In December 2, at the Yacht Club de Monaco, the International Maxi Association hosted its first Presidents’ Forum.
The IMA works closely with many yacht clubs and race organisers around the world who run racing for maxi yachts. In the Mediterranean, the relationship between these clubs and the IMA is especially close with many of the top maxi events included in the IMA’s Mediterranean Maxi Inshore and Offshore Challenges. The IMA employs specialists who can provide these yacht clubs with maxi-specific advice and expertise across all aspects of racing – from ratings, to measurement, logistics for teams entering, class splits, course formats, media and much more.
Supported by Rolex, the IMA is officially tasked by the sport’s governing body, World Sailing, to oversee and develop maxi yacht racing internationally. Given this, the IMA President’s Forum was initiated by the IMA’s President Benoît de Froidmont as a first step towards developing agreed ‘best practice’ between event organisers.
In addition to the IMA executive, led by Benoît de Froidmont and Secretary General Andrew McIrvine, the first Presidents’ Forum was attended by 14 yacht club presidents or their representatives.
Topics discussed were wide-ranging, covering class splits, the development of race officers and race officials, standardising course types and duration (for inshores/coastals), robot marks, prizegivings, tracking, safety and much more.
“The first IMA Presidents’ Forum was a great success,” declared Benoît de Froidmont. “One of the IMA’s core responsibilities is to improve the quality of racing internationally not just for our members but for all maxi owners. A key part of this comes from standardising procedures both on the water and off, with the goal of improving the complete experience for maxi teams when they enter and compete in events. I hope this will also encourage more maxi owners out on the water to come and race with us.”
Secretary General Andrew McIrvine added: “I’m delighted that so many yacht clubs accepted our invitation to the first IMA Presidents’ Forum. Aside from our being able to exchange ideas and information, it was a unique opportunity for the top people, at the various yacht clubs with whom we work, to meet in person – something they don’t often get to do."
The aim is for the IMA Presidents’ Forum to become an annual event.
IMA Presidents' Forum attendees included 14 yacht club presidents or their representatives. Photo: James Boyd / IMA