Yacht Club Costa Smeralda officially presents 2023 sporting season
This morning, at the Magna Pars event space in Milan, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda presented its 2023 sporting calendar. The morning included news on the anniversary of the first Italian challenge for the America's Cup with Azzurra, in 1983, updates from the athletes of the Young Azzurra sports programme, and the presentation of the 2023 racing highlights, including the Giorgio Armani Superyacht Regatta and the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, together with The Nations Trophy - Swan One Design and the 5.5 Metre Class World Championship.
The event, moderated by Sky Sports commentator Giovanni Bruno, opened with YCCS Commodore, Michael Illbruck welcoming those attending and asking Princess Zahra Aga Khan, President of the YCCS Board of Directors to join him on stage. In her speech, the Princess emphasised how passion for the sea and sailing have always guided the development of the projects of the YCCS, which has invested in the sport of sailing, respect for the environment and the upcoming generations, an area that the Club is now particularly focused on.
Secretary General, Edoardo Recchi, then presented the 2023 Sporting Calendar which will commence with the RAN 630 - Regata dell'Accademia Navale, scheduled from 23 April to 1 May, where the Club offers its technical support as the fleet rounds the course mark off Porto Cervo. The Boeris Trophy then returns to the calendar, followed by the traditional Vela & Golf event. The first major regatta of the season will be the Giorgio Armani Superyacht Regatta (6-10 June), which as always opens the superyacht sailing season in the Mediterranean. Once again title sponsor Giorgio Armani, a global icon of Italian excellence, will join the YCCS for the event. Around 15 boats are already enrolled, including a debut outing for the 48-metre Nilaya, a new design by Nauta Yachts and Reichel Pugh, built by Royal Huisman. Around 10 yachts from the Southern Wind shipyard are expected to attend as part of the Southern Wind Rendezvous and Trophy, which takes place within the event.
June will close with the Nautor Swan fleet racing in Porto Cervo in The Nations Trophy – Swan One Design, scheduled from 19 to 24 June. The regatta, open to ClubSwan 50, ClubSwan 42 and ClubSwan 36, will see more than 30 boats doing battle against the unique backdrop of the La Maddalena archipelago.
The Coppa Europa Smeralda 888 will kick off July (6-9 July), followed by the YCCS J/70 Sailing Clinic (20-23 July), the YCCS Members' Championship (5-6 August), and a supporting role in the Palermo – Porto Cervo – Montecarlo race, scheduled from 22 to 27 August.
September will, as always, be the month of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, organised in collaboration with the International Maxi Association (IMA) and with the support of title sponsor Rolex. This highlight of the international regatta calendar, which each year attracts the cream of yacht design and construction to Porto Cervo together with globally renowned professional sailors, will take place from 3 to 9 September. A very impressive fleet took part in 2022, in terms of numbers certainly - with 50 maxi yachts attending - but above all in terms of the level of the participants, representing the very best of the entire chronology of yachting, from J Class yachts to the latest launches such as the ClubSwan 80 My Song, owned by Pier Luigi Loro Piana, and FlyingNikka, the first foiling maxi yacht.
This year's edition, the 33rd, promises to be just as thrilling and will be the first in which multihulls can take part. The entry list currently stands at approximately 20 boats enrolled.
The YCCS sporting season will conclude with the return of the 5.5 Metre Class to the Costa Smeralda, with the Scandinavian Gold Cup and the Class World Championship scheduled from 20 to 29 September. The 5.5 Metre Class will be back in Porto Cervo for the second time in its history, having first raced there in 1984.
Following the presentation of the sporting calendar, Giovanni Bruno recalled that 2023 marks the 40th anniversary of the first Italian challenge for the Americas' Cup with Azzurra, welcoming original helmsman Mauro Pelaschier to the stage. The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda will mark this anniversary with a gala dinner at its base in Porto Cervo, during which a short film will be screened, including contributions from the protagonists of what would turn out to be a historic enterprise.
The sporting heritage of Azzurra can be found today in Young Azzurra, a sailing project that allows the YCCS to support young emerging talents looking to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. To conclude the press conference, Young Azzurra athletes Cesare Barabino and Federico Alan Pilloni spoke of their experiences as up-and-coming sailors.
"A unique season awaits, with sporting events that reflect the Club's fundamental principles of sportsmanship and excellence. We are pleased to have our institutional partners Rolex, Jaguar Land Rover and Allianz by our side once again, supporting us across our sporting calendar and sharing our values such as: innovation, excellence and respect for the environment. We are looking forward to welcoming members, owners, sailors, friends and enthusiasts back to Porto Cervo, to enjoy months of superb sailing together." commented Michael Illbruck, YCCS Commodore.