Friday 19th August 2022 – The 17th Palermo-Montecarlo, a 470 nautical mile race between Palermo in Sicily and the Principality of Monaco, got off to a cracking start in the Gulf of Mondello for the nigh on 40 boats taking part in an event that has established its place in the offshore racing calendar since 2005.


Big names

Organised by Circolo della Vela Sicilia in partnership with Yacht Club de Monaco and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, the meeting always attracts big names as it has done again this year with the likes of Frenchmen Kito de Pavant (HBF Reforest’action) and Nicolas Berenger (Lady First III) in action.

Among the favourites is the Neo 570 Carbonita belonging to Manolis Kondilis, Circolo della Vela Sicilia’s boat and his crew of experienced sailors, and the Austrian Farr 65 Sisi, respectively first and second to the first mark followed by the French Solano of Pascal Feryn.

Nine nations are represented including three Monaco boats: Andrea Statari’s Gorilla Gang, K’Mena and Andreas Feichtinger’s Lung’Ta with two young members of the YCM Sports Section on board, Oscar Royneau and Jessica Klimeck, reflecting the Club’s ongoing commitment to fire up a passion for sailing among future generations.

Of note this year is the strong showing of professional sailors on small boats (circa 15m) with carbon masts whose weight ups the ante on the power of these vessels.




Appetites whetted

From the start at midday on the dot, the fleet enjoyed a 10-12 knot north-westerly rising 16 knots, enough to get bows plunging before the long ascent up Sardinia’s coast. More muscular conditions are promised with the Mistral set to build.

Battle commenced from the get-go between boats vying to win the Giuseppe Tasca d’Almerita Trophy, awarded to the first to cross the line in Monte-Carlo. As they approach the obligatory gate at the Strait of Bonifacio the 37 teams have to make a tactical decision that could determine the rest of the race: whether to sail up Corsica’s west or east coast before heading to Monaco.

A stage in the Italian Offshore Championship circuit organised by the Italian Sailing Federation, the IMA’s Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge and the Class40 Mediterranean Trophy, the Palermo-Montecarlo is reserved for offshore sailing boats with an international ORC classification or IRC. Bets are already being laid as the race can be followed live on the tracking system at:

The record to beat is 47 hours 46 minutes and 48 seconds set by the 100-foot Maxi Esimit in 2015 and which again looks difficult to beat as the first to cross the line are not expected until the early hours of Monday morning. Watch this space.