Sailing: Palermo-Monte Carlo gets underway, record-breaking Black Jack in the lead

The start of the 2023 edition of the Palermo-Monte-Carlo regatta

A 40-strong fleet began the journey from the Gulf of Mondello on Tuesday as the 18th edition of the Palermo-MonteCarlo got underway. 

For 40 teams, hailing from 12 different countries, the 500-nautical-mile journey from Palermo to Monaco via Porto Cervo in Sardinia is underway. Although the race began in favourable sailing conditions, it may not stay that way.

A record out of reach?

Weather conditions for the race have been described as “variable”. Whilst the Mistral may give a boost to the most tactically adept teams, changeable conditions could play a role as the fleet nears the Principality.

The record for the event was set by the Esimit Europa back in 2015. Now named Black Jack, the boat is once again competing and looking to break the previous record of 47 hours, 46 minutes and 48 seconds. The record-breaking boat will be skippered by the YCM’s very own Peter Harburg, whilst renowned New Zealand tactician Brad Butterworth will also be on board, as they look to create new records, weather permitting.

Black Jack in the lead

Other famous boats and sailors make up the fleet. I Love Poland, which has previously completed The Ocean Race, will be involved, whilst legendary Australian Olympic sailor Mitch Booth is also competing in the race.

In their bid to break the record, Black Jack currently have a comfortable lead. By late afternoon on Wednesday, the boat had already passed Porto Cervo with Shockwave 3 as their closest challenger. The fleet should begin to arrive at the YCM in Monaco around midday on Thursday.


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Photo source: Yacht Club de Monaco