Twenty-nine J/70s assembled to race the fifth and final act of the Monaco J/70 Winter Series. Yacht Club Monaco played host to the big fleet, and for three straight days, they enjoyed excellent sailing conditions and a total of nine races. On Friday, perfect spring-like conditions with a brisk 12-knot south-westerly and sunshine at the tail-end of a Mistral launched the fifth and final act of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series 2015. In the J/70s, with their sights set on the European Championship organized by the YC Monaco this October, the foreign teams were in force to try out the race course area. At the close of play on Friday, and after two good races that saw enormous swings in each team’s finishing positions, only the top four teams could count finishes in the top ten. The Italian team on DIVA, skippered by Ferdinando Battistella, led the provisional ranking just one small point ahead of fellow Italian countryman Andrea Zaoli. Sailing smartly and taking home a 4-7 for the day was the Monaco Class President Jacopo Carrain skippering CARPE DIEM. On Saturday, superb conditions ruled for the second day that saw four races completed. Conditions were ideal with steady winds throughout the day and more brilliant sunshine. Five teams dominated the fleet: the Italians on DIVA (Ferdinando Battistella), the British on JOYRIDE (Geoff Carveth), the Germans on LED ZEPPELIN (Yannick Heffner), the Italians with Andrea Zaoli, and Jacopo Carrain on CARPE DIEM. It was an amazing sight all day, particularly in the last race with the entire fleet finishing within four minutes of each other. Having led the fleet at the start of the last race and rounding the marks in first place, Carrain’s CARPE DIEM was overtaken by Carveth’s JOYRIDE on the last downwind leg, only grabbing back his pole position and victory in the last 50 metres, with both delivering a text book match race duel. At the end of Saturday’s racing, Battistella’s DIVA managed to hang on to the lead in the provisional ranking thanks to two race wins, ahead of Klaus Diesch’s LADY LIKE and Carveth’s JOYRIDE. Just two points separated the first three boats with DIVA first at 14 points, JOYRIDE sitting on 15 and LED ZEPPELIN at 16. Sunday saw a fitting finale to the second edition of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series. The aim was to give experienced professional and amateur teams a chance to train for the big meetings of the season, alternating races with training sessions. For the last day, competitors enjoyed sunny skies and the 12-15-knot tail-end of a Mistral which meant a total of nine races could be run by the race committee, with Olivier Roinson acting as PRO for the J/70s. Jacopo Carrain, fourth in Act 5, won the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series 2015 Overall. “I am very satisfied, as the general level in the J/70s improves every month across the fleet. It’s a great opportunity for the 17 Monegasque boats to compete with the best European teams who were there in force from Germany, Italy and England,” said a delighted Monaco Class President. For this last Act, it was the foreigners who dominated the podium led by Ferdinando Battistella’s DIVA from Italy in first place. Second and third were determined by a tie-breaker on 32 points each, with Geoff Carveth’s JOYRIDE from the United Kingdom winning the tie-break over Yannick Heffner’s LED ZEPPELIN from Germany. For more YC Monaco J/70 Winter Series sailing information, click here.