Photo: Marina Semenova

Monaco Yacht Club completes its sportsboat series

Five events were held for the J/70s and Melges 20s

Sunday March 8th 2015, Author: Isabelle Andrieux, Location: Monaco

This weekend saw a finale to the second Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series of regattas organised since 2014 by the Yacht Club de Monaco on the initiative of Valentin Zavadnikov. The aim is to give experienced professional and amateur teams a chance to train for the big meetings of the season, alternating races with training sessions.

Following the success of the first edition, which was only for Melges 20, the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series 2014-2015 was expanded to include nearly fifty J/70s.

Taking full advantage of its new building and facilities, the YCM is now better equipped than ever to bring life to the harbour during winter with these monthly regattas. For the five events of this series, the YCM hosted a total of 91 one-designs (47 Melges 20s and 44 J/70s) which had move their winter headquarters to Monaco and have competed in 28 and 25 races respectively since October.

For the fifth and final event this weekend, competitors enjoyed sunny skies and the 12-15 knot tailend of a Mistral, which still allowed nine races to be held.

In the Melges 20, Guido Miani, third in the last Worlds, confirmed his supremacy by winning both the final event and topping the overall leaderboard after five events. But he had a battle on his hands this weekend with Vladimir Prosikhin on Nika, always hard on his heels and proving particularly strong downwind. Guido Miani fought hard to maintain his consistency, managing always to be in the top four to preserve his position as leader that he held from the first day. Prosikhin finished second, just five points adrift, with Mirko de Falco on Peccere completing the podium this weekend.

“The Winter Series is a great test for the team before we start the championships," said Miani. "I was born here and have been sailing here most of my life, so I am really attached to this race area and know it well. It is very interesting, often with lots of chop, so we are used to sailing in difficult conditions which means we progress and are more at ease on typically easier venues. I think Monaco is a place where one can improve."

A special mention too should be made for the second place achieved in the final overall season ranking for the International Class President, Vianini Manfredi Tolomei on Maolca, who won this title in 2014. Corrado Agusto and Customly was third overall. He was pleasantly surprised to be congratulated by Pierre Casiraghi, President of the YCM Racing Fleet, and to become part of the Yacht Club de Monaco’s elite group of racers who compete under the YCM burgee in ISAF classes.

Today being International Women’s Day, Pierre Casiraghi also had Ekaterina Skudina, double European Champion and World Champion, on board for the final races in the Melges 20. Skudina was in Monaco to coach the Russian J/70 teams.

The J/70s put on a great show over the weekend. Over the weekend, the leaders battled it out around every mark, and as proof of how tight the races were, all competitors crossed the finish line within four minutes.

Jacopo Carrain, finished fourth this weekend, but won the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series 2015. He commented: “I am very satisfied, as the general level in the J/70s improves every month across the fleet. It’s a great opportunity for the 17 Monegasque boats to compete with the best European teams who were there in force from Germany, Italy and England."

For this last event, it was the foreigners who dominated the podium with Ferdinando Battistella on Diva first, followed by Geoff Carveth on Joyride and Yannick Heffner on Led Zeppelin with Carveth winning on countback. Carveth also claimed the third step of the podium for the season, just behind Stefano Roberti on Aria.

Alongside the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, nine Smeralda 888s were competing for their Spring Challenge. Victory went to Roberto Tamburelli, a newcomer to the class, with his brand new Forest Gump. He beat Peter Grut and Gryphon, who lost their lead due to equipment failure on the eighth race. Class President Charles de Bourbon-Siciles completed the podium.

The next regatta at the YCM is on 28-29 March when the first J/70 Italian Championship will be held with around 40 boats expected, prior the J/70 Europeans being held in Monaco over 12-17 October 2015.


Melges 20 Pirogovo Cup, after 9 races (8 retained)
1. Monaco Racing Fleet (Guido Miani, 20 pts)
2. Nika (Vladimir Prosikhin, 25 pts)
3. Peccere (Mirko De Falco, 42 pts)

Final ranking - Melges 20, after five events and 28 races (25 retained)
1. Monaco Racing Fleet (Guido Miani, 74 pts)
2. Maolca (Manfredi Vianini Tolomei, 142 pts)
3. Customly (Corrado Agusta, 158 pts)

J/70 after 9 races (8 retained)
1. Diva (Ferdinando Battistella, 25 pts)
2. Joyride (Geoff Carveth, 32 pts)
3. Led Zeppelin (Yannick Heffner, 32 pts)

Final series ranking after five events and 25 races (23 retained)
1. Carpe Diem (Jacopo Carrain, 102 pts)
2. Aria (Stefano Roberti, 219 pts)
3. Joyride (Geoff Carveth, 279 pts)

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