Just two days until the start of the 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar, the event planned for Thursday 1 June, the absolute début of the FlyingNikka fully foiling Mini Maxi in an offshore regatta.
Having touched the water last April in Portofino for the Spring Regattas, FlyingNikka, which from this year can count on the precious support of its partner TAG Heuer, is getting ready to tackle the second appointment in the competitive season, and its absolute first “long” race: sailing over 150 miles, which after the departure from Livorno will take the fleet to Marina di Pisa, the island of Giraglia (northern Corsica), Formiche di Grosseto and finally to the finishing line in Punta Ala.
The goal of FlyingNikka, certainly the most eagerly awaited boat in the whole 151 Miglia, is success in real time (winning the 151 Challenge Trophy) and the new regatta record, which currently stands at 13h, 50m and 43s, set in 2019 by George David’s Maxi Rambler 88. This goal is fully within the reach of FlyingNikka – the boat that develops extraordinary speeds in full foiling mode, literally flying over the water – but strictly dependent on the weather conditions, which at the moment unfortunately foresee very light winds and large areas of calm throughout the area of the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, conditions at the moment incompatible with any desire to set records.
“The 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar is not an easy regatta, and as it is the very first long race for FlyingNikka, it is a milestone in its history and a test bench for the crew,” declares the owner and skipper Roberto Lacorte. On board the “flying boat” built last year at the King Marine shipyard in Valencia based on a design by a team of designers led by Irishman Mark Mills, he will be supported by Alessio Razeto, Lorenzo Bressani, Enrico Zennaro, Andrea Fornaro and Lorenzo De Felice. “We are very familiar with the 151 Miglia route, and all its hazards, and we know that we will have to be practically perfect in order to bring this result home. We have been preparing for this event for more than a year, constantly improving the performance of both the boat and the crew, starting from the assumption that FlyingNikka’s potential still has to be fully discovered and developed. We are here for this and we are happy to be able to do it with a partner like TAG Heuer at our side. Unfortunately the weather forecasts are what they are, there will be very little wind and they are not our ideal conditions – quite the contrary – but we can only accept them”.
“The boat is ready, the crew too, and the targets are clear: it won’t be an easy regatta, because the 151 Miglia never is, but that’s what we’re here for, and we have worked hard to be in this situation,” adds Team Manager Alessio Razeto. “As Roberto said, we will face very light winds, given the particular weather situation throughout the Mediterranean, but we will have to be good at getting the best out of FlyingNikka even in conditions like these”.
In the regatta for the Yacht Club Repubblica Marinara di Pisa and the Yacht Club Punta Ala, FlyingNikka –a single-hull just under 19 metres long, with T-foils, the evolution of the boats used in the last America’s Cup but designed for offshore regattas– can count on the support of its partner TAG Heuer: in this respect, every crew member wears a TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph, a robust and innovative solar-powered tool-watch, perfect for for top sporting performance.
The main campaign sponsor is Cetilar®, the brand of the pharmaceutical company PharmaNutra, and TAG Heuer, while the other team partners are B&G for the on-board electronics, North Sails for the sails, Montura for the official clothing, and the yards in Punta Ala Costa Etrusca and Marina di Punta Ala for the team base.