Sea Gods flying over water on board catamaran Malizia under the Monaco flag

Promising young sailors meet Pierre Casiraghi & his Malizia crew

Upon their return to the Principality after completing the first season on the fast paced GC32 Racing Tour, Pierre Casiraghi and his crew arranged a meeting for more than 30 promising young sailors from the Yacht Club of Monaco (YCM) Sports Section on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, the relay is guaranteed! Prince Albert II, YCM President, made an unexpected appearance to join his nephew Pierre Casiraghi, YCM Vice-President, and the youngsters in visiting Malizia, the catamaran flying the Principality colours, that was specially brought to the club for this occasion. The beautiful Beatrice Borromeo Casiraghi was also there to support her husband and take care of their mascot Uma.

The promising young sailors then had an opportunity to sail on board the GC32, an experience they will surely never forget. Malizia symbolizes the Grimaldi family’s deep connection to the sea in this tribute to Francesco Grimaldi, a Genovese who arrived by sea in 1297 and founded his namesake dynasty.

A courageous skipper with an A-team 

Pierre Casiraghi, the skipper of Malizia, loves tough challenges but he is very well assisted by skilled sailors Adam Piggot, Richard Mason, Sebastian Col, Boris Herrmann, and their adorable mascot Uma, under the supervision of experienced French Olympic team Pierre-Alexis Ponsot. Multi-round the world record holders with diverse profiles, from a tactician on two America’s Cup challengers to a foiling specialist.

pierre-casiraghi-introducing-his-team-at-the-ycm-celinalafuentedelavothaThey are the youngest crew in the circuit but ready to take the thrilling challenge of the extreme sailing series. Pierre started by introducing the Malizia team and then responded to the candid questions form the young audience. He emphasised: “We must be patient and take it one step at a time, as these boats are very powerful and quick. It’s imperative we take the humble approach.” He added that being newcomers in the circuit their goals were mainly to learn and sail as properly and effective as possible, trying to be at the level of competing highly experienced crews. They did accomplish their objective finishing 6th out of 11 for the season’s final overall ranking, and their vision is to work hard during this winter and reach a podium finish in 2017.

In preparation for the 2017 season, Casiraghi has a full agenda ahead of him, as he will be competing in the Monaco Sports Boats Winter Series in November 11-13 and December 9-11. These monthly regattas are attracting the best one-designs (J/70, Melges 20, M32, GC32) with four GC32s taking part for the first time, alternating fleet and match races. As his tactician Sébastien Col was keen to stress, “It’s important to hone your skills on different types of boat. Being flexible is essential if you want to improve.” Pierre will also be sailing Moths this winter, a single-handed foiling dinghy, with the objective of building his Malizia team. But before that happens, Pierre heads to Malta for the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race from October 22-19, 2016, this time as member of the crew alongside Giovanni Soldini on the Italian’s multi Maserati.

Introducing the cast of Malizia

Pierre Casiraghi: Skipper, 27 years old, Monegasque

  • Winner in real time of the Palermo-Montecarlo 2013 & 2014 (TP52)
  • Winner of the Cape2Rio Race 2014 (Maserati)
  • Winner of the Gold Cup (Melges 32 Robertissima) 2014
  • Winner of the Rolex Giraglia Race 2014 (Esimit Europa 2)
  • 4th Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2015 (Maserati)

Boris Herrmann: Traveller, 34 years old, German

  • Fastest German around the world
  • 3 world tours (one in 47 days)
  • 10 world records

Sébastien Col: Mainsheet, 38 years old, French

  • Match Racing World Vice-Champion in 2008
  • Melges 24 World Champion in 2004
  • Match Racing European Champion
  • Melges 24 European Champion
  • Winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre 2015
  • America’s Cup 2000 & 2003 (afterguard)
  • America’s Cup 2007 (helmsman)

Richard Mason: N degrees1, 28 years old, English

  • Under 21 European Champion in the 49er in 2008
  • 2nd in the 470 European Championship in 2012
  • 2nd in the Formula 18 World Championship in 2013

Pierre-Alexis Ponsot: Coach, 41 years old, French

  • Two-time winner of the Sailing World Cup 2009-2012
  • Winner of the Baccardi Cup in the Star class in 2012
  • 4 victories in the Tour de France à la Voile
  • Several selections for French Olympic team
  • Member of France’s Olympic Sailing Team for the London games

Adam Piggott: Headsail trimmer, 28 years old, English

Professional racer in the RED Bull Team for the Extreme Sailing Series (preparatory trials for the America’s Cup)

Facts about GC32 

GC32 specifications:

  • Length overall (LOA): 12m
  • Length (hull): 10m
  • Beam: 6m
  • Mast height (above deck): 16.5m
  • Mainsail: 60m2
  • Jib: 23.5m2
  • Genniker: 90m2
  • Weight: 750kg

GC32 Racing Tour 2016

The GC32 circuit attracts the best international multi-hull sailors. Five regattas took place in the Mediterranean with phases in Italy, Spain and France.

  • GC32 Riva Cup, Riva del Garda, Lake Garda – May 26-29
  • Malcesine, Lake Garda, Italy – July 7-10
  • 35th Copa del Rey MAPFRE, Palma de Mallorca, Spain – August 3-6
  • La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup, Sotogrande Spain – September 22-25
  • Marseille one-design, Marseille France – October 13-16

Today’s quote

“You don’t throw a compass overboard because the ocean is calm.” Matshona Dhliwayo

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