Pietro Sibello: "Definitely the most fearsome are the world champions, the Americans, and we will see how they will perform in these waters."

“The level is high there are all top international crews, great sailors coming from Olympic classes, there are Olympic medalists competing, America’s Cup mates and important offshore boat sailors. Definitely the most fearsome are the world champions, the Americans, and we will see how they will perform in these waters.” Taking stock of the situation at the J/70 World Championship, organized at the Yacht Club de Monaco, is Pietro Sibello, Italian former Luna Rossa sailor now with the Swiss team Alinghi for the America’s Cup 2024 scheduled in Barcelona.

“For us,” he summarizes to LaPresse, “expectations are high. Sibello these days is busy as a mainsail trimmer with the Notaro team together with helmsman and owner Luca Domenici (with a relevant past as a dinghy sailor), Lorenzo Bressani, among the best-known Italian sailors, for tactics, and Michele Mennuti as trimmer. “When you get on the water the goal is always to win.  I was in Monaco as a child when I was racing in Optimist. Now here things have changed with this beautiful Yacht Club hosting us.” adds Sibello.

On the docks among the 90 teams, totaling about 400 sailors of 23 nationalities, stand out top names such as legendary Brazilian sailor Torben Grael, U.S. America’s Cup veteran Chris Larson and British Rio de Janeiro 2016 gold medalist and London 2012 silver medalist Saskia Clark.

Organizing the competition this year is the Yacht Club de Monaco: “For us, hosting the world championship symbolizes the end of the pandemic. It was planned for 2021 and we had to move it to 2022,” stresses Olivier Campana, assistant director of the Yacht Club de Monaco and president of Monaco’s J/70 class. The last time this event was held in the Principality was in 1976, and “to see so many boats from all over the world in the Yacht Club marina today is a real pleasure,” Campana points out.

Nine Monegasque teams are competing including that of YCM vice-president and Malizia team founder Pierre Casiraghi sailing alongside Jean-Baptiste Bernaz, current ILCA 7 class world champion.All members of the Yacht Club de Monaco and the Monaco J/70 Class Association have earned a place at the Worlds at the qualifiers during the last Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series (2021/2022).

The YCM has been working on the Worlds for some time and the focus on sustainability is always high: “It seems obvious to say that the Yacht Club is committed to the environment since we are talking about a sailing competition. Yet all the efforts put in can be seen in the details: for example, the boat for the race committee is biodiesel and has been so for five years, and for example, the water that is used to wash the boats after the races comes from the Yacht Club and is reused,” he concludes. The J70 series, designed by Alan Johnstone and built in 2012, is now one of the most popular one-designs among sailors. The event is held in collaboration with the Monegasque Sailing Federation, FxPro, Xerjoff, Sebago and the technical sportswear brand Slam.

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