International Mediterranean Committee
ORGANISING, RATING, REGULATING AND HARMONISING LONG DISTANCE RACES IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SINCE 1926
Founded by the Yacht Club de France (YCF), Yacht Club Italiano (YCI) and the Real Club Nautico of Barcelona, with a combined yachting history of over 400 years, the Comité International des Courses-Croisières de la Méditerranée (CIM) was established in 1926. However, its authority and skills have never been more useful than they are today, given the increasing complexity of classic yacht events.
Back in the 1920s, long distance races were criss-crossing the Western Mediterranean with lavish parties being held at the start and finish, and during ports of call. The fact there were many and all well attended, meant the need for a common authority was obvious. Even then, big boat owners felt impelled to participate, for example yachts like Moonbeam III (then called Eblis) which won the Mediterranean Long Distance Race in 1927 and 1928, becoming the first to win a race under the CIM’s auspices.
After a break from 1939 to 1948, long distance races reappeared and proved a great success with strong participation by the French, Italians and Spanish. In 1950, the organisers decided to “resurrect” the CIM. This time representatives of national sailing federations and official regulators from each federation sat alongside those from the three founding yacht clubs at the first meeting in Paris on 15 January 1951.
Two very active yacht clubs would soon be co-opted by the founders to join them, namely the Yacht Club de Monaco (founded in 1953) and the Royal Malta Yacht Club (1835). From 1978, the CIM comprised these five clubs which were officially united on 8 February 1979 under the Monaco Protocol that defined the committee’s scope of activities and ethics.
In 1952 René Lelainville, President of the Union des Croiseurs close to the YCF of which he was Vice-President, and YCI President Beppe Croce came up with the idea for the Giraglia, a famous summer race which is still the most popular. In 1967, the Maltese club created the Middle Sea Race, the most competitive and renowned of the Mediterranean offshore events. In the 1960s, the CIM contributed alongside the RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club) to the then new International Offshore Rule (IOR). More recently, the CIM created its own classic yacht rule which governs the big traditional yachting regattas in the Mediterranean.
After a relatively inactive period, the CIM today under the leadership of YCF President Philippe Court is again in charge of the Mediterranean classic yacht scene. Chaired by Carlo Croce, President of the ISF (International Sailing Federation) and the YCI, and with Bernard d’Alessandri as Secretary General, the CIM brings together classic yacht owner associations, AIVE (Italy), AFYT (France), RANC (Spain), AMBC and La Belle Classe (Monaco), and the various national sailing federations. Together they comprise the Executive and Technical Committees; national federations are committed to respecting the CIM’s decisions on their territory.
It is this amalgamation of skills that has produced a classic yacht scene in the Mediterranean, the quality of which is envied all over the world. ND