4th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series: A grand finale
by Isabelle Andrieux on 12 Dec 2016
9-11 December 2016
4th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series © Stefano Gattini / Studio Borlenghi
Melges 20 (Act III), J/70 (Act II), GC32 (Act II), M32 (Act I)
The final day of this Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series regatta was intense with the Melges 20 and J/70 fleets completing four races, while the catamarans kept up their pace with the M32s pulling off eight races against seven for the GC32s.
Now in its fourth season, this series of regattas organised from October to March by the Yacht Club de Monaco, in collaboration with clothing supplier SLAM and instigated by Valentin Zavadnikov, have been given new impetus with the arrival of the cats. These boats with their aerodynamic lines created a spectacle in the bay of Monaco, attracting great interest from youngsters in the YCM's Sports Section - and even a group of dolphins!
An added attraction was the technical conference given by German naval architect, Martin Fisher, the man behind the GC32 and Flying Phantom who also heads the design team for the French America's Cup Challenger. His brief was to present latest advances in foil development much to the delight of technophile sailors.
GC32s flying in Monaco
For their second Act in the Principality, the three GC32s, latest generation foiling catamarans, put on a show. At 8 knots and up the threesome took off, balancing precariously on their carbon foils like tightrope artists. Invited by Pierre Casiraghi, these Formula One boats have brought a whole new dimension to the event, pulling off race after race with incredible speed and regularity under the supervision of Anne Mallédant, the GC32 Racing Tour's PRO.
After three days and 11 races, Jérôme Clerc (Realteam) clinched victory ahead of Team Engie helmed by Sébastien Rogues, then Malizia led by Pierre Casiraghi assisted by Sébastien Col and Boris Herrmann. It was a close-run finish in the final overall ranking reflecting the intensity of the battles on the water throughout the weekend.
M32: latest attraction
Newcomers to the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, the ultra-dynamic M32 catamarans were not disappointed with 11 races in the bag. Like a metronome, the Race Committee headed by Mattias Dahlström kept up the pace with races every seven to ten minutes.
Victory went to YCM helmsman Guido Miani (Team Neverland) who pipped the Swedish boat (Cape Crown Viking) helmed by Patrick Sturesson to the post by one point. Riccardo Simoneshi (Italia Sailing Team) completed the podium in 3rd.
"I am delighted that my Club hosted this class, which is suited to all types of weather conditions. The Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series is a fantastic format for teams to train at the end of the year ready for the 2017 season," commented Guido Miani.
J/70: everything to play for
In this dynamic and international class that attracted 34 teams from 11 nationalities the field was wide open with only five points separating the first six. Monaco continues to smile on the Italian Luca Domenici (Notaro Team), crowned European Champion here in 2015, as he won this event.
In 2nd place for the second Act running was the Russian Valeriya Kovalenko (ArtTube) who finished equal on points with Charles Thompson (Brutus), 3rd. Stefano Roberti (Piccinina), European Vice-Champion, confirmed his position at the head of the Monegasque armada (comprising 11 entrants) by finishing 8th.
Melges 20: Eastern countries in the vanguard
Fourteen Melges 20s made the trip, eight of which were Russian, but it was a Polish team led by Krzysztof Krempec (Mag Tiny) who won the event by a point ahead of Pirogovo Sailing helmed by Alexandr Ezhkov. Alexander Novoselov (Victor) proved his consistency, coming 3rd for the second time in this Winter Series.
The next Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series regatta is 13-15 January 2017 for the Melges 20, J/70 and M32 classes.
For many their resolutions for 2017 will be to secure top step of the podium before the Primo Cup-Trophée Credit Suisse (2-5 February 2017).
GC32 (after 11 races)
1st: Jérôme Clerc (Realteam), SUI, 19pts
2nd: Sébastien Rogues (Team Engie), FRA, 23pts
3rd: Pierre Casiraghi (Malizia), MON, 24pts
J/70 (after 4 races)
1st: Luca Domenici (Notaro Team), ITA, 20pts
2nd: Valeriya Kovalenko (ArtTube), RUS, 21pts
3rd: Charles Thompson (Brutus), GBR, 21pts
Melges 20 (after 4 races)
1st: Krzysztof Krempec (Mag Tiny), POL, 10pts
2nd: Alexandr Ezhkov (Pirogovo Sailing), RUS, 11pts
3rd: Alexander Novoselov (Victor), RUS, 16pts
M32 (after 11 races)
1st: Guido Miano (Team Neverland), MON, 20pts
2nd: Patrick Sturesson (Cape Crown Viking), SWE, 21pts
3rd: Riccardo Simoneschi (Italia Sailing Team), ITA, 25pts