We said it, we said it, that this guy would be one to watch closely: Ambrogio Beccaria Balduzzi, in his first oceanic outing against the French holy monsters, aboard a boat that he himself went to salvage in Portugal when it was half-destroyed and that he repaired with his own hands, won the second leg of the Les Sables – Horta – Les Sables (from the Azores to the Vendée). The 25-year-old Milanese skipper took 8 days, 11h 22′ 50″. At 3:30 last night his Mini 6.50 Alla Grande Ambeco crossed the finish line first followed at 4:07 by Tanguy Bouroullec (Kerhis Cerfrance) and Germain Kerleveo (Technique Voile) at 4:50. Fourth is Jonas Gerckens (Volvo) at 5:47. The only two prototypes in the race confirmed their technical superiority over the 19 standard minis with Ian Lipinsky (Griffon Fr) finishing before midnight at 11:45 p.m. followed by Alberto Bona (Promostudi La Spezia) at 1:16.
FOR THE GENERAL WE WAIT CONFIDENTLY
The final ranking will have to wait for the arrival of the other boats and the jury’s decisions as a 2h 5′ penalty weighs on Ambrose for passing only half a mile inside the Cape Finisterre DST zone (forbidden to sail for racers) during the first leg Les Sables – Horta, which closed in third position.
THE CHRONICLE OF THE STAGE
The second stage Horta – Les Sables d’Olonne was characterized for a good part by weak winds that forced the competitors to choose the best compromise between a direct route to the finish line and the continued search for more sustained airs. Ambrogio Beccaria proved that the old Pogo2 still makes good stock when led with expertise and sensitivity so much so that he remained in command of the mini 6.50 series from Aug. 14-17. But that’s not all, after unexpectedly overtaking Alberto Bona’s prototype, Beccaria even tried to undermine Ian Lipinsky with what used to be his own boat! Recall in this regard that Beccaria’s Pogo2 is the same boat with which Ian Lipinsky wrecked in the Atlantic shortly after the start of the 2013 Mini Transat and was recovered in Portugal and refitted by Ambrose in 5 months of hard work in La Spezia. In the evening of yesterday the wind strengthened recompacting the leading group and Germain Kerleveo, in a more favorable position because he was upwind of Beccaria, was back in the lead. During the night, however, Ambrose managed to take back the lead and reach Les Sables d’Olonne first.
WHO IS AMBROSE BECCARIA
Ambrogio Beccaria was born in Milan in 1991. A graduate student in Nautical Engineering, he is a young up-and-comer in Italian offshore sailing. As a boy, he attended sailing courses at the Velamare Club in Sardinia, learning to sail among the rocks and islets of the Maddalena Archipelago and the windy area of the Straits of Bonifacio. At the age of 18, he began racing on a Laser 4000 class drift, with which he won an Italian Championship and third place at the European Championship on Lake Garda in 2014. Aboard the 16-meter Shambala, a boat designed by yacht designer Umberto Felci, he participates in numerous regattas in the Tyrrhenian Sea and major competitions such as the Giraglia, the Middle Sea Race, the 151 Miglia, the Three Gulfs of Naples, and ORC Championship races in Liguria. He was commander of an 18-meter-long catamaran. In 2013, Ambrogio Beccaria boarded a Mini class, Exing 99, for the first time, where he met Stefano Paltrinieri, an expert in this kind of boat just 6.50 meters long and with over 20,000 sea miles covered on Minis behind him. In May 2014, he purchased in Portugal the Mini Kalonig, a Pogo 2 model by French-Polishman Ian Lipinski that had capsized in the Atlantic in 2013 during a class regatta. He moved the boat overland 2500 km to La Spezia, where in 5 months of hard work he virtually single-handedly completed the renovation of the heavily damaged boat, refitted the deck and sail plan. During maintenance work, anyone passing by would ask him how he was doing. “Great!” he always replied. Hence the decision to name the boat Alla Grande Ambeco, where Ambeco is the name of the Milan-based company specializing in the transportation of special waste that has decided to link its name to Ambrogio Beccaria’s accomplishments, espousing the sailing-ecology pair. In March 2015 Ambrogio Beccaria participated and won with Alla Grande Ambeco in the 160-mile Fezzano – Talamone regatta from the Gulf of La Spezia to Tuscany. In the same year and in 2016 the hull proved to be multi-winner to the point that it won the Italian Mini Transat Championship twice in a row.
2016 1st Archipelago 650, 1st at 222 mini solo, 3rd GPI Italy
2015 1st Fezzano – Talamone, 1st CAP Cagliari, 2nd Archipelago 650, 4th G.P. of Italy
2014 1st Italian Laser 4000 Championship, 3rd European Laser 4000 Championship