The offshore race where records are meant to be broken
At high noon on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, the 15thedition of the regatta Palermo-Montecarlo left from the Gulf of Mondello. This 500 nautical miles offshore race follows the old route taken by Phoenician ships, attracting 57 boats, representing ten countries, and a record number of 500 sailors!
Launched in 2005 the Palermo-Montecarlo is one of the essential offshore regattas in the Mediterranean Sea, and for a consecutive year, it constitutes a stage on the International Maxi Association (IMA) calendar. Organized at the initiative of Angelo Randazzo, in collaboration with the Circolo Della Vela Sicilia, Challenger of Record for the next America’s Cup, and in partnership with the Yacht Club of Monaco (YCM) and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, it unites two historically friendly cities.
“Amazing to think 15 years have passed, not just of competition but friendship and involvement with the Circolo Della Vela Sicilia and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, two very active clubs with whom we are proud to be interconnected. The Palermo-Montecarlo has become an offshore classic in the Mediterranean, as proven by the ever-increasing number of participants,” commented Bernard d’Alessandri, General Secretary of YCM.
Over the years, many world-famous boats have started the race, left the magnificent Gulf of Mondello, traversed the Strait of Bonifacio, and crossing the finish line in the bay of Monaco, after 500 nautical miles on the sea: from Steinlager 2, the legendary ketch winner the round the world race (Whitbread 1989-90) with Sir Peter Blake at the helm, to super maxis such as Esimit Europa 2 or Senso One, to name only a few of the famous boats.
Olympic sailors, who participated in one of the most important transoceanic regattas in the world, champions of America’s Cup, have added prestige and sporting value to this race, enabling a large growth in terms of numbers and technical level of the sailors, a long list including many great international navigators. From the famous Azzurra and Luna Rossa skippers, Mauro Pelaschier to Francesco De Angelis, through top sailors such as Pietro D’Alì, Gabriele Bruni, Flavio Favini, Lorenzo Bressani, Tommaso Chieffi and Alberto Bolzan, to the German Jochen Schuemann, the Australian Mitch Booth and the French Lionel Péan, Philippe Monnet and Catherine Chabaud. They all found in the Palermo-Montecarlo a unique event in the Mediterranean, a challenge based on tactics, tacks, and jibes.
In this edition Italian Maxi Adelasia di Torres had the best start ahead of compatriot Ad Maiora, the French boat Arobas 2 and the VOR 70 Ambersail. Competitors must pass through a mandatory gate mid-way off Costa Smeralda in Sardinia were dependent on weather conditions, they have a choice of sailing up the East or West coast of Corsica, a crucial decision that often determines the winner. From there they will then head to Monaco.
For some, it’s an enjoyable cruiser-race with family and friends, while others are determined to break the record held since 2015 by the Maxi 100ft Esimit Europa 2, of 47 hours 46 minutes and 48 seconds.
To follow the race live go to https://yb.tl/pm2019
“If a captain does not know where he wants to sail, there is no wind on Earth that will bring him there.”Ami Ayalon