Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Solerio Triumphs! Wins Alcatel J/70 Cup Act I

J/70s sailing Alcatel Cup off Monaco (Monte Carlo, Monaco)- The thirty-seven boats from seven countries across Europe on the start line made the first event of the ALCATEL J/70 Cup series a great success, despite the decidedly damp conditions.  Nonetheless, the quality of racing was red-hot, featuring a large and competitive fleet gathering once again in the glamorous waters off Monaco.

Four out of six scheduled races were completed under light and unstable wind that kept the tacticians on their toes for the entire weekend. The wind speed rarely exceeded ten knots.  While the racing was not physically taxing, the shifting breeze was a real test of tactical awareness. The reigning Italian J/70 National Champion, Franco Solerio racing L’ELAGAIN won the first event of the ALCATEL J/70 Cup, staking his claim on the overall Open title with his crew of Daniele Cassinari, Simon Alltree and Luca Albarelli.  Winning the Corinthians Cup was Team MUMMY ONE sailed by Alessio Querin and crew of Federico Del Zompo, Etore Mazza, and Jacopo Cunial, they also took silver for the regatta!  The podium was completed by Ludovico Fassitelli's JUNDA from the host club- YC Monaco- with crew of Andrea Felci, Paolo Montefusco and Andrea Buzzi.

J/70 Calvi Network in MonacoThe balance of the top five was completed by Alessandro Zampori's MAGIE DAS SAILING TEAM in fourth (crew was Gianni Sommariva, Eugenio Ramassoto and Luca Antonetto).  Tied with equal points, respectively, in fifth and sixth position, were Carlo Alberini's CALVI NETWORK team (Serfio Blosi, Branco Brcin, Kario Hmeljak- just back from a 2nd place @ Bacardi Miami Sailing Week) and the British team led by Charles Thomson on BRUTUS (crew of Sam Carter, Chris Webber and Georgina Aninsmith) from Royal Southern YC.

J/70s at Alcatel J/70 Cup in MonacoThere were several notable performances as the class evolves in Europe in the early part of the season.  Oscar Lundqvist’s crew from the KSS (Royal Swedish YC) sailed FANNY to a 7th overall and managed a 2nd in the third race.  The top Swiss team on APROTEC sailed by Stephane Meylan from Geneva had a 3rd in that same race and took 8th overall.  The famous Italian fashion house, LORO PIANA, has seen the “old man’s” love of sailing taken to another level- brothers Giacomo and Pietro sailed MARY J with friends Francesco Ivaldi and Matteo Bert to a 1st place in the first race and, ultimately, finished 11th overall.  Another family member, Franco Loro Piana sailed JAMMING and is learning quickly from the likes of top competitors in the same fleet like Italy’s famous Francesco de Angelis (the former J/24 World Champion and America’s Cup Champion sailing on B2 with Michele Salli).  Then, J/80 World Champion from Spain, Hugo Rocha, was sailing with Stefano Bonadeo’s MARY LOU crew from YC Costa Smeralda (Ricardo Bonadeo is the current YCCS Commodore) and they managed a 1st place in race three!  No question, the European teams across the board are elevating their game very quickly, as has been proven in international J/70 class competition— remember, the World Champion came from Mexico and the runner-up was Italian!

J/70 winners at Alcatel J/70 CupFollowing the footsteps of the 2015 event, the Italian J/70 Class Association will count on a highly international fleet for the entire racing season. And, whereas several new teams have joined the Italian and European J/70s, all top teams of the 2015 ALCATEL J/70 Cup- both in overall and Corinthian divisions- started their 2016 season in Monaco to collect the points through the series consisting of the five events.

After Monaco, the ALCATEL J/70 Cup series will lead to San Remo, Italy (on May 7-8), to Porto Cervo (on June 3-5), to Malcesine (on July 23-24). The series will conclude with the J/70 Eurocup (Riva del Garda, September 9-11).   For more ALCATEL J/70 Cup sailing information