The 21st edition of the Grand Soleil Cup, the sailing event of the year for all Grand Soleil owners, ended among the crystal clear waters of Portopiccolo. A special edition that of 2023, not only because in addition to the traditional sailing competition there was also the Vintage Cup, but especially because this year Cantiere del Pardo celebrates an important milestone: 50 years of activity, success and great passion for the sea.
Over the two days of racing, Portopiccolo did not disappoint the expectations of the 57 participating owners, all of Italian nationality except for two Polish crews, who competed with great enthusiasm and a good dose of healthy competition.
The Grand Soleil Cup 2023 featured all the models that have made the Grand Soleil brand famous in its 50-year history: from the GS34, the first model signed by Finot, to the GS39 and the GS46 by Alain Jezequel; the GS 50 by Peterson, from the cult models-designed by German Frers-the GS42, by owner Roberto Cabrini with the great Mauro Pelaschier at the helm for the occasion, the GS45 and the GS52 to the latest additions-the GS40 and the GS44 by Matteo Polli and Nauta Design.
The first race, held in the late morning of Saturday, June 24, saw Bora from 15 to 20 knots of perfect intensity to put all crews at ease; while in the second race, held on Sunday, it fluctuated between 10 and 15 knots, optimal weather conditions that allowed for steady sailing.
The start featured all crews, divided into two categories, “All Sails” and “White Sails”(White Sails sailed only with white sails while All Sails also used headsails such as gennaker, Code 0 and spinnaker). Then, for each category, in addition to the overall first place, the Vintage first place was also awarded, intended for pre-2000 designs.
Taking overall victory in the All Sails classification was the GS48 RACE – a project by Marco Lostuzzi – Sergio Taccheo’s ATHYRIS while the first step of the White Sails podium featured the GS 52 LC – also by Lostuzzi – Fabio Montanari’s LIUBA.
Among the Vintage winners, Federico Tognetti with his GS52 MAYA – designed by German Frers – took first place overall All Sails, imitated by LADY LINER – a GS 46.3 designed by J&J – from the Mirnik Yacht Club, which dominated in the White Sails category.
(Grand Soleil Cup 2023, special edition for 50 years of Cantiere del Pardo – barchemagazine.com – June 2023)