Nicolas Berenger brought the Lady to the front line
Monday, August 22, 2022 – It took 2 days 23 hours 47 minutes 6 seconds for Jean-Pierre Dreau’s Lady First III French sailor Nicolas Berenger, already winner of the event in 2018 (Tonnerre de Glen), on board to cover the 480 nautical miles between Sicily to Monaco. An hour and minutes later another Frenchman, Dominique Tian on Tonnerre de Glen crossed the line to tie up in the YCM Marina, followed by the Italians on Carbonita. And so the record set in 2015 by the Maxi 100 Esimit of 47 hours 46 minutes 48 seconds remains intact.
Option taken pays off
Four boats had raced away from the fleet from the start on Friday 19thAugust in the Gulf of Mondello. Lady First III,Tonnerre de Glen, Sisi and Carbonita ate up the miles, keeping a good distance from the rest of the peloton before moving into top gear. Very quickly options emerged for this small group.
While Frenchmen Nicolas Berenger and Dominique Tian had decided to hug the east coast, Carbonita and the Austrian Farr 65 Sisitook a gamble in staying offshore, an option that paid off for the latter who swept into the lead at the Strait of Bonifacio. What followed was a series of twists and turns the highlights of which were brilliantly managed by Lady First III who decided to stay as close as possible to Corsica’s west coast, widening the gap with her pursuers.
“It was a more lively edition than we’re used to. Conditions varied which pleased everyone,” said Nicolas Berenger (Lady First III) who was quick to stress the crew’s strengths. “Many are passionate sailors with a sound knowledge of navigation and some are pros like Pierre Quiroga who won the 2021 Figaro. This boat is very technical, be it at the helm or on manoeuvres, you got to know where to put your fingers! It’s a super crew that just wants to win and loves being at sea.” He also had words of praise for the Monaco race area: “I adore sailing in Monaco. It has a particular charm. The wind can be capricious but it’s got logic”.
Ranking to be determined on next arrivals
With the bulk of the fleet still at sea on Monday, the next arrivals will determine the ranking for the all-important corrected time trophy when final results are adjusted depending on boat size. Around 40 boats and nine nationalities are competing in this 17thedition.
Note that three Monaco boats are in the running: Andrea Statari’s Gorilla Gang, K’Mena and Andreas Feichtinger’s Lung’Ta which has two young members from the YCM’s Sports Section on board: Oscar Royneau and Jessica Klimeck.
Launched 2005, it is organised by Circolo della Vela Sicilia in partnership with Yacht Club de Monaco and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and is on theItalian Offshore Championship circuit (organised by Italian Sailing Federation), the IMA’s Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challengeand the Class40 Mediterranean Trophy.
Prize-giving is on Wednesday, August 24 at 7.00pm at the YCM to present the big winners of the Giuseppe Tasca d’Almerita Trophy (first across the line), the Angelo Randazzo Perpetual Challenge (first in corrected time in the most numerous group between ORC and IRC); the Circolo della Vela Sicilia Trophy (overall winner in the smallest group between IRC and ORC); the Emanuele Bruno Trophy (best Sicilian crew); and other trophies according to classes.
To reach a port we must set sail –
Sail, not tie at anchor
Sail, not drift. Franklin D. Roosevelt