Royal send-off for Monaco Globe Series

The start gun was fired for the first Monaco Globe Series by YC de Monaco President, HSH Prince Albert II

The nine 60-footers are off on a double-hander, unassisted non-stop race, the first stage of the new IMOCA 2018-2020 world championship.

Organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco, the meeting is a chance for participants to gain the maximum number of points towards qualifying for the Vendée Globe 2020.

An east-south-easterly breeze filled the mainsails providing a unique spectacle at the start.

Leeward of most of the competitors, SMA skippered by Paul Meilhat and Gwénolé Gahinet were in the lead closely followed by the Monegasque boat Malizia II.

Isabelle Joschke and Alain Gautier on Monin also played a winning hand, bearing away to leeward at the start. A good decision allowing them to get up speed and take the lead.

One thing is certain, what comes next promises to be fast-paced as the fleet attacks the windiest section during the night, with a storm forecast for Corsica with gusts and possibly hail.

List of competing boats:

Malizia-Yacht Club de Monaco – Pierre Casiraghi / Boris Herrmann
SMA – Paul Meilhat / Gwénolé Gahinet
Newrest Art & Fenêtres – Fabrice Amedeo / Eric Peron
Bureau Vallée 2 – Louis Burton / Arthur Hubert
Monin – Isabelle Joschke / Alain Gautier
4myplanet2 – Alexia Barrier / Pierre Quirogea
Groupe Setin – Manuel Cousin / Alan Roura
Kilcullen Team Ireland – Joan Mulloy / Thomas Ruyant
Boulogne Billancourt - Stéphane Le Diraison / Stan Maslard

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