Alla grande-Pirelli is ready to set sail

The new boat by Ambrogio Beccaria was presented in Genoa. The skipper from Milan illustrates its features and life on board, in preparation for the historic Route Du Rhum

Home race Alla grande-Pirelli is ready to set sail
Alla grande-Pirelli is ready to set sail

“Parked” on the quay at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa, the Alla Grande-Pirelli immediately captures the attention of those who came to find out all about it in person. About 12.19 metres long and 4.50 metres wide, it can be described as a safe, top-performing and simple boat marked by power and control. A philosophy that fits in perfectly with its main and lead sponsor, Pirelli. After months of studies, simulations and hard work, Ambrogio Beccaria's Class 40 is ready to set sail. The first challenge? One of the best known solo transatlantic regattas: the Route du Rhum, departing on 6th November.

Life on board the Alla Grande-Pirelli

Passion and enthusiasm are the foundation pillars on which the project was built and now the boat that Ambrogio Beccaria had always dreamed of has become a reality. Seeing it on the water is a great thrill and even more so is the curiosity of getting on board and unveiling its secrets. Technical features aside, the absence of a proper cabin and toilet is striking. “Compared to the mini 6.50, where you are always wet, I will be much higher on the water here. We studied a fully protected outdoor cockpit, where I can rest. To sleep, we have a pouf that should cushion the knocks from the waves”, Ambrogio explains. As far as food is concerned, the boat's menu offers, in addition to the supplies of freeze-dried food, a galley consisting mainly of pasta and rice, to be cooked in a pressure cooker. So not too bad, then. However, alcohol and coffee are banned, while chocolate is only allowed in small quantities. Sleep is also in restricted supply; specifically, they get to sleep every 20 minutes, a way of resting very similar to that of animals.

A sustainable and innovative boat

A focus on the environment is a very important aspect for the Alla Grande – Pirelli, which is powered by renewable energy, producing water with a watermaker which in turn is powered by energy produced by solar panels. The use of disposable plastic will be limited to a minimum and the few plastic objects are reusable. In addition, the composites of Northern Light Composite have been used: a linen fibre and a thermosetting, recyclable resin, ultra-low environmental impact materials from which elements such as the bow and stern hatches and the instrument panel were built. The solar panels, developed in partnership with Solbian, are mounted on the deck and connected to the on-board electrical system, through MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracker) charge controllers that can optimise the charge as much as possible. 

“This is a boat packed with creativity, technology and passion. A fascinating boat, which is highly intriguing since it experiments with innovative design solutions that often stem from Ambrogio’s experience at sea. The Alla Grande presents itself to sailing enthusiasts as a challenge within a challenge, which is also why Pirelli so enthusiastically climbed on board. This daring spirit is complemented by Ambrogio's commitment, determination and expertise, as well as the professionalism of the team and the shipyard. An excellent mix that will lead to important results and which, because of the characteristics it shows, will draw the attention of a much wider audience that is attracted both by the sporting challenge and by the taste of adventure typical of solo undertakings”, explains Pirelli Executive Vice President and CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera, present at the boat's début.

Towards the Route du Rhum 

A spectacular route: 3,542 miles from Saint-Malo, Brittany, to Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe with just one big jump. It is called the Route du Rhum, one of the most important and harshest regattas in the world. Over the next few days, Ambrogio will sail towards the Atlantic to complete the necessary qualifications before his departure. The famous solo trans-ocean regatta makes it mandatory for all competitors to have travelled at least 1200 miles alone. Ambrogio will depart from Lisbon next 25th September and head towards Lorient, in Brittany, via the Azores Islands. The solo navigation will take about one week.

Created in 1978, the Route du Rhum is the most important high-seas sailing event after the Vendée Globe. Various Italian navigators – Giovanni Soldini, Giancarlo Pedote, Andrea Fantini – have undertaken it, but no professional has ever won it before. There will be a total of 138 vessels at the next edition of the Route du Rhum 2022, of which 52 Class40, the class with most participants.

The début of the SanGiorgio Marine shipyard

Construction of the Class 40 Alla Grande - Pirelli took place in the newborn SanGiorgio Marine shipyard owned by Edoardo Bianchi, formerly project manager of Persico Marine in the construction of the Luna Rossa foiling boats and himself an Olympic sailor. “To date, the oceanic tradition has had almost a single point of construction reference”, explains Bianchi, “namely the Breton shipyards: the great challenge faced by the “Alla grande” is therefore to bring Italy to the fore, also in the field of ocean sailing. That is why I am very proud of Ambrogio's decision. It means choosing not only Italian excellence in terms of design and style, but also in construction terms, with the involvement of a Genoa shipyard. Finally we can sail the value of made in Italy around the oceans”.

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