Three months exactly until the start of the 19th Palermo-Montecarlo 



Around 90 days left, exactly three months until the start of the nineteenth edition of the Palermo-Montecarlo, a late summer offshore regatta which in almost twenty years has carved out an international role among the major offshore sailing events. Organized by the Circolo della Vela Sicilia in collaboration with the Yacht Club de Monaco and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (gate passage in Porto Cervo). 


The Palermo-Montecarlo 2024 start will be on Tuesday 20 August at 12:00, preceded on the 19th by the usual public presentation at the Circolo della Vela Sicilia overlooking the bay, with many of the protagonists, and followed by the skipper briefing who will give all participants the latest technical information and weather forecasts. The departure from the Gulf of Mondello, one of the most beautiful bays on the Italian coast, is one of the most spectacular moments of the regatta: visible from the beach and the clubs, the fleet moves away towards the open sea after a short upwind leg. 


The Palermo-Montecarlo record has stood for almost a decade: in 2015 it was set by Maxi Esimit Europa 2 in 47 hours, 46 minutes and 48 seconds. The same boat, which today is called Black Jack, won the Line Honors in 2023 but took about 8 hours more. The challenge for the prestigious record is widely open! 



The double challenge of the Sicily sailing club: offshore race and America’s cup  

The Palermo-Montecarlo start on August 20 precedes by only 48 hours the opening of the 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona. It is a double commitment for the Circolo della Vela Sicilia which has been organizing the regatta since 2005, and at the same time since 2010 it has been the official club for Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team, the Italian challenge to the America’s Cup.  


A hot summer awaits our club – says CVS president Agostino Randazzo – and the proximity between our flagship regatta and the start of the America’s Cup season makes us enthusiastic. We are pleased to be able to welcome and support the Palermo-Montecarlo owners and crews, who we will naturally follow until the awards ceremony in Monaco. And at the same time we will stand by Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli challenge, with all that this implies on the difficult stage of the Cup. Palermo, Monte Carlo and Barcelona are all in the same Mediterranean Sea! 



A look at the first registrants  

Browsing through the fleet of boats already registered you can begin to imagine what type of regatta it will be. Waiting some announced Maxis, will be on the starting line: Black Pearl, German Botin 56 yacht skippered by Stefan Jentzsch, and Red Bandit, TP52 by Carl-Peter Forster of the Bavarian Yacht Club: sensational winner at the Giraglia 2023 and elected best German offshore sailing boat.  

Other boats to look at: Gilles Caminade’s Ker 40 Chenapan 4; Neo 400 Alemaro of the German shipowner Roman Puchtev, a recent protagonist also at Garmin Roma per Due at Riva di Traiano; Comet 45S Gorilla Gang XL, by the Italian owner Andrea Statari, showing Yacht Club de Monaco flag, the Eleva 42 R Quo, San Marino flag for the owner Gerald Boess, a boat launched in 2023 and with potential yet to be discovered.  


The actually most exciting offshore-oceanic class is expected in Palermo: the Class40, which for the second consecutive year has scheduled a Mediterranean Trophy with some stages including the Palermo-Montecarlo. Eyes on Tyrolit by Matteo Sericano with Luca Rosetti: two emerging Italian ocean sailors, Luca is the winner of the Mini Transat 2023, who are looking at the super competitive Class40 and choosing the Palermo-Montecarlo route to increase feeling with the new boat, 2022 VPLP project, in view of next Atlantic adventures. The French Pogo 40 Tam Tam will also include a pair of transalpine navigators among those registered, with a special father-and-son crew. 


Welcome return for Moogli’s all-female crew, the Dufour 37 skippered by Caroline Petit from Marseille. Last year, with one of the smallest boats in the race, the French crew was the only one to attempt the eastern route rounding the Corsica, passing the Giraglia. They weren’t lucky, but their return confirms the indomitable character of these sailors. And always among the “small” ones, keep an eye out for the dated Sun Fast 3200 Scheggia, a boat with an oceanic past, particularly developed by the French skipper Jean-Louis Damble. 


Among the returns worth mentioning: Be Wild, the multi-victorious Swan 42 of Renzo Grottesi, ORC Italian and European champion and several times at the top in offshore regattas; and Miss Lilli, a project to introduce young sailors to offshore sailing on board Gabriele Costantino’s Dufour 34. 


Part of the circuit FIV Italian Offshore Sailing Championship, among those with the highest scoring coefficient for the final ranking, the Palermo-Montecarlo is also part of other prestigious circuits: the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge; the Mediterranean Offshore Trophy; the Mediterranean Trophy for the Class40s; and the 2024 edition of the Championnat et Trophées Inshore et Offshore Méditerranée en Équipages-IRC.