Sports boat winter season kick-off in Monaco’s hot Indian summer

Hundreds of racing sailing boats in the Yacht Club marina

This past Sunday, October 26, a hundred sailing boats crowded the marina of the Yacht Club of Monaco. Some would be participating in the first leg of the Monaco Sports Boat Winter Series, Melges 20 & J, and the other half who have arrived on Saturday and will take part in the San Remo-Monaco-San Remo Grimaldi Trophy.

Also during this weekend the giant 15-meter high YCM Cruiser Slide was deployed from the Club’s third floor in collaboration with Freestyle Slides. Several members and racers had the chance to go for an exhilarating baptism slide.

It was indeed a very warm launch for the 30 one-design teams coming from Italy and Eastern Europe launched the winter season series 2014-2015, with warm temperatures in and outside the water and 15 knots of wind.

Initiated last year for the Melges 20 class, at the instigation of Valentin Zavadnikov, this five-act winter meeting is held once a month and for the second edition has been expanded to include a J/70 fleet. This promising series has won over the Yacht Club de Monaco that today has the largest fleet in Europe, numbering 15 boats.

Become the best you can be

Contestants anxious to prepare for the upcoming season to reach their top level, welcomed the training sessions combining theory and practice. Ekaterina Skudina, gold medalist in the 2010 Elliot 6m European Championship representing Russia, shared her experience with J/70 sailors who enjoyed the facilities at the YCM’s new building. “From a logistical point of view with the classrooms and the sporting aspect with the fitness centre, the YCM now offers an ideal platform for race preparation. Personally, if I were to attempt another Olympic campaign, Monaco would have everything you need to train,” observes Ekaterina.

Melges 20 – Italian Maolca on top

The fleet of 17 were bunched together during the six races held (5 retained), proving it was a tough battle, with the leader changing several times aiding excitement to the show. The International Class President Manfredi Vianini Tolomei (Maolca, 11 points) won Act 1 with two race wins and a 3rd place, ahead of Guido Miani (Monaco Racing Fleet, 13 points) who is the series’ World Vice-champion. Achille Onorato (Mascalzone Latino Jr., 19 points), winner of the 2014 Europe Cup came 3rd, just three points ahead of Pierre Casiraghi (Shimmer, 22 points), sailing with Federico Michetti and for the first time with Vasco Vascotto.

All three will join the crew on Robertissima from November 7-9, for the Melges 32 Gold Cup in Miami, the final preparation before the World Championship which takes place at the same venue from December 7-9, 2014. Roberto Tomasini Grinover, owner and helmsman of Robertissima, injured his right hand, so his friend and member of the Monaco Racing Fleet, Pierre Casiraghi, will be the pilot, who has already sailed on the Mini-Maxi 72 Robertissima III during the Giraglia Rolex Cup’s inshore races.

J/70 – Ilsley takes charge

YCM member Ian Ilsley took charge in style of his J/70, having already conquered his J/24, the series of which he is European Vice-Champion and North American Vice-Champion. With his St Andrews crew, that includes François Brenac on tactics, very quickly had the measure of the asymmetric spinnaker and lighter displacement. Having won two of the three races held, they topped the overall ranking ahead of Stefano Roberti (Aria, 7 points). The Monaco J/70 Class President, Jacopo Carrain (Carpe Diem), completed the podium. It is thanks to him that the YCM will be hosting the European Championship in the Principality from October, 12-17, 2015, with at least 60 boats in attendance.

Grimaldi Trophy – Adalberto Miani first over the line in real time

It was a record participation for this inshore return race between Sanremo in Italy and the Principality, which left the Italian town at 11am on Saturday and attracted nearly 50 boats. After 3 hours, 37 minutes and 32 seconds, the Yacht Club de Monaco’s Sailing Commissioner Adalberto Miani (Botta Dritta) crossed the line first in Monaco.

Mark your calendars because there’s more to come…

Act 2 – December 12-14 2014

Act 3 – January 16-18, 2015, with the SB20 class entering the contest

31st Primo Cup/ Credit Suisse Trophy – Over two weekends, January, 30-February, 1, and February 6-8, 2015.

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