Malizia II a remarkable flying catamaran
For their debut in the classical mythical Rolex Fastnet Race, the difficult and intense 2000nm (nautical miles) route dating back to 1925, Pierre Casiraghi and Boris Herrmann climbed on the 3rd step of the podium in the IMOCA 60’ category on-board Malizia II, competing with other 383 boats and 2700 sailors. They came just ahead of another Riviera team led by Jean-Pierre Dick (StMichel-Virbac). The Mono60 (18.28m) launched in August 2015, arrived on Wednesday, August 9 at 05.05, having covered 608nm (1,120km) from Cowes to Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock in just 2 days 17 hours 55 minutes and 11 seconds.
It is the first time a boat flying the Yacht Club de Monaco colours has achieved such a result. It was an excellent performance given that three of the nine IMOCA 60s competing were on the podium of the last Vendée Globe. For most of the IMOCA 60s, this race served as a full-on rehearsal for the Transat Jacques Vabre that will start from Le Havre in France on November 5, 2017.
A bold and tactical decision by the Monegasque duo
In the early hours of the race, the Monegasque duo opted for a bold and tactical choice, to go up the west side of the Traffic Separation Scheme between the Scilly Isles and south-west England’s Land’s End, north to the Celtic Sea. The wise decision allowed them to take advantage of a breeze filling in from the west caused by pressure between England and the Fastnet lighthouse, that most famous of offshore race marks, off Ireland’s south coast, enabled them to approach the group led by Paul Meilhat and Gwénolé Gahinet (SMA) who suffered from decreasing wind.
“We are delighted. The race was so intense, particularly on the final descent to Plymouth, with a very unstable wind and strong squalls. Our tactical choices paid off. The boat is fantastic; she’s so fast reaching and downwind. We never dreamed of such a result, especially as we only had two days training together beforehand. But we sailed intuitively and never stopped attacking – we didn’t sleep for the last 24 hours. It was an amazing experience,” said an enthusiastic Pierre Casiraghi
Side by side with the top three on a long downwind leg to Plymouth, Malizia II played their cards right as they got nearer the English coast. They took full advantage of a 15-knot north-westerly breeze to slip to leeward of Generali and Initiatives Cœur and seize a well-deserved 3rd place.
Note that the Ned Collier Wakefield-skippered MOD 70 Concise won the event, with a race time of 1 day 18 hours 55 minutes and 0 seconds. However, it did not come close to beating the multi-hull record for the Fastnet, set in 2011 by Loïck Peyron’s maxi-Trimaran Banque Populaire of 1 day 8 hours 48 minutes and 46 seconds.
On the way to Palermo
There is still no let-up for Team Malizia as Boris Herrmann, again on the IMOCA 60’, heads for Sicily to take the start of the 13th Palermo-Montecarlo on Monday, August 21.
Organised by the Circolo della Vela Sicilia, in collaboration with the Yacht Club de Monaco and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, this 500nm race counts as the fourth and final stage of the International Maxi Association’s Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge. The other stages are the Rolex Middle Sea Race 2016, the 151 Miglia Regatta 2017 and the Giraglia Rolex Cup 2017.
“The sooner we learn to be jointly responsible, the easier the sailing will be.” Ella Maillart