather, beautiful, hard-fought and varied races; even the Regatta of Three Gulfs offshore race itself. Our satisfaction comes mainly from the enthusiasm of the participants who all enjoyed the event very much. You can always improve, and we will work for this for the future“.

The IMA Maxi European Championship will return between Naples and Sorrento next year, May 16-22, 2025, again hosted by Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia.

James Barbaro

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