Palermo-Montecarlo, an X-41 favorite for victory

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Pa_Mo_2015_447Two boats at the finish line after 500 miles of racing from Palermo to Monte Carlo, choosing different routes (passed on either side of Corsica), crossing the line divided only by 60 seconds. It’s the incredible sprint for second place in real time (after the “usual” Esimit Europa 2, which completed the course in the record time of 47 hours, 46 minutes and 48 seconds) staged before dawn yesterday off the coast of Monaco: first appeared the VOR 70 SFS II of Lionel Pean, who was sailing under Code Zero (the big light bow sail) at nearly 10 knots, but further down the coast he appeared, from the west, B2, the TP52 by Michele Galli helmed by Francesco De Angelis. The latter by tightening the wind more managed to cross in front and cross the finish line at 5, 32 minutes and 12 seconds, exactly one minute ahead of SFS II (5, 33 minutes and 12 seconds). So on the docks of the Yacht Club de Monaco the first three boats to finish the long race are moored side by side: Esimit Europa 2 (with the new record set yesterday), B2 and SFS II.

Pa_Mo_2015_464OTHER ARRIVALS.
Also arriving on Monday morning at 9:18 a.m. was Luna Uunet, the 18-meter (Imoca 60) of French navigator Philippe Monnet, with Thierry Leret and a crew of very young sailors from the home club aboard, who were much celebrated on the dock. And just over half an hour later (at 9:42 a.m.) it was the turn of Verve Camer, Giuseppe Greco’s Comet 50 with Paolo Montefusco aboard, followed shortly (10:03 a.m.) by Andrea Pietrolucci’s Mylius 14E55 Milu III, and at 10:46 a.m. by Bruno Delcour’s Farr 52 Ville de Geneve.

Pa_Mo_2015_520THE FAVORITE.
At 11:41 a.m., after 71 hours of sailing, some 23 hours after the real-world winner Esimit Europa 2, crossed the finish line Extra 1, the X41 armed by Circolo della Vela Sicilia with Massimo Barranco, skipper Piero Majolino, navigator Matteo Ivaldi and a team of young sailors. Extra 1 finished eighth in actual, leading a near-perfect race, outperforming many larger boats and thus becoming one of the special observers for possible final success on handicap.

Also on Monday 24 in the afternoon, SL Energies Groupe Fastwave, Frenchman Laurent Charmy’s J111, the first boat of the Palermo-Montecarlo for 2 (with a crew of two), arrived in Monaco, followed a couple of hours later by Rome Ocean World Patricia II of Mario Girelli with Matteo Miceli.

TALES OF THE REGATTA

Francesco De Angelis (B2), second at the finish: “It was a very intense, full and challenging regatta, we found all wind and sea conditions, little, medium, too much. We were in the middle of a couple of storms and got a lot of water and a lot of wind. Still a beautiful and extremely varied regatta.”

Pa_Mo_2015_439Lionel Pean (SFS), third: “Calm, breeze, thunderstorms, strong wind, there was everything in this Palermo-Montecarlo. We chose to leave Corsica to the left and as we were coming up we glided at over 22 knots, definitely our ideal conditions. We caught up, but unfortunately it was not enough to finish second: the sprint finish was just incredible. It’s always a very beautiful regatta, with beautiful scenery.”

Massimo Barranco (Extra 1), eighth: “Very satisfied, never had such conditions in this regatta, we started with Tramontana all the way to Sardinia, then strong Scirocco that made us have fun, the boat even reached 14 knots near Corsica. The best thing about the regatta was our guys on board, tireless, they gave an incredible charge, they never gave up. The weather on board was great, and while pulling the boat into the race, we didn’t miss anything, from food to comfort.”

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