At the Yacht Club de Monaco’s traditional Winter Cocktail when Club President HSH Prince Albert II welcomes new members, the YCM Awards – Trophée Credit Suisse 2015 were held to pay tribute to the Club’s top sailors.
In the YCM Youth Awards which honour and encourage the Club’s youngest sailors, Semen Maltcev received a prize in the Optimist category, as did the French Vice-Champion in the Laser category, Juan Casalone.
Kite-surfing ace, Maxime Nocher, Kite World Champion 2015, Kite Foil European Champion and winner of the Gold Cup (an international circuit with four stages) received a special prize. Only 21, he already has an impressive seven world championship titles under his belt and his sights set on the 2020 Olympic Games. This spring he hopes to beat the “Continent-Corsica” speed record over a distance of circa 100 nautical miles, a project he will be presenting at a maritime conference in the Yacht Club on 13th January 2016.
A highlight of the evening was the YCM Awards 2015 – Trophée Credit Suisse, with no less than 13 nominees for ‘Sailor of the Year’, as there have been so many excellent results from members sailing under the YCM’s colours.
In a vote put to all YCM members, Russian sailor and Monaco resident Vladimir Prosikhin, RC44 2015 World Champion and a Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series regular in the Melges 20 class, was presented with the ‘Sailor of the Year 2015’ trophy by HSH Prince Albert II. He succeeds Roberto Tomasini Grinover, last year’s winner.
A reminder that Roberto Tamburelli won the Smeralda 888 International Championship, while J/70 Monaco Class Association President Jacopo Carrain, instigator of this class’s first European Championship, held in the Principality in October, dominated the J/70 Monaco Championship and Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series 2014-2015.
Instigated by Valentin Zavadnikov in 2013, the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series offers a high level programme of monthly training regattas for one-designs throughout the winter for experienced teams wanting to train for the season’s big meetings. After five Acts held from October 2014 to March 2015, Guido Miani, first European in the Melges 20 Worlds, dominated the season.
It was also a year crowned with success for the YCM’s flagship Tuiga who won the 15M IR Mediterranean circuit, with Bernard d’Alessandri and Pierre Casiraghi alternating at the helm.
When speaking about this victory, HSH Prince Albert II took the opportunity to wish one of the YCM’s two Vice-Presidents, Pierre Casiraghi, the best of luck. He will be on the starting line for the first time on 26th December for the prestigious Sydney-Hobart Race alongside Giovanni Soldini on the VOR 70 Maserati.
The Prince also paid tribute to Chinese sailor Guo Chuan, ambassador for Peace and Sport “for conveying through the oceans a strong message: that of peace and sport”.
Holder of the solo round the world record in the 40’ mono-hull class three years ago, Guo Chuan pulled off an amazing feat in September 2015, opening a new route in the Arctic Ocean via the Northeast Passage. He is therefore the first sailor to establish a speed record between Murmansk and the Bering Strait.
Having left Qingdao on 21st October 2015, his trimaran Qingdao China is on her way to a yard in Lorient. After calls into Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mirissa (Sri Lanka), Bombay (India), Alexandria (Egypt) and Genoa (Italy), Guo Chuan was in the Yacht Club’s YCM Marina for a few days.
“It’s a great pleasure to be back in Monaco after sailing on Tuiga in 2013. I am very impressed by the facilities in the Yacht Club’s new building, which are ideal for organising regattas.
On route since leaving Qingdao, we saw many refugees in very difficult conditions as the trimaran sailed along the Italian coast. Everyone in the crew was very moved by their plight. It makes me realise more than ever before how important it is to spread this message of peace in this period marked by all these terrible events,” said Guo Chuan.
A message of peace, bringing hope, in every sense of the word this Christmas.