Palermo-Montecarlo, the Principality of Monaco ready to welcome Black Jack this evening

Palermo-Montecarlo, the Principality of Monaco ready to welcome Black Jack this evening

  • The Australian 100-footer takes advantage of the South-West wind and runs towards the finish
  • The prediction of arrivals and the evolution of the classification

Palermo-Montecarlo race 2023 enter in the first decisive moment, the final miles for the 100-foot maxi Black Jack, who is expected to be the first in real time to cross the finish line in front of the Port Hercule in Monaco. After a first part of the race at good speed, which also made us think that she might attack the race record (47 hours and 46 minutes), the 31-metre owned by Australian owner Peter Hamburg, skippered by Mark Bradford, was slowed down throughout the second night of fickle breezes between the Bocche di Bonifacio and the western coast of Corsica. Once the record has faded, the very concrete objective of the Line Honors remains.

Tracking at 5pm indicates that Black Jack will arrive at an hourly interval between 8pm and 9pm, in time for dinner! It could complete the 500-mile course in about 55 hours. Black Jack is 40 miles from the finish and sailing at a speed between 10 and 12 knots, pushed by a wind between 7 and 9 knots. It is the incredible truth of these ultralight maxi sailboats capable of exceeding the wind speed by far, creating additional apparent air capable of providing an additional thrust.

At the Yacht Club de Monaco everything is ready to celebrate the arrival of the first hull of the Palermo-Montecarlo 2023. Race Director Fabio Barrasso follows the arrival time forecasts, like photographers and operators who hope to be able to resume cutting the line with light just before sunset.

What happens behind the leader? Second in line honours is still the Claudio Demartis’s 90-foot Shockwave 3 Prosecco DOC, maxi with the colors of the Circolo della Vela Sicilia, organizer of the regatta. Shockwave also suffered from the calm between northern Sardinia and southern Corsica until mid-morning, then resumed progress with a good average of 8-10 knots. At 5pm he is about 110 miles from the finish. The ETA (estimated time of arrival) for the white hull with Roberto Ferrarese on board, among others, is for tomorrow morning, Friday 25 August, between 9th and 11th, depending on the evolution of the Libeccio on the Ligurian Sea of Ponente.

The fight for third place in reality is interesting, and perhaps not only: it’s head-to-head between the VO70 I Love Poland with skipper Gregor Baranovski, and the Cookson 50 Kuka 3 by the Italian-Swiss owner Franco Niggeler, who it has on board, among others, Mitch Booth and Pietro D’Alì. The boat with the Swiss sail number is having an amazing regatta, keeping pace with bigger boats: at 5pm she is 125 miles from the finish line, and sailing on sight with the Polish 70-footer of the round-the-world regatta. It is no coincidence that Kuka 3 leads the provisional classification of the Palermo-Montecarlo in IRC corrected time.

In the meantime, the wind from the south also hit the bulk of the fleet, which remained extraordinarily compact and close together. There is a lot of traffic in the afternoon of the second day of racing, with many boats passing the Porto Cervo gate. In the order they passed: Chenapan 4, French Ker 40 of Gilles Caminade, at 15:31, followed at 15:38 by Elo II, the proto with the youngsters of the Italian Yacht Club and Mauro Pelaschier, followed just one minute by Tonnerre de Glen, the 2022 winner, Dominque Tian’s Ker 46 at 3.39pm, then Artie Jeep’s Maltese, 13m Judel Vrolijk at 3.45pm. Also passed, Otra Vez, Maltese ICE 52 by Aaron Floridia, the first of the Class 40 ACI40 by Croatian ski olympic Ivica Kostelic and again Comanche Sagola, the Farr 40 by Battistoni, Sorrentino and Fornich with the colors of the Circolo Lauria. Most of the arrivals in Montecarlo are scheduled for the night of August 26th. The lights of the Principality light up for the great offshore sail.

The direct link to the tracking on the official website to follow the regatta:

ORGANIZERS, CIRCUITS AND PARTNERS – The Palermo-Montecarlo has been organized for 18 years by the Circolo della Vela Sicilia with the collaboration of the Yacht Club de Monaco and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and under the aegis of the Italian Sailing Federation, UVAI (Unione Vela d’Altura Italiana) and the IMA (International Maxi Association).

Included in the “long” regatta circuit of the FIV Italian Offshore Sailing Championship, among those with the highest coefficient for the purposes of scoring for the final classification, the 500 miles of the Palermo-Montecarlo are also part of the following prestigious circuits: the IMA Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge; the Mediterranean Offshore Trophy; the Mediterranean Trophy for the Class40; and the 2023 edition of the Championnat et Trophées Inshore et Offshore Méditerranée en Équipages-IRC.

The event is also directly promoted by the Sicilian Region Department of Tourism, Sport and Entertainment, with the participation of the Metropolitan City of Palermo and the support of the Sicily Foundation. Sponsor partners are Tasca d’Almerita and Porsche, Centro Porsche Palermo.