The ACI Company has announced the sale of its Jeanneau one design fleet which made sailing history in Croatia. At the ACI Match Race Cup the Jeanneau 35 sailboats were skippered by some of the best global helmsmen, such as Russell Coutts, Peter Gilmour and Dean Barker
The famous ACI Match Race Cup was one of the strongest Match Race regattas in Europe, with the ACI marina chain creating it in 1987 to increase the popularity of premium sailing on the Adriatic and promote its marinas and business through regattas and the best global skippers. In 1997, at the 11th consecutive ACI Match Race Cup held in Umag, for the first time competitors sailed 12 identical Jeanneau 35 sailboats, which came as the foremost regatta vessels directly from the production line of the renowned French shipyard. That year in Umag Peter Gilmour, the great Australian match race skipper, was the best, and he gladly returned to Croatia many times, tallying five victories – 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997 and 2005 – to become the most successful participant of ACI Cups. But, Gilmour is only one of the world sailing greats who steered ACI’s Jeanneau sailboats of 35 feet in length. At the regattas held mostly in Split or Rovinj, but also in Dubrovnik where the World Match Racing Championship was held, other skippers included Russell Coutts, Dean Barker, Paul Cayard, Chris Dickson, Andy Beadsworth, Philippe Presti, Bertrand Pacé and Johnie Berntsson. Indeed, not many one design fleets in the world were commanded by so any respectable skippers in sailing history.
The last 26th ACI Cup was held in 2012 in Split, with the competition abandoned afterwards, partly due to the crisis in the World Match Racing Tour and growing popularity of other Match Race formats, and partly due to the economic situation in Croatia. The last two years the Jeanneau 35s were sailed at the ACI Cup mostly by Croatian skippers, and the last winner was the best Croatian Match Racer Tomislav Bašić. But, the fleet of 12 Jeanneau sailboats did not stay idle.
“In 2009 the ACI Cres Sailing Center was opened. The sailboats were then relocated to Cres. They were used for the ACI Women & Men Match Race on Cres, for the sailing school and for various kinds of regattas, both sports and business. They are sailboats with excellent technical performance and identical characteristics, but after many years a business decision was made to sell them. However, one Jeanneau One Design 35 sailboat will remain in the ACI fleet,” said Gracia Krainer, public relations manager for ACI.
As we have learned, the previous two sales tenders sold four sailboats. Offers for the remaining ones can be sent by March 9, with all tender conditions found on the website of ACI.