Route du Rhum: Beccaria second by a landslide, historic feat for Italian sailing

It was the end of July, when we went to Genoa, to the St. George Marine, to see the Last stages of construction of Allagrande Pirelli, Ambrogio Beccaria’s Class 40, the same boat that tonight at its first official regatta, the Route du Rhum (3,542 miles solo nonstop from Saint-Malo in Brittany to Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe), wrote a piece of Italian sailing history. A second place that smacks of a feat because of the way it matured, the crazy ending of the duel with Corentin Douguet, and the even major technical problems Beccaria faced after losing the wind station sensors. The final time is 14 days 7 hours 23 minutes 48 seconds, averaging 10.31 knots.

route du Rhum
Allagrande Pirelli of Ambrogio Beccaria, second at Route du Rhum

And then there is a detail not to be forgotten: this was Ambrogio Beccaria’s debut regatta in the Class 40s, his first solo race on his new boat. Allagrande, a design by Gianluca Guelfi and Fabio D’Angeli, was one of the last new generation hulls launched before Route du Rhum, and had never been tested in regattas. Beccaria had completed a 24-hour training session with some fleet skippers in October, after transferring and qualifying.

Richomme impregnable, Douguet leathery

Yoann Richomme

The victory went with merit a Yoann Richomme on Paprec-Arkea, V2 designed by Marc Lombard, which with the time of 14 days 3 hours 8 minutes and 40 seconds set a new regatta record, beating himself: the Frenchman already held the record having won the 2018 edition in the Class 40s. A one-two punch that certifies the level of the Frenchman, sidereal in the Class 40s and ready to land in the Imoca 60s with a new boat under construction. A figure of a modern ocean sailor, naval architect, unquestionably one of the people on the upward ramp in the world of course au large.

The Class 40 Paprec-Arkea, Lombard project, by Yoann Richomme

Beccaria tried for a long time to catch up with him, but partly because of the technical problems he had, the J2’s tack point breaking and the loss of wind sensors, he was unable to keep up with Richomme, who dominated the second half of the race. Richomme’s boat, also a new generation, had already been tested in several official races this season. Keeping Allagrande Pirelli and Beccaria company for most of the regatta was Corentin Douguet, a far from trivial opponent who made the podium in all the regattas he participated in this year before Route du Rhum.

Douguet races in a sister boat to Richomme, confirming that Allagrande Pirelli’s design competes with the top that Class 40s currently offer. The rest was done by the skipper, with Beccaria looking extremely polished and decisive overcoming fatigue in the last 24 hours, going close on Douguet and without any particular hesitation in rounding Guadeloupe.

Arrivals at Point a Pitre continue, with a group of skippers to be on the finish line in the next 12 hours. In eighth is Alberto Bona on IBSA, who seems to be solidly maintaining his ranking despite a broken gennaker that has made him less fast over the past 24 hours. Andrea Fornaro is in 20th position with about 600 miles to go.

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Mauro Giuffrè

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