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Monaco-Calvi crossing: first record set by Casiraghi-Herrmann on Malizia II

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Mono 60 Malizia II, Yacht Club de Monaco
Mono 60 Malizia II, Yacht Club de Monaco

The foiling adventure continues for Pierre Casiraghi who has just taken delivery of Malizia II, an IMOCA 60ft (18.28m) into the Monaco fleet, already represented by the new generation GC32 foiling catamaran, Malizia. It is a major project that sees the YCM Vice-President join forces with German sailor Boris Herrmann, both already competing on the GC32 circuit and keen to jump in at the deep end by making the first Monaco-Calvi (Corsica) crossing for an IMOCA 60.


First outing – first challenge
Malizia II set off on the Monaco-Calvi crossing on Tuesday 6th June at 17.04, the goal being to match kite surfer Maxime Nocher’s time of 4 hours 13 minutes set on 5th May. It was a family affair as the duo was joined by Andrea Casiraghi, also a Club Vice-President.

With a steady 20 knots in the Bay of Monaco gusting up to 40 in Corsica, the crossing was set to be a challenge. Strong conditions like those seen on famous offshore races forced the crew to take in two reefs at the start (a manoeuvre to reduce sail surface area in strong wind conditions). There was no respite for the three-man crew who had to keep cool heads throughout the crossing and even managed to maintain 23 knots for over an hour. Malizia II crossed the finish at 21.35.18 having covered the 90nm in 4 hours 30 minutes, just 17 minutes shy of the kite surfer’s record. For a first outing, it was an excellent result, especially as it set a first record for this size of boat on this route.

“It was a fantastic experience,” commented Pierre Casiraghi on his arrival in Calvi. “Despite choppy conditions against us, we managed to hold our course and maintain an average speed of 20 knots throughout the crossing, with a top speed of 27 knots. We’re going to have another crack at beating Maxime’s time for the experience.” It’s a view shared by Boris Herrmann delighted at having been able to maximise the power of this new flagship in the Monegasque fleet.

Encourage youngsters in the Yacht Club de Monaco’s Sports Section to dream‎ of offshore
Eager as always to share this experience with young sailors, Pierre Casiraghi organised a meeting with around 50 children from the YCM’s Sports Section on Wednesday 7th June. It was a special moment for these youngsters, all passionate about sailing and interested to find out more about the foiling mono-hull. As YCM General Secretary Bernard d’Alessandri explained: “This IMOCA 60 was Sébastien Josse’s who first started sailing here. He also participated in the last Vendée Globe.” The anecdote captured the attention of his young audience who had the privilege of sailing on the 60ft mono-hull, a great experience for this new generation of racers.

Vendée Globe 2020 in their sights
Although the GC32 Malizia remains the priority for this year - “we’re going to focus on the GC32 circuit and gradually get to grips with the IMOCA” - the Monegasques will be back on Malizia II on 17th June for the Club’s annual Fête de la Mer parade alongside the Club’s classic yacht, Tuiga.

The 60ft will also be heading for England on 6th August to compete in the Rolex Fastnet Race between Cowes and Plymouth, a 600nm classic, before participating in the Palermo-Montecarlo (21-26 August 2017), another major offshore race of 500nm that Pierre is particularly fond of having won it twice: “The route along the coasts of Sardinia and Corsica is stunning. It’s a wonderful event with an always welcoming and friendly reception put on by the Circolo della Vela Sicilia at the start in Sicily.”

“You feel dreams can come true on this IMOCA, not just because of her size but also the races she has already competed in,” adds Pierre Casiraghi. “Among major upcoming projects, there’s the Vendée Globe 2020. Boris will be training hard for four years and we will support him throughout his preparation.”

It may be a childhood dream for these two sailors, but it is also inspiring a young generation already won over by this new boat.

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