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Melges 14 2019 Leaderboard

Monaco Globe Series: Final straight before the start

by Isabelle Andrieux 2 Jun 2018 17:57 BST 1-8 June 2018
Malizia II - Monaco Globe Series © Andrea Pisapia

The pressure is mounting for the nine pairs competing in the Monaco Globe Series, first of six stages for the IMOCA 2018-2020 championship, renamed the Globe Series.

Organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco, the double-hander offshore race, non-stop with no assistance, allows participants to gain the maximum number of points with a view to qualifying for the Vendée Globe 2020. A legendary event for which the start for the previous edition was given by HSH Prince Albert II, President of the YCM.

According to Pierre Casiraghi, YCM Vice-President and skipper on Malizia II, "It is also a major sporting event for the Yacht Club de Monaco. We are delighted to see such a fine fleet of IMOCAs in Monaco. It's a first for us! Not only is it in line with the YCM's ambitions but also defines the sporting aspect. It is, dare I say it, the most beautiful class of boats in the world, so it is fantastic to have you here with us in the Principality."

Whole IMOCA family together

The first couple of days has seen the teams, their sponsors and the whole IMOCA family out on the water for exhibition runs, much to the delight of the French Riviera public for whom this is the first time they will have seen these 60-footers. Ashore, the opening ceremony on Friday evening was attended by the Monaco authorities, and also organisers of the main IMOCA world championship events. They included Yves Auvinet, President of the Vendée department council and the Vendée Globe. "It's a great opportunity for the IMOCA class, to be here in Monaco in this unique Yacht Club with its incredible facilities, to promote our discipline," said Alex Thompson, second in the last Vendée Globe and Vice-President of the IMOCA class.

A sporting contest!

Time now for the race which starts at 1.00pm on Sunday for an event that promises to be challenging, as the Mediterranean has its peculiarities and is not straightforward when it comes to navigation. "The race is really wide open," says Fabrice Amedeo, skipper on Newrest Art & Fenêtres alongside Eric Perron. "Three of the nine boats have foils. But these appendages are not necessarily a gauge of who will win as it will depend on the conditions we encounter."

Without a doubt the race promises some exceptional duels given the weather forecast for the next few days. "Expect variations in wind direction and strength which could mean many changes to the sail," announced Race Director Guillaume Rottee. "We expect a 10-knot northerly on the start all the way down to the Strait of Bonifacio, a passage where it will accelerate with 15, 20 knots then a return to lighter airs as far as Sicily. There should be some great battles."

One third ladies!

The sailing world is opening up more and more as evidenced by the three boats led by women. It's a situation that reflects a changing environment that is welcomed by passionate sailors like Alexia Barrier, at the helm of 4MyPlanet2. "It's fantastic to see that a third of the fleet is female. Let's hope that continues until 2020 for the Vendée Globe..." She will have her work cut out against Joan Mulloy from the Kilcullen Team Ireland and Isabelle Joschke on Monin sailing with Alain Gautier, winner of the 1992-1993 Vendée Globe.

Discovering the Mediterranean

Thanks to the collaboration with SSI-MonacoSat (Inmarsat partner) who has opened its communication channels for teams to broadcast audio-visual content. The skippers can bring their race alive, not just the beauty of the course but also the state of the marine environment.

The Western Mediterranean will be in the spotlight at this meeting. After the start in Monaco's bay, the fleet heads across to Sardinia to pay tribute to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, celebrating 20 years of twinning with the YCM. Competitors then head down to Sicily to tack off Palermo in front of another club, also twinned with the YCM: the prestigious Circolo della Vela Sicilia, Challenger of Record of the 36th America's Cup and organiser of the Palermo-Montecarlo. "It's the first time I've raced in the Mediterranean," notes Manuel Cousin from Groupe Setin. "I am really looking forward to admiring these incredible and magnificent areas."

Rendezvous tomorrow Sunday 3rd June 2018 for the start that will be given at 1.00pm by Yacht Club de Monaco President, HSH Prince Albert II, from the elegant 36m motor-yacht, M/Y Pacha III, built in 1936 by Camper and Nicholsons.

List of competing boats:

  • Malizia-Yacht Club de Monaco – Pierre Casiraghi / Boris Herrmann
  • SMA – Paul Meilhat / Gwénolé Gahinet
  • Newrest Art and Fenêtres – Fabrice Amedeo / Eric Peron
  • Bureau Vallée 2 – Louis Burton / Arthur Hubert
  • Monin – Isabelle Joschke / Alain Gautier
  • 4myplanet2 – Alexia Barrier / Pierre Quirogea
  • Groupe Setin – Manuel Cousin / Alan Roura
  • Kilcullen Team Ireland – Joan Mulloy / Thomas Ruyant
  • Boulogne Billancourt - Stéphane Le Diraison / Stan Maslard
  • Sunday 3rd June 2018, 1.00pm: Start of the race
  • Friday 8th June 2018, 6.00pm: Prize-giving ceremony

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