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Vera, owned by the Argentinian Miguel Galuccio, is the first yacht to cross the finish line of the XV Palermo-Montecarlo: the 82' long hull with, crewed by stars such as Volvo Ocean Race legend, Bouwe Bekking and Olympic champion, Michele Regolo, crossed the finish line this morning at 5:13am local time.

The Argentine yacht finished the near 500 nautical mile racecourse in two days, 17 hours and 13 minutes, far above the record established by Esimit Europa 2 in 2015.

In taking line honours, Vera won one of the two challenge trophies up for grabs, the Giuseppe Tasca d'Almerita Trophy in the race organized by the Circolo della Vela Sicilia, in collaboration with the Yacht Club de Monaco and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda.

"We did well because at the start of the race we opted for a different strategic choice to the others, but in those situations you never know if you made the right choice or not," Bouwe Bekking said.

"We travelled more miles, but the option paid off in the end. The crew did great work, and we are really stoked with the result that allowed us to cross the finish line first.

“Palermo-Montecarlo is an excellent and perfectly organised race with a spectacular and challenging racecourse. It was the first time in the race for me and I'm really happy to be here.”

Michele Regolo, Italy’s Laser representative at the London 2012 Games, added his thoughts: "We started well and our navigator, Aksel Maghdal, made a very good move and a choice that paid off.

Thirty miles from the finish line, the wind totally died, and we feared those behind would catch up, but then we found some breeze that fortunately held up to the finish line in Montecarlo. We are really satisfied with this result.”

The second yacht to finish was the 72 foot Aragon, owned by Arco Van Nieuwland and Andries Verder. They crossed the finish line at 1400 hours and were followed three minutes later by the 70ft Maxi Adelasia di Torres, owned by Renato Azara.

At 1405hrs, the French IRC 52, Arobas, owned by Gérard Logel (Eric Drouglazet navigated) finished. Arobas was followed by the Estonian Volvo 65 Ambersail2, owned by Linas Ivanauskas, at 14.34.

Under the supervision of Race Director, Alfredo Ricci, arrivals will go on all night long and tomorrow, with the time to finish Monday at midday. In the next few hours it will be possible to draw up the temporary rankings for the overall ORCi winner, to be awarded the Angelo Randazzo Trophy.

The race is organized with the support of the Municipality of Palermo, of the Sicilian Regional Assembly, of the Fondazione Sicilia Foundation, of the partners Conti Tasca d'Almerita and Premiati Oleifici Barbera, and of the technical sponsors Gesap and R. Motor Toyota and Visiva.

All information and race tracker: www.palermo-montecarlo.it/2019/en/index.asp

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