The official launch of the FlyingNikka in Punta Ala

3 MIN 4 June 2022

Quick-firing emotions. One thrill after the other. For a launch which is to all extents and purposes a unique event, just like the subject of this christening held at midday today at the Marina di Punta Ala, in the outdoor spaces at the shipyard of the same name.

“I am very proud to officially present the FlyingNikka in Punta Ala, a location that I have a special bond with and set in an exceptional context like the 151 Miglia,”stated Roberto Lacorte, the owner and skipper of this new, incredible full foil racer, but above all the driving force that brought this very ambitious project to life. “Today is a great day for our team, and generally for Italian sailing: we are the first in the world to have imagined and built a boat of this kind, and this gives us great pride and satisfaction. Now it’s time for the fun, we’re ready to see the FlyingNikka fly as she deserves.”

Just under 19 metres long, equipped with T foils, the FlyingNikka is the evolution of the AC75 boats seen in the last America’s Cup, designed for long offshore navigation. 

This is the first racer in the Mini Maxi category sailing in full foil mode, and the first of a new generation of regatta boats that aim to win all the great classic international sailing races in real time, beating the distance records on the most important routes. 

Designed by a team of designers coordinated by the Irishman Mark Mills and built in 8 months at the King Marine shipyard in Valencia, under the supervision of the Project Manager Miguel Costa, the FlyingNikka touched the water on 5 May last for an initial technical launch, followed by a series of sailing tests that confirmed the forecasts for the following day. Indeed, the FlyingNikka’s performance is outstanding, and the Italian boat will be able to tackle long offshore navigations, flying on the foils at a speed of over 40 knots. 

A unique and gripping challenge for the team captained by Roberto Lacorte, who on board will be supported by the Team Manager Alessio Razeto and by Lorenzo Bressani, Enrico Zennaro, Andrea Fornaro and Lorenzo De Felice, who worked previously with Lacorte in the days of the winning SuperNikka. 

“The first tests confirmed that he FlyingNikka is very fast, stable and safe. Obviously we still have a lot of work to do in order to be able to exploit her huge potential to the full, but the starting point is exceptional, we are very satisfied with the work done by the team of designers led by Mark Mills and the King Marine shipyard,” Lacorte concluded. 

Very many people took part in today’s launch ceremony, led by Carlo Genta, speaker and journalist from Radio24, with other illustrious guests including the Chairman of the Italian Sailing Federation Francesco Ettorre, the Head of GT Sports Activities at Ferrari, Antonello Coletta, the businessman, Carlo Puri Negri, and the Mayor of Castiglione della Pescaia, Elena Nappi.  

Playing host was the Chairman of the Marina di Punta Ala, Roberto Fusco, the Punta Ala Costa Etrusca shipyard owner, Fabrizio Sonnini, and Alessandro Masini, Chairman of YC Punta Ala, the club that with the YC Repubblica Marinara di Pisa will be supporting the FlyingNikka.  

After the ritual blessing and the presentation of the crew and shore team, at 2 pm the godmother of the ceremony, Luisa Cognetti, co-owner of the FlyingNikka with her husband Roberto, broke the bottle with the first hit, officially launching the adventure of this super-revolutionary boat, which then gave a great performance on a trip along the coast of Punta Ala. 

A few minutes earlier, the audience watched a trailer of the film on the FlyingNikka, which will be published online at the end of the month after an official presentation we will be talking about in the next few days.  

We should remember that the FlyingNikka can count on the partners North Sails for the sails, B&G for the on-board electronics and Montura as supplier of the official clothing. Main sponsor of the campaign is Cetilar® a brand of the PharmaNutra pharmaceutical company, already involved in the world of sport in various disciplines, with its Cetilar Racing division, successfully engaged in motorsport and in the growth of young athletes with the Cetilar Academy program.  

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