News Palermo, August 21, 2018

Palermo, August 21, 2018

The start of Palermo-Montecarlo offshore

Today at 12 noon 53 teams lined up on the start of the 14th Palermo-Montecarlo with Yacht Club de Monaco President, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, firing the gun, alongside Secretary General Bernard d’Alessandri and Circolo della Vela Sicilia President Agostino Randazzo. It was with all sails up that the eclectic fleet left the Gulf of Mondello for this offshore race that is one of the stages on the International Maxi Association (IMA) calendar. “Thanks to all the hard work put in by President Randazzo and his team, this race has become a Mediterranean classic. I am also thinking of Angelo Randazzo who would have been very proud of what has been achieved in these last 14 years,” said Bernard d’Alessandri.  “This offshore race perfectly illustrates the close ties that we maintain with Circolo della Vela Sicilia and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, two clubs with whom we are twinned and who represent the dynamism driving sailing in the Mediterranean.”

With the Med as their playground, challengers have plenty of opportunities to engage in some tight-fought duels, be it round the passage gate off Porto Cervo in Sardinia or up the coast of Corsica before they head for the Principality. The majority have one goal in their sights: to beat the record set by Esimit Europa 2 in 2015 of 47 hours 46 minutes 48 seconds. Teams will have to bide their time for the first 24 hours as conditions are set to be light and changeable until the Strait of Bonifacio in the wake of a stormy front that has just gone through.

She may be favourite to win but Rambler 888, led by four-time America’s Cup winner Brad Butterworth, will have to stay vigilant throughout the 500 nautical miles of this course. With the goal being to stay under the 50-hour bar, George David’s crew will be keeping an eye on Bryon Ehrhart’s Lucky. The American owner won the 2017 Palermo-Montecarlo and is determined to repeat the feat this year on a different boat.

However, everyone is in with a chance to make their mark. Alongside racing thoroughbreds set on victory at all costs are crews of newcomers and some unexpected entrants like Ad Maiora, a trimaran launched in 1988 as Fleury Michon IX, owned by big names in sailing like Florence Arthaud and Philippe Poupon.

At the prize-giving held in the Yacht Club de Monaco on Sunday 26th August at 8.00pm, the winner in corrected time will receive the Angelo Randazzo Trophy, and the first to cross the line in real time the Giuseppe Tasca d’Almerita Trophy.

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