YACHT Class n°36 (march-april-may 2024)

Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM)

Rendezvous in Monaco

A popular event for sailors under the age of 14, the 14th Monaco Optimist Team Race (MOTR), as usual, welcomed a large number of twinned clubs. There were five this year: the Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC), the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS), the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), the Yacht Club Italiano (YCI) and the Yacht Club Punta del Este (YCPE). Young people from far and wide. “For most of them, it was the first time they travelled by plane”, explained Gabriel Perez, the Uruguayan coach, who was delighted with the experience: “It feels like home here. It’s a beautiful place and we are always well received. The level is quite high, so it’s also an opportunity to improve our sailing and to see where we stand.” Like the young people from the YCPE, some of the teams even took part in the three-day course organised prior to the event. “It was very good preparation. Chris Atkins is one of the world’s best team racing experts,” said Dara O’Shea of RCYC. O’Shea is no stranger to the Principality, where he now lives and works, having taken part in the very first MOTR. “It’s incredible,” he confirmed. “When I came, there were only ten teams. Every year the competition gets better, the teams are significantly better. It has grown to a very high level.”

On the YCM quay, the enthusiasm was shared by all. “It’s a very competitive event and we’re learning a lot,” said the young team from Yacht Club Italiano. “The level is very high,” confirmed his Swiss counterpart, Nicola Monti. “Especially as the sea conditions, with 2 metre waves, are not so easy for us coming from a lake.” This experience will provide solid experience for the youngsters, most of whom were members of last year’s Swiss champion team. “It’s the first event of the year and part of their preparation for team racing. It’s very important,” said the coach. The same goes for the KSSS team. “Team racing is important in Sweden. All the teams train a lot for the national championships,” emphasised Tindra Forssen, who had set her youngsters the objective of “just working as a team, doing their best and improving, while having fun.” All this sprinkled with – as with all competitors – a furious desire to win! 


The Coupe de France has reborn 

After an absence of almost 20 years, the Yacht Club de France’s Coupe de France has made its comeback on the nautical scene. Created in 1891 in response to the America’s Cup, launched forty years before, the Cup is once again crossing paths with its cousin from across the Atlantic, as the 12m JI has been chosen as the boat for the 55th edition of this emblematic race. Let’s not forget that, from 1958 to 1987, these racy monohulls, of about twenty metres long, were at the heart of the America’s Cup, offering their fair share of fierce encounters. 

Today, four generations of 12 mJI from all over the world will be competing in this Coupe de France, which will take place over more than a year in the Mediterranean. Developed in collaboration with the YCF Allied Clubs in Cannes, Porquerolles, Saint-Tropez and Toulon (Club de la Marine) as well as the International Yacht Club of Hyères, this Coupe de France will offer the twenty or so crews involved three acts of four events each, for a total of 40 days of racing. 

The first act, which began last autumn, consisted of four events: the Régates Royales de Cannes, the YCF Coupe d’Automne, Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez and the Europa Cup at Hyères. 

This great comeback was also celebrated on land with an exhibition at the Musée National de la Marine (Paris), dedicated to the history of the Coupe de France and its great winners, but also to this 55th edition and its 12 mJI. Part of this exhibition will be taken over and completed for presentation at Toulon Town Hall in May 2024, the first of the four stages of Act 2. 

From Toulon, the yachtsmen will head to Saint-Tropez for the Pre-World Cup and the Porquerolles’ Classic. The highlight of this second act will be the 12m JI World Championship, organised by the Porquerolles Yacht Club, with more than twenty boats expected to compete. Finally, the third act will start in September. The Real Club Nautico de Barcelona will welcome the fleet for a special edition of the Puig Vela Classica, right in the middle of the 37th America’s Cup. Then the crews will compete in the Régates Royales de Cannes and the YCF Coupe d’Automne. The grand finale will take place in Saint-Tropez at the end of ‘Les Voiles’. So who will win this solid silver cup (left picture with YCF president Philipe Héral) representing an allegory of victory, hair in the wind, as the figurehead of a caravel on foaming waves, with a dolphin’s head under the rear castle, resting on a red marble base bearing two badges with the emblems of the YCF? Response early October. 

© Antoine Beysens


Oldest yacht club in the world announces its first female admiral

It’s a historic milestone for the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven, the world’s oldest yacht club. At its recent Annual General Meeting, it appointed its first female admiral, Annamarie Fegan. 

The successor to Admiral Kieran O’Connell is no stranger to the RCYC. An ardent sailor and a devoted member of the club for many years, she has held a number of voluntary positions within the club. She was instrumental in hosting some of the club’s biggest events, including the Volvo Cork Week. An accomplished professional, she has also enjoyed many sailing triumphs, her proudest being with her daughters Molly and Mia, her husband Denis and the Nieulargo Crew as they won the best Irish boat in the iconic Fastnet Race last year.

“As the club’s first female Admiral, I stand on the shoulders of outstanding female members who worked tirelessly for the club but were not given this opportunity. I am confident that we have amazing girls rising up through the ranks who will be well suited to take on this post in the future. I’m very excited about working with the new leadership team as the volunteers are the backbone of the club”, said Annamarie Fegan, whose ambition is to get more people on the water. “I’m really passionate about giving opportunities to get more young people on the water. We have pathways for all ages into sailing from young kids to teens and adults. Not everyone can afford to own a boat but every boat needs a crew and we are always looking for crew. Anyone can get involved these days and it’s a really great sport. You learn fantastic skills from basic boat-handling to decision-making. Most of all it’s fun and challenging! We here at the Royal Cork are working really hard to break through the social and financial barriers that may have prevented people from trying out sailing up to now. We want to make it accessible for all who wish to give it a try”.

In addition, the new executive will include three females for the first time, bringing fresh perspectives and direction to the club’s leadership. Over its remarkable 303 year history, the RCYC has evolved from being a gentlemen’s sailing club to a family-oriented institution. This latest achievement, with a female taking up the highest ranking position of the club, represents another progressive step forward in promoting diversity and inclusivity within the sailing community. Annamarie Fegan takes to the helm in a year that the club is hosting two prestigious events : the Irish Sailing Youth Nationals in April, and the bi-annual Volvo Cork Week from 15-19th July 2024. 


YCPE is sailing in the 100 years anniversary

This is a highly symbolic year for the YCPE, founded in 1924. “Throughout 2023 we thought about how to celebrate our 100 years anniversary, not only with a big social event, but sending a message from our Yacht Club that could reach worldwide. So we started by entering the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race (4) in September with a boat representing us, named Yacht Club Punta del Este – 100 Years. At the moment our boat is still sailing, and will finish the race mid 2024”, explained Alvaro Robaina Gioscia, YCPE president of the race committee. 

In this small seaside town in Uruguay, the year has already got off to a flying start with the Rolex South Atlantic Circuit (1&3), the J70 Circuit (5), the Classic Boats Week (2&6) and the SURA Insurance multi-class race, which brought together almost 150 boats on the start line. In February, on the eve of the anniversary of its creation, the YCPE saw the arrival of the first boats competing in the very first Ocean Globe Race, a crewed, non-technological round-the-world yacht race using boats built before 1988. A young crew member from the club’s sailing school, Stefano Caiafa, is taking part in this race aboard the Swan 57 ‘Explorer’.

Today, the club is one of the major centres of nautical activity in the South Atlantic. “It was a dream of our founders, having a Yacht Club where there was only a sand beach with fishermen and rowing boats. The Bahía of Maldonado, which is our home waters and one of the best sailing spots recognized by sailors from all over the world, needed a Yacht Club to assist and bring sailing to all who approach to this incredible windy but protected area”, specified Alvaro Robaina Gioscia, before adding “The Yacht Club Punta del Este will be ready to assist all sailors of the world who come home and want to enjoy the sea, in a brave but friendly South Atlantic Ocean.”


Epic start for the Melges 15

It’s a class that’s starting to gain momentum in Europe, having already found its public in North America. The Melges 15 debuted in Cascais with the Portuguese Champions Regatta, an invitational trophy organised by SailCascais and Clube Naval de Cascais, that gathered the Portuguese National Champions from different classes and some local legends. After 7 races sailed over two days, Afonso Domingos (3x Olympian, ORC World Champion…) and Diana Neves, from Cascais, were the big winners (3, 1, 1, 1, 1, 3, 7). Henrique Brites and Luis Pinheiro (SB20 and Snipe Portuguese Champions) kept the pressure until the end (5, 2, 2, 2, 4, 1, 4), as there was no discard, and the last race counted double, to eventually tie the winners at the top, only to lose on the number of first places. They were followed by 1996 420 World Champion Martinho Fortunato and his son Manuel. The Melges 15 provided by the organisers won over their public as they are easy to sail, particularly in these wind conditions, with wind mostly from the South at 4-15 knots and some swell.

A CNC boat wins the CIM championship in the Marconi class

She is one of the Portuguese club’s new flagships. The Falcon, a beautiful classic yacht of the Q class, made her debut on the sporting scene after being recently acquired by two prominent figures in the CNC’s contemporary history, Patrick Monteiro de Barros and Paulo Mirpuri, and then meticulously restored. True to their sporting pedigree, these two sailors did not hold back when it came to competitive sailing, entering the races for classic yachts built before 1949, which are managed by the CIM (Comité International de Méditerranée), which regulates the different classes and races in the Mediterranean sea and establishes an annual ranking. Competing in the Antibes, Porquerolles, Marseille, Cannes and Saint-Tropez regattas, the Portuguese sailboat put in a string of good results during its first season, taking overall victory in their class ahead of 64 rivals. 


The countdown is on for Alinghi Red Bull Racing

Société Nautique de Genève was the first European club to win the America’s Cup under Alinghi colours in 2003. It was also the first European club to successfully defend the Cup four years later in Valencia and then, as the saying goes, “delegate the duty and responsibility of organising the prestigious event” – in other words, lose the 33rd America’s Cup to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club in 2010. Today, the Swiss club and its iconic challenger are back on the Cup scene. After joining forces with Red Bull in late 2021, the team is now Alinghi Red Bull Racing, sporting Tudor and Prysmian colours. In line with the new Cup rules, its young and dynamic sailing crew is 100% Swiss and based in Barcelona since summer 2022. The team is set to compete in the 37th America’s Cup in Barcelona from August 22 to October 20, and will also take part in the Unicredit Youth and Puig Women’s America’s Cup.

joerg Mitter / Alinghi Red Bull Racing / Red Bull Content Pool

The Bol d’Or Mirabaud returns from June 14th to 16th 

It’s the world’s largest inland lake regatta. A veritable technological laboratory since 1939, the 85th Bol d’Or Mirabaud will be launched on 14 June at the foot of Geneva’s Jet d’Eau.

This great celebration of Lake Geneva, organised by the SNG, has established itself as the showcase of Swiss sailing, bringing together professional and amateur sailors on the same 123 km course from Geneva to Bouveret and back. This major annual event is also a must for the many spectators who attend the start of over 500 boats and 3 500 crew each year. The Bol d’Or has become THE lake race to add to one’s list of honours and a tradition that each year attracts sailors and enthusiasts from around the world to the waters of Lake Geneva, to enjoy an exciting competition and a unique spectacle.


RCNB launches the Barcelona 4 Clubs

The Barcelona 4 Clubs made its return to the waters of the Catalan capital last February. Created in 2017, the event is jointly organised by the RCNB, the Reial Club Marítim Barcelona (RCMB), the Club de Mar Port Olímpic (CMPO) and, new this year, the Club de Vela Badalona, which joins the fleet of the Club Nàutic del Masnou (CNM). The first of the season’s four races kicked off at the RCNB. The first race, held in ideal weather conditions, attracted 87 entries. Results included victories for Immens (CNM) in Group 1-2, Tramendu (RCMB) in Group 3, Odysseus (RCNB) in Group 4, and Nacex (RNCB) in Group 5. For the club, this first race also counts towards the Comodoro Trophy.

Inscriptions are open for the 51st Trofeo Conde de Godó

It will take place from 29 May to 2 June. Now in its 51st year, the Conde de Godó BMW Trophy, the oldest event in the national sailing calendar and organised by the RCNB since 1974 with the support of the Godó family, will include the ORC classes in full crew and double-handed, as well as the J70 one-design class in the absolute category. The women’s one-design category, the Godó Women’s Cup, will also be held. Entries are already open and will close at 8 p.m. on 24 May. The event forms part of the Mediterranean Sailing Circuit, alongside the Sailing of Palma and the HM Queen’s Trophy. 


High-level navigation

With its unbeatable position on the hill of Piraeus and its panoramic view of Athens and the Saronic Gulf, it is very appealing. As usual, the Yacht Club of Greece offered its members, as well as sailors from all over the world, a packed calendar, including some fabulous high-end social and corporate events. On the sporting side, the Yacht Club of Greece is renowned for the importance it places on training young and old alike, at all levels, as well as organising its sailing races, particularly offshore. Thanks to its harbour facilities, the club is the stage for prestigious races such as the Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta, which celebrates classic and traditional craftsmanship and will take place from June 26th to 29th on the idyllic island of Spetses. The tough offshore Andros International Yacht Race will occur from August 29th to 31st 

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