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Italy’s Ambrogio Beccaria (Alla Grande - Pirelli) wins The Transat CIC in Class40 (subject to jury)

 

Italy’s Ambrogio Beccaria on his all Italian designed and built Musa 40 Alla Grande Pirelli added the hugely prestigious Transat CIC Class 40 title to his steadily growing collection of solo and short handed ocean racing honours this morning when he crossed the line of the historic race at 03:47:55 hrs (CET/Italy. 23:47:55hrs local NYC) in first place, ending an incredible head to head, a battle of nerves and skill, with France’s Ian Lipinski (Crédit Mutuel) a greatly respected friend, rival and former co-skipper. His elapsed time is 11d 16h 17m 55s




For the 32 year old Milanese solo racer victory on this iconic 3,900 nautical miles race from Lorient to New York is his third major Transatlantic success, adding to his formative 2019 MiniTransat win and last year’s Transat Jacques Vabre two handed victory with French co-skipper Nicolas Andrieu.


All Italian In his debut year with the slippery, powerful Gianluca Guelfi and Fabio D’Angeli design he finished second on the 2022 Route du Rhum and was only denied the win by Yoann Richomme, winner on Tuesday of the IMOCA class on this famous race which was first contested in 1960 as the Observer Singlehanded Transatlantic Race. Beccaria’s Italian triumph follows the pioneering Class 40 success of Giovanni Soldini, who had an outstanding win in 2008.

But while Beccaria’s previous wins have been more the result of superior boat performance backed up by excellent strategy – witness the final third of last Autumn’s Transat Jacques Vabre when Beccaria chose the south side of the course on the approach to Martinique to win – the Italian found his match on this ‘north face’ course in Lipinski


Early on after struggling with initial technical problems Beccaria was down in fourth and stayed there until emerging out of the first big low pressure. As the winds eased Beccaria took a more definitive lead.


He worked that out to 74 miles over Lipinski before the leaders ran into light winds once more. In the strong Gulf Stream currents and gentler winds the Italian – not knowing the unpredictable strong currents – lost all of that again to Lipinksi.


But as they emerged out of the next sticky high pressure ridge Beccaria’s strategy was better and he made the key gain which he grew to be just under 40 miles ahead of Lipinksi at the finish line some 110 miles off New York this morning.


The match, a battle of nerves and skill Theirs has been an engaging thrilling match with the lead changing at least five times. Lipinksi – sailing his last race with his remarkable 2019 David Raison designed Mach40 – has been a respected co-skipper to Beccaria on many occasions, not least winning the 2022 Channel Race together and being third on the Les Sables Horta offshore race together last year.

On the original scow design, Lipinski won the 2019 Transat Jacques Vabre.


Paying a triubute to Lipinski a couple of days ago Beccaria said, “ It has been hard to find routes as I don’t have the masthead zero any more and so in the light winds I have to work to different angles. And so yes, I am sailing with my FRO in light winds and not doing so bad. And it is wonderful to be here with Ian as her is someone I really, really appreciate, to have this battle with him is special, there is no better mate to have this fight with, I can’t wait to see how it ends in hopefully less than two days. When the high pressure moves there is another front coming with more wind and more waves.”

 

Beccaria reported that he had a damaged bulkhead early in the race which he took time to repair which was followed on May 5th with the loss, damaged off the Masthead Code Zero. But since leading out of the last high pressure system Beccaria has extended to a more conclusive margin.


Before the start Ambroglio had an appealing view of his fundamental desire to go to New York by sea….“Going to New York by sea resonates, particularly recalling all the generations of Italians who have left their homes to seek a better life.”


Doubtless he will find the time to go and celebrate in style among the huge, partisan Italian community in New York. He is due to arrive at the pontoon d'honneur at One15 marina during the day Friday.


AMBROGIO’S WIN IN NUMBERS Finish time: 03:47:55hrs (UTC) 23:47:55hrs local NYC

Race time: 11 days, 16 hours, 17 minutes, 55 seconds

Distance sailed: 3280.06 nautical miles

Average speed (on the Great Circle): 10.52 knots

Actual average speed: 11.70 knots

 

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