The first regatta of the year and the first commanding victory this afternoon for Roberto Lacorte, who won the first Grand Prix of the brand new Persico 69F Cup at Gargano, Lake Garda, this afternoon.
The 52-year-old owner/helmsman from Pisa, Roberto Lacorte, Chairman and CEO of Pharmaceutical company PharmaNutra S.p.A. founded in 2003 with his brother Andrea, teamed on board with Lorenzo Bressani (fly controller) and Enrico Zennaro (mainsail), brought his Flying Nikka 47 to victory, becoming the first winner ever of the new regatta circuit specifically for Persico 69F, small and modern mono-hull foiler sailboat – just under seven metres in length with three crew members – equipped with fins and able to reach astonishing speeds.
Nothing less than the future of sailing, a novelty that couldn’t fail to attract the interest of such an innovator as Roberto Lacorte – recently FIV owner / helmsman of the year 2019 – who, during a gap between the end of the Super Nikkaproject (the Mini Maxi winner of four editions of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and one 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar) and the beginning of the construction of a new Maxi designed by English architect Mark Mills – enthusiastically joined the endeavour by entering two boats branded Cetilar Racing: Flying Nikka 47 and Flying Nikka 74 (on board three traditional Super Nikka crew members: helmsman Alessio Razeto, Lorenzo de Felice and Andrea Fornaro).
A dual challenge, representing the Yacht Club Repubblica Marinara of Pisa, which appeared on Lake Garda in the best possible way, with the victory of the Flying Nikka 47 masterfully sailed by the trio Lacorte-Bressani-Zennaro – commanding the general results table from the very first day of regattas – and with third place conquered by FlyingNikka 74, preceded on the podium by the Swiss Team led to second place by the experience of Nicola Celon, Italian Olympian at the Sydney games of 2000 and former European Match Race champion.
Truly breathtaking and engaging regattas, three days of show sailing which saw the Persico 69Fs involved in routes designed to favour sustained speeds at sea -a quadrilateral course starting on a beam reach, an “L course” favouring broad reach and gybe – bringing out the best in these flying mono-hulls.
“I am very, very pleased. Today, too, we have won two regattas and, over three days I believe that the victory was fully deserved, though it was not at all easy”, were the words of a beaming Roberto Lacorte, awarded his winning trophy by legendary Argentinian Santiago Lange, gold medallist at the Rio Games of 2016 in the catamaran Nacra 17 following two bronzes at Athens and Beijing in the Tornado. “The crew we selected was able to count on a valid Olympian at the helm, Nico Celon and that was no small thing, so we are enormously satisfied. There is without doubt margin for improvement, but I am truly happy about where we are today and how we have approached this new formula for everyone. Our compliments also go to the FlyingNikka 74crew,who were given a true run for their money and managed to finish on the podium”.
The next leg of the Persico 69F Cup is scheduled for September, again on Lake Garda, and will be followed by the TriesteGrand Prix (October).
In the meantime, Roberto Lacorte will finally return to the track, at the wheel of a Dallara class LMP2, also in the Endurance World Championship, another of the Tuscan entrepreneur’s great passions, which will see him in the dual role of driver and patron of the Cetilar Racing team, the only Italian team involved in the FIA WEC prototype categoryand the 24 Hours of Le Mans (for Lacorte this will be the fourth consecutive participation with an overall top ten achieved in 2017).