The story

The regatta Palermo Montecarlo

The Palermo-Montecarlo is one of the most important and renowned offshore regattas of the Mediterranean Sea, it is part of numerous international circuits including the Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge (IMA) Italian Offshore Championship organized by the Italian Sailing Federation, the Mediterranean Trofeo d’Altura and the Owner of the Year Trophy for the UVAI, it’s also part of the Championnat et Trophees Inshore et Offshore Mediterranee en Equipages-IRC and the Mediterranean Class 40 Trophy.

In 2015, the Palermo-Montecarlo was also included in the IMA-Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge circuit, a trophy reserved for the Maxi Yachts which from 2018 also includes the Rolex Middle Sea Race, the Tre Golfi Regatta, the 151 Miglia-Cetilar Trophy and the Giraglia Rolex Cup.


Founded in 2005 following the wish from the Consul of the Principality of Monaco and the Councilorship of Sport from the Municipality of Palermo to unite two historically friendly cities, the Palermo-Montecarlo offers a regatta with high technical and landscape features to all sailing lovers.


So many world-famous boats have set sails from the magnificent Gulf of Mondello over the years, to sail across the Strait of Bonifacio until the end of the racecourse, in the Bay of Monaco after 500 nautical miles at sea: from Steinlager 2, the legendary triumphant ketch of the round of the world race (winner of the 1989-90 Whitbread with Sir Peter Blake at the helm), to the super Maxi Yachts such as Esimit Europa 2 or Senso One, to name just a few of the most famous boats.


Pluri-Olympic sailors, protagonists of the world’s most important transoceanic races and stars of the America’s Cup, have given prestige and sporting values to the regatta, allowing year by year an exponential growth of the number and quality of the competitors: from Azzurra and Luna Rossa famous skippers like Mauro Pelaschier and Francesco De Angelis, to Pietro D’Alì, Gabriele Bruni, Flavio Favini, Lorenzo Bressani, Tommaso Chieffi and Alberto Bolzan, through the German Jochen Schuemann, the Australian Mitch Booth, the New Zealander Brad Butterworth and the French Lionel Pean, Philippe Monnet, Kito de Pavant and Catherine Chabaud, the list is really long and includes a lot of big names of the international sailing world who all found in the Palermo-Montecarlo a truly unique event in the Mediterranean to challenge each other on the sea tacking and jibing.


In 2018, an edition characterized by an extraordinary number of participants and by the prestigious presence at the star of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, the real-time success and the related Giuseppe Tasca d’Almerita Trophy went to the American Maxi Rambler 88 owned by George David, while the French hull Tonnerre de Glen, finsihed first overall in the IRC ranking, winning the Angelo Randazzo Trophy.


In 2023 The Giuseppe Tasca d’Almerita Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Line Honors, the first across the finish line in real time, goes to the maxi 100-footer Black Jack owned by Australian owner Peter Hamburg, with New Zealand navigator Brad Butterworth on board, among others. The place of honor in real time goes to Shockwave 3 Prosecco DOC, a 90-footer by Claudio Demartis which raced with the burgee of the Circolo della Vela Sicilia, helmed by Roberto Ferrarese. Third place in real life goes to Kuka 3.


In the IRC category, the most numerous with over 20 boats, and consequently also the hardest fought as confirmed by the continuous changes in the ranking, the victory went to Joy (GBR), the “small” JPK 1010 of Dave Butters (Parkstone Yacht Club Poole), who thus won the Angelo Randazzo Challenge Trophy.


The ranking of the four Class40s in the regatta saw the victory of Made in Midi (FRA) with the navigator Kito de Pavant, a real guru of ocean sailing. Second place for ACI 40 (CRO) by Ivica Kostelic, the Olympic skier who switched to offshore sailing, third place for Vaquita with Alessio Bernabò, disabled skipper and animator of the Divermente Marinai association, fourth place for Marco Guerra’s Imagin’Act Socomec .


“Congratulations to all, regardless of the result, concluding the Palermo-Montecarlo always deserves applauses.”


The record of the regatta still belongs to the Maxi Esimit Europa 2 owned by Igor Simcic, protagonist of several editions, with 47 hours, 46 minutes and 48 seconds. The record was established in 2015, breaking the previous record of an hour and 15 minutes. This will be one of the main goals, in addition to the victory in real time, of the Maxi Yachts expected at the start of the next edition of the Palermo-Montecarlo, edition number 19, scheduled from 20 to 25 August 2024.