“I AM PROUD TO FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF AMBROGIO BECCARIA!”
Since his victorious arrival in the second stage at 1:26 am (Paris time) last night, Luca Rosetti (998 – Race = Care) had no choice but to wait, watch in hand, for his direct competitors to cross the line with gaps large enough to make up for the delay he had accumulated in the first act to determine his final ranking.
By midday this Sunday, the doubt finally lifted, and the sailor received confirmation (pending jury approval) of his victory in the 24th edition of La Boulangère Mini Transat in the Series category. The contract is fully fulfilled for the Italian, who becomes the eighth foreigner and the second representative of his country to win the event after the successful Ambrogio Beccaria!
The verdict is in: Bruno Lemunier (893 – Kalisto & Aérofab) and Michaël Gendebien (921 – Barillec Marine – Actemium), with whom you were in contention for victory, will ultimately finish behind you. How do you feel?
“It’s relatively indescribable. In the last few hours, it’s true that I spent time watching my watch and doing some calculations, but it didn’t stress me out more than that. I already had the satisfaction of how I managed my race and, by extension, the feeling of a job well done, which was essential for me. After my first Mini Transat in 2019, I chose to relaunch a project, but this time fully focused on performance rather than the adventure side. I came with strong ambitions, and I didn’t hide my goals of victory. In the first stage, I showed that I was in the game. I led the fleet for a long time before facing the weather’s uncertainties at the end of the course and paying dearly for my East option, like many others. In the second stage, I really made the difference. I had good feelings. At times, I even felt literally in a state of grace. Everything generally went well, and I didn’t have major technical issues. Of course, I experienced some difficult moments. It’s normal when you spend 14 days alone at sea. There were doubts, moments of solitude, but in the end, these are things that you also seek when you embark on such an endeavor.”
There seems to be a lot of contained joy…
“Undoubtedly. Winning the Mini Transat is no small feat! If I look behind me and see all the sacrifices I’ve made to get here, it’s quite incredible. This victory is a great reward! What I feel is not easy to express. It is in Italian, and even more so in French for me. I couldn’t have hoped to conclude my four years on the Mini 6.50 circuit in a more beautiful way!”
At the start in La Palma, you had a 15-hour and 5-minute gap behind the leader, Belgian Michaël Gendebien. What was your mindset heading into the sea?
“I was well aware that such a gap was not neutral, but I relativized it. It was ultimately not that large on the scale of the Atlantic, but I knew that the weather scenario would condition many things. If the trade winds had been established from the beginning, we would all have committed to the trade winds highway, and it would have been a speed race where it would have been impossible to really make a difference. There, when I understood that after El Hierro, two strategic options were emerging, I knew I had a chance. As I had navigated well in the first stage and that hadn’t materialized in terms of results, I thought my “success” capital was still intact. I went full throttle all the time. I never let go. I had a good start. In the calm of the first miles, I lost a bit, but then I made my option to the north, and it turned out to be a winner!”
By winning (pending jury approval) this 2023 edition of La Boulangère Mini Transat in the Series boat, you become the second Italian after Ambrogio Beccaria to achieve such a feat. There must be a sense of pride?
“A lot! It’s great, and it’s great to see that a foreigner also wins in the Proto category with the Uruguayan Federico Waksman! This period is rather prosperous for Italian sailing because Ambrogio, but also Alberto Bona and Alberto Riva, are achieving great things on the biggest races in Class40. I am happy to contribute to the promotion of my country in offshore racing.”
What about the future? Do you already have projects in mind?
“I would like to do Class40. I have started working on my project. The foundation is written. Now, I am looking for partners to launch it. Now that I have won the Mini Transat, I want to continue with performance as the keyword. I know that the event is a remarkable springboard, and we can see many former winners now at the highest level in all types of boats. I have proven that I have a good foundation. Today is the first day of the rest of my career, well, I hope! (Laughs)”
At the conclusion of the first leg of the 24th edition of La Boulangère Mini Transat between Les Sables d’Olonne and Santa Cruz de La Palma, the top nine Proto boats in the provisional standings were within less than 4 hours and 15 minutes. Not much at the scale of a transatlantic race. So, it was almost with a clean slate that they all started the second part of the event heading to Saint-François. Quickly, two options emerged. People initially believed in one, then the other, but ultimately, it was primarily the speeds and angles that made the difference. The level of commitment from the sailors played a role too. At the finish, there were few or no surprises. Those expected to perform well did so. The proof is that the two big favorites, Federico Waksman (1019 – Repremar – Shipping Agency Uruguay) and Carlos Manera Pascual (1081 – Xucla), finished first and second in Guadeloupe, and in the same order in the overall standings. The third place, however, remained contested until the final stretches, and while Marie Gendron (1050 – Léa Nature) completed the stage podium, she conceded that same position to Julien Letissier (1069 – Frérots Branchet) in the event standings (before the jury) by only 29 short minutes!