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9th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series Act 1

by Isabelle Andrieux 8 Nov 2021 14:35 GMT 4-7 November 2021
9th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series © Martin Messmer

Winning at home

With 15 nationalities represented and around 40 teams, including the best Europeans, Act 1 of the 9th Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series set the tone for the season. With the J/70 World Championship scheduled here in Monaco 14-22 October 2022, this international Winter Series of regattas, instigated in 2013, showcase the high level of this class.

From start to finish

Friday kicked the event off in style with a steady 15-18 knot easterly, warm sunshine defying autumnal weather, and a well-formed swell that saw some memorable surfs downwind under spinnaker (speeds up to 18 knots clocked by some). The three races completed were enough to reveal the level and challenges facing even the best teams, here to try out and get to know the race area where the Worlds will be held in just under a year. Monegasques also have everything to fight for as the four stages of this Winter Series are qualifying events for them.

From the start, Monegasques showed their teeth like Ludovico Fassitelli and his crew on Junda, comprised of sailors as talented as they are complementary including young Leonardo Bonelli from the Yacht Club de Monaco's Sports Section. "It was a great start to the season. The level has increased across boats from all nations," notes Ludovico. "We pulled off some good things for this first act with a newish crew as we'd changed tactician. It was the first time we'd sailed together". The YCM member was delighted as they won the trophy after a nail-biting five races.

Pressure mounts

Some of the best boats were champing a little too hard on the bit the first day resulting in a series of general recalls under the black flag. The Americans on Good to Go made what proved to be a wise choice in staying back, as they topped the provisional ranking that evening. The next day the more high spirited held their own to turn the tide and jump up a few places, the Spanish on Patakin in particular making a superb comeback from 12th to 2nd. Still there, but having dropped a couple of places, the Americans hung on to 3rd to stay on the podium, with the Russians on Elf in 4th, closely followed by Loïc Pompée and his men on Sailing Racing Team. It bodes well for this Monegasque, already 5th at the last European Championship. "We had a strong start, winning the first race which got us into the rhythm straight away. There were some great sailors out there this weekend". In the Corinthian (amateur) group there was a fine performance by the Irish on Wild Card followed by the Monegasque Cesare Gabasio (Tinnj70) then the Swiss on Jacqueline.

There's no let up this year as Act 2 is fast approaching (9-12 December). The season continues in 2022 with the highlight being the 38th Primo Cup-Trophée Credit Suisse serving as the 4th and final Act of the Winter Series (3-6 March 2022). Top teams on the circuit are sure to be there, keen to warm-up on location before the World Championship organised by Yacht Club de Monaco in partnership with FxPro (14-22 October 2022).

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