YACHT CLASS N°31 (DECEMBER 2022 / JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2023)
Yacht Club Punta del Este (YCPE)
The boat Punta del Este, second of the Clipper Round the World
Interrupted due to the pandemic, the Clipper Round the World set sail again in March from the Philippines before finishing in London late July, under the eyes of the YCPE’s Commodore, Juan Etcheverrito. This demanding round-the-world amateur race pitted eleven boats against each other, who made six ocean crossings, often in extreme sailing conditions. Among them was the boat “Punta del Este”, which had several club members on board: Sofía Strasser, Alejandra Alvira, Darío Rodriguez, Gustavo Musante, Jerónimo Lestido and Nano Antía as an AQP (Additional Qualified Person) for the entire tour. The crew was led by the first Spanish skipper to participate in the Clipper Race, the experienced Jerónimo Santos González. The Uruguayan boat finished on the podium six times, with 135 points in total, securing second place after the Chinese champion Qingdao (145 points). It is also notable for having earned more Ocean Sprint points than any other boat (22 points). The Ocean Sprint is an additional challenge in this competition, a race against the clock on a course between two designated lines of latitude or longitude that awards points to the three fastest teams.
An eventful summer to come
Summer is coming to the Southern Hemisphere, and with it the regatta season. In January, the YCPE, in collaboration with the Yacht Club Argentino, will once again host the most important sailing event in South America, the Rolex South Atlantic Circuit. A fleet of more than 120 yachts from South America, the United States and Europe is expected. After a race of approximately 300 nautical miles between Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Punta del Este (Uruguay) for the ORC and IRC classes, the action will continue in the club’s home waters of Maldonado Bay. While these boats will sail short distances of 20 miles on windward and leeward courses, the very strong fleet of J70, Match 30 and Soto 33 will compete in 8 windward and leeward races. There will also be plenty of social activities ashore at the club and in its gardens. Immediately after the end of the Rolex South Atlantic circuit, the YCPE will organise its traditional Classic Boats Week, with medium distance coastal races, to allow everyone to enjoy the show from the shore. Amongst these superb boats, some of which being more than a hundred years old, there will be Germán Frers’ designs, past Commodores yachts and even a superb Herreshoff J boat, the only one in South America. A great show in perspective.
Real Club Nautico de Barcelona (RCNB)
Back where it all began
What a symbol! Ten years after its creation, the 52 Super Series circuit celebrated its anniversary by returning to the place where it was inaugurated in May 2012. Late October, the fifth and final stage of the 2022 season thus took place at the RCNB. For five days, ten boats fought during a thrilling final battle for the title, which saw the American team Quantum Racing win and become the 2022 champions. With five overall titles and four world crowns, the team confirmed its status as the most successful team in the ten-year history of the circuit.
Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro (ICRJ)
Double podium for the ICRJ at the South American Optimist Championship
Brazil made the most of the 2022 South American Championship of the Optimist Class, hosted by the Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro (ICRJ), which gathered last October no less than 165 sailors from 14 countries. And the club can be proud, as two of its young sailors, Arthur Back and his cousin Joana Freitas, reached the highest steps of the podium. During the ten races of this competition, the 12-year-old Arthur showed great regularity and emotional balance. He was able to recognise his mistakes on the penultimate day of the competition and in the last two decisive races, he showed the necessary confidence to seek victory. One year older than him, his cousin, already a bronze medallist at the World Championships of the class held in Turkey last June, continues her brilliant 2022 season. She won the title of South American and Brazilian vice-champion in the general ranking, but also the South American and Brazilian champion in the women’s category.
Société Nautique de Genève (SNG)
The SNG organizes its sea regatta in Monaco
It is a tradition at the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) but also an obligation for all clubs wishing to participate in the America’s Cup: to organize an annual regatta at sea. This year, the SNG organized this rendezvous in the enchanting setting of its twin club, the Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM), from October 28-30. The regatta was held in typically Lemanic conditions, with bright sunshine and light winds, and featured two classes: the Smeralda 888 and the J/70, with eleven and three boats respectively. Charles de Bourbon-Siciles (YCM) gave no chance to his Swiss opponents, winning all three races in the Smeralda category. The best SNG crew, the boat Luigi A, skippered by Mathieu Fischer, ended sixth. In the J/70 category, Benoît Lagneux, from SNG, won three races against two YCM competitors. “The regatta at sea is validated”, said Vincent Boaron, who officiated as a committee member. “Next year, we want to come back to Monaco and we will make sure to have more J70. This is a great opportunity for the young members of the club.“
Elegance & tradition at the International 8 Metre Class World Cup
At the end of July, just after the Jubilee Week celebrating its 150th anniversary, the SNG was once again on deck for the 8M Metre Class World Cup. In total, twenty-four boats, representing eight nations and divided into four categories (the main one, which brings together all the yachts, First Rule, Neptune and Sira) were thus gathered for a week of competition in exceptional conditions, with a nice Séchard – the local thermal wind – established between 5 and 10 knots. SNG’s Jean Fabre dominated this exceptional week a board his splendid Yquem II, winning all the races. But the raw ranking masks the intensity of the debates and his crew had to show great talent to defeat the German crew of Eckhard Kaller (Starling Burgess) and Werner Deuring (Pandora). Among the SNG cornerstone, Jean-Luc Lévêque finished third on Angelo Mazzarella’s Carron II, and Axel Meyer finished sixth on Catina VI in the Neptune category. Christian Wahl finished 18th on Glana, the sailboat with the most victories in the famous Bol d’Or: eight between 1949 and 1969. Known now as the Bol d’Or Mirabaud, this is the main regatta organized by the SNG on the second weekend of June.
Clube Naval de Cascais (CNC)
Explosive last race decides M32 World Championship
Last october, the Portuguese club hosted the world championship of the M32 catamaran class. After experiencing more extreme conditions during the week of competition, the final day of racing offered sunny skies with a solid 16-20 knot north-westerly breeze to the crews in a fierce battle right up to the last minute. Before the 19th and last final race, four boats were still fighting for the title, single points separating them up to that point. All of them went for broke in a race full of lead changes, impressive tactics and some desperate moves. It was not until the final leg of the race that Convexity passed the boats they had to be in front of and won the World Championship with just one point ahead of the second-place boat. A magnificent show to end the season of this catamaran in style.
Snipe’s world championship title returns to Europe
Held in Cascais, the 50th edition of the biennial Snipe World Championship was a great success with 17 nations represented and 87 teams, the largest event ever for the 4.20 metre two-man light dinghy class. The winner is the Spanish duo Alfredo Gonzalez and Cristian Sanchez, who brought the trophy back to Spain (and to Europe) for the first time since 1975. Fourth overall at the 2017 Worlds, their best ranking in this competition, this pair who also won the 2022 Spanish Cup, against 200 competitors, triumphed thanks to their ability to finish in the top 10 each race.
Momo and Bribon 500, International 6 Metre European Champions 2022
Last September, the Portuguese club hosted the 2022 Six Meter European Championship. After five days of racing, the leaders Seljm (Patrick Montiero de Barros), Scoundrel One (John Harald Ornerberg) and Momo (Dieter Schoen) were separated by only two points, leaving the race wide open. A spectacular eighth race saw the victory of Momo, the current world champion and the newest boat in the class since this Judel/Vrolijk design was launched this year. In the classic division, Bribon 500, helmed by Ross Macdonald and crewed by Alejandro Abascal, Alberto Viejo, Eduardo Marin and Roi Alvarez, won the European Championship title, ten years after its first title. She is followed on the podium by Catalin Trandafir’s Essentia.
Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS)
A high level 32nd Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
Organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in collaboration with the IMA (International Maxi Association) and with the support of long-time title sponsor Rolex, the 32nd edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup was once again a great success. From September 4th to 10th, this high-flying international competition, which each year brings together the elite of sailing and the best performing boats, offered magnificent racing conditions to the 50 maxi yachts entered in seven classes. At the end of four rounds, we note the victories of Svea (J Class), Shamanna (Supermaxi), Highland Fling (Maxi), Vesper (Mini Maxi 1), Rose (Mini Maxi 2), H2O (Mini Maxi 3&4).
90 boats at the 21st Rolex Swan Cup!
It is one of the must-attend events on the Finnish shipyard’s regatta circuit. Last September, the Rolex Swan Cup made its return to the YCCS, with a fleet of more than 90 boats divided into two groups: the four one-design classes (ClubSwan) sailed on short windward and leeward courses, while the other classes competed on coastal courses of varying lengths. After eight races for the ClubSwan and four races for the rest of the fleet, the winners were Freya (Maxi), Flow (Mini Maxi), Crilia (Grand Prix), Mascalzone Latino (Sparkman & Stephens), G-Spot (ClubSwan 36), Nadir (ClubSwan 42), Blue Sky (Swan 45) and Balthasar (ClubSwan 50).
Yacht Club of Greece (YCG)
The YCG back to its cruising speed
After the pandemic, the sailing events of the Yacht Club of Greece are back to normal. Its main annual events, the glamorous 10th Spetses Classic Yacht Regatta, celebrating tradition and the beginning of the summer, and the 55th International Andros Yacht Race, celebrating tough offshore racing at the end of the summer, were a great success. For 2023, these events, planned respectively for 22nd to 25th June and 31st August to 3rd September, should attract a richer international presence. Note that the YCG also hosts local races every two weeks and numerous social events and galas. This year, the highlight was the cohost, in June, of the “Cap Optimist: Monaco-Athens” (see Yacht Class n°30), where young athletes prone paddled from Yacht Club de Monaco to Yacht Club of Greece to raise money for children with cancer.
Yacht Club de Monaco (YCM)
The twinned clubs in force at the J/70 World Championship
Last October, the sailing world met in Monaco for the J/70 World Championship (see our article on p. 145), which brought together 90 crews of 23 nationalities. Among them, many clubs linked to the Monegasque institution by reciprocal and twinning agreements. From the Yacht Club Punta del Este (YCPE) to the Royal Swedish Yacht Club (KSSS), eight twinned clubs were thus present. If some of them, like Mauro Leite (Pura Joda) from the YCPE or Mauro Reversi (JCurve) from the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), participated in their very first competition in Monaco, most of them were familiar with its waterbody, like William Twomey (Wildcard). The Royal Cork Yacht Club member also discovered there the J/70 there five years ago. “It’s a fast, competitive, fun and exciting little boat,” confirmed the winner of the 2022 Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series in Corinthian. The YCM monthly winter regatta series has through the years welcomed many of these crews, mostly from Europe, but also from further afield. “I was here two years ago with a boat from my club, the Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro (ICRJ). I’m really happy to be back, it’s a great club“, explained the Bresilian Guilherme Hamelmann (Mindset), whose club was represented by four boats. The same goes for Cesare Massa (Bulla), member of the neighboring Yacht Club Italiano (YCI): “I participated in the European 470 Championship here 5 years ago, as well as in the Winter Series and the Primo Cup this year. I really like sailing here. It’s a complex water body. The conditions can be very different from times to times. It’s very challenging but nice. Plus, the club and the atmosphere are very pleasant”.
An exceptional line-upl
With a limited number of boats, most of the participants had to go through qualifications in their own country to earn their place at these Worlds. In Italy, last year’s results were used to select the lucky participants. Mauro Reversi’s JCurve, the only YCCS boat, has a good track record, in addition to having won the 2021 Italian season. She was followed by YCI’s Why Not that “came second in Corinthian“, Claudio Canaccini pointed out. In Argentina, it was the national championships that awarded the two places of the country. With a spot for professionals and one for amateurs, the fight was fierce between the 45 boats involved, which saw the victory of Principado (Pro) and Bebeto (Corinthian). “We worked hard to get our qualification,” confirmed Ezequiel Mendonca (Bebeto) from the Yacht Club Argentino, the club that will host these Worlds in 2025. The same goes for Sweden and KSSS, which saw five of its boats qualify during its national event. “There were between 30 and 40 J/70 at this championship,” says Jimmy Hellberg and Jakob Gustafson (Elvis). These two crew members of Elvis, regular visitors in Monaco, are part of one of the youngest Swedish J/70 boats, since they have been sailing this class “for three or four years. And more seriously for two years“.
A podium in One Pro
If there was no wind for most of the week, the championship still allowed three good races. As for the results, Outlier from Real Club Nautico de Barcelona finished third in “One Pro” (one professional sailor on board) for its very first Worlds. “Three good results in the first third of the fleet made us finish 28th in the general classification and third in ”One Pro”, underlined skipper Mon Cañellas, whose team included pro Matías Sabaté and the youngest participant in this competition, Darío Alvaredo (13 y.o.). They were immediately followed by Alberto Guarischi’s Three Musketeers (ICRJ). In Corinthian, Guillermo Arrondo’s Bebeto (YCA) also ranked 4th. In the overall classification, Mauro Roversi’s JCurve (YCCS) and Fernando Gwozdz’s Principado (YCA) were in the Top 10.