The trend in recent years has been to make sailing a sport that is consumable by spectators and fans. It’s imperative for the commercial business models that support things like merchandising, and TV but sometimes, one-off projects stand out for doing things a little bit differently.
The twinning cities of Palermo and Monte Carlo may well say they gained a new symbol of their friendship: the Esimit Europa 2 yacht. The 30-meter maxi yacht, under the patronage of José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, and with Gazprom as main sponsor, was the first one to cross the finish line of the 500-nautical-mile course.
After having achieved line honours at the Giraglia Rolex Cup, the first ever European sports team, composed by some of the best sailors from different European countries, carried the message of unity and cooperation among European peoples to the highest step of the podium for the second time in a row this year.
Igor SimÄiÄ’s (SLO) crew, skippered by the legendary Jochen Schümann (GER), faced a full range of unpredictable conditions and made some spectacular turns while chasing the good winds in the Strait of Bonifacio between Sardinia and Corsica. The navigator Juan Vila (SPA), the tactician Sidney Gavignet (FRA), the helmsman Alberto Bolzan (ITA) and the rest of the team showed that by joining their forces they can truly get the maximum out of the yacht.
“First of all I have to congratulate the team with this major achievement. Synergy is always the key to success and our crew showed it at sea. The Palermo – Monte Carlo is this season’s second offshore regatta and also the second victory for this amazing team that is carrying the noble message of Pan-European collaboration. I am pleased with the progress and happy about today’s victory. Today we will celebrate, but the very next day we will set our sights on the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Sardinia, beginning in just two weeks.”
“It was a perfect race, both from the tactical and the navigational point of view. The right decisions were taken at the right time. In general, we experienced very light winds all the time, which almost dropped when approaching Monte Carlo. Despite missing the record for just two hours, I am extremely happy with the crew’s and the yacht’s performance and I am looking forward to the next challenges.”
This year’s regatta, organised by the Circolo della Vela Sicilia in collaboration with the Yacht Club de Monaco, marked the 7th edition of the sport event. The prize-giving ceremony will take place on Tuesday, 23rd August, in the Yacht Club de Monaco, Monte Carlo. Esimit Europa 2 has a full calendar of regattas in September and October. The next regatta for Esimit Europa 2 will be the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, followed by the Bernetti Lombardini Cup, the Barcolana and the Rolex Middle Sea Race.