Francesco Mongelli, the Italian who won the Sydney Hobart


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There is an Italian who has won Australia’s most famous regatta, the classic that every self-respecting sailor should tackle at least once in a lifetime. His name is Francesco Mongelli (Franz to his friends), he is from Rome and 45 years old.

Jim Delegat’s VOR 70 Giacomo

He was aboard New Zealand wine tycoon Jim Delegat’s VOR 70 Giacomo as a navigator. Much of the success of James, overall winner on corrected time of the Rolex Sydney Hobart (and second in real time, ahead of two of the four 100-footers in the race-excluding Wild Oats, which withdrew due to keel problems-and Maserati, Giovanni Soldini’s former VOR 70) is thus due to the tactical choices of Mongelli, always looking for the best weather conditions and the right VMG in one of the fastest editions of the Australian classic, 629 miles between Sydney and Hobart, Tasmania. “It is a great joy and satisfaction, hard to explain why it is but in fact it is“, Mongelli told us, “maybe even a little bit of healthy nationalist spirit, representing Italy positively is something I really like when it is usually others who do it, this time it was my turn and it just so happens that it is not because I am part of an Italian team, as has happened before but I am more on my own. Maybe it’s also that, who knows.”

Back in 2014, the Roman had participated on Giacomo (former Groupama, winner of the 2012 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race) but it had been an unlucky edition, ending in dismasting. Mongelli’s resume includes many regattas, TP52, offshore and especially participation aboard the South African boat Shosholoza for the Louis Vuitton Series in Auckland.

The Sydney Hobart real-time was won by Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal.



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