Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series – Act I

10-12 November 2023


Sunday 12th November 2023. There was never any doubt as to the outcome of Act 1 of this season’s Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series of monthly regattas that attracts international J/70 teams. Twenty-plus crews had made the trip. For the first time, the Smeralda 888 class took advantage of the autumnal conditions to maintain their rhythm with this opener of what looks set to be a particularly interesting season, culminating in the 40th Primo Cup-Trophée UBS (7-10 March 2024).

G-Spot a well-oiled machine

A nigh-on 30 knot westerly blowing the first day of racing gave top teams a chance to express themselves. The sun’s rays certainly warmed everyone up in the tough conditions which did nothing to shake the dogged determination of all those in competition.  For everyone knows that while nothing is decided in advance a good start is often a harbinger of a successful regatta, a lesson learned by Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio and crew on his legendary G-Spot who are masters of the Monaco race area with its peccadillos. No surprise then that the Yacht Club de Monaco member emerged the winner.


Consistency pays off

The third and final day of racing saw little change at the top of the table. In a well-established 8/10 knot easterly the idea was to keep up the pace, mop up the stragglers, sail cleanly and above all avoid manoeuvre errors. Once again, G-Spot did not miss a trick to lead the fleet from start to finish without a hitch. Giangiacomo Serena di Lapigio snatched victory to maintain his lead in the overall ranking, just ahead of another YCM member, Pierrik Devic (Leonteq). Both have widened the gap between them and the rest of the pack having enjoyed a comfortable lead over the third-placed Swiss team (Découvertes Geomod).

In the Corinthian (amateur) category, Zero skippered by Adrien Budde with Leandro Casali and Ludovico Fassitelli from YCM leads by one point ahead of two Swiss teams on Rhubarbe and Juliette.

In the Smeralda 888 class, Achille Onorato (Canard à l’Orange) again confirmed his leadership status ahead of Roberto Tamburelli (Botta Dritta), followed by Niccolo Stimamiglio (Black Star).

However, the rest of the fleet can still entertain hopes of victory as opportunities remain for the rest of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series that has only just started for the J/70 teams who will be back out for Act 2 on 7-10 December.

Meanwhile, the new generation takes to the water for the 5th Monaco Optimist Academy, 24-26 November, organised by Yacht Club de Monaco. This coaching regatta is special as instructors are allowed to intervene with tips and advice on the water during races, a concept that is very much in line with one of YCM’s key values, to pass on and help instil a passion for sailing in others.

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