Sailing is looking to the future, to on-board automation, easy sailing, electric propulsion, and environmental sustainability. But the hearts of many enthusiasts are still bound with love and passion to vintage sails. A great opportunity to admire these wonderful “ladies of the sea” up close and see them race in all their splendour is the Tre Golfi Sailing Week, a historic competition staged from May 14-21 in the gulfs of Naples, Salerno and Gaeta.
This year the Tre Golfi race, the highlight of this sailing event now in its 67th edition, has become the Tre Golfi Classic and is also open to entries from the historic boats that have made it such a success since the 1950s. Back then the “Genovesi”, as the owners who raced under the Yacht Club Italiano banner were affectionately known, would come down to the South and win everything: real time, handicap time and the overall classification. Boats like Carlo Azelio Ciampi’s Miranda IV (1955), Franco Mazzucchelli’s Nina II (1956), Giacomo Bruzzo’s Pazienza (1957), Italo Monzino’s Mait II (1958) and Pietro Sada’s Prima Stella (1959). It is the photograph of an era: Northern Italy had already opened up to the high seas under the expert guidance of Beppe Croce; in the South, on the other hand, the Neapolitan clubs concentrated almost exclusively on Olympic and metric classes.
Opening the 67th Tre Golfi to vintage boats is a tribute to the pioneers of today’s offshore races, many of which are still sailing in perfect condition, demonstrating the quality that Italian boatbuilding could express. But there is also a desire to return to the fruitful sporting brotherhood that for many years united Ligurian and Campania yachting.
This is why the announcement of the Tre Golfi 2022 includes a “wild card” for all boats registered with the AIVE that have won at least one edition of the competition in the 1950s and 1960s. “We are well aware of the difficulties faced by those who come from afar,” say the organizers, “but we want to make life easy for owners. So we guarantee qualified technical assistance (Antico Cantiere del Legno Aprea is our technical partner), mooring for a week in Sorrento at a discounted flat rate and full cooperation of our logistic secretariat for transport, hotels and anything else”.
For vintage boats, the route is shortened, going around Ventotene instead of Ponza, saving about 50 miles. And to get an idea of how it is possible to sail a vintage boat and cover 150 miles to go from Naples to Capri, we invite you to read this vintage report by Carlo de Zerbi from “Yachting Italiano, 1954”:
“Yachts sail along Posillipo and Marechiaro, cross the Gulf of Pozzuoli and the Procida Channel, where the town looks like a small multicoloured nativity scene. They skirt below Ischia and then head for the island of Ponza in the Gulf of Gaeta. Having rounded the massive cliff of Madonna della Guardia, the western coast is rocky, wild, bristling with rocks and stacks as far as the island of Zannone. Having turned around Ponza, you have to go around the island of Gallo, in the Gulf of Salerno, near Positano, to finally head for Capri. The course offers, among other things, the possibility of running under all speeds, from the spinnaker to the narrowest upwind, and the boats have the opportunity to pull out of their bags and unfurl to the wind all the headsails with which they are equipped, whether they are made of Dacron or simple Makò. My boat Miranda III, an 8 metre I.S.I. converted to RORC Class I, first both in real time and on handicap, had the opportunity to change headsails 12 times in 39 hours”.
Tre Golfi Sailing Week is one of the most popular and crowded competitions on the Italian racing calendar and has always attracted the best in international sailing. It is organised from 14th to 21st May in Sorrento by Circolo Remo e Vela Italia, in collaboration with Yacht Club Italiano, Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia, IMA, ORC, UVAI, AIVE, and under the aegis of FIV. Tre Golfi Sailing Week comprises four high-profile events: the 67th Tre Golfi race, the first Maxi European Championship, the Mediterranean Orc Championship and the Tyrrhenian National Championship. The Maxi yachts will be hosted at the main pier of the enchanting Marina Piccola in Sorrento, while the ORCs will be at the marina of the picturesque village of Piano di Sorrento: two unforgettable settings also for the social events that will welcome the crews.
In order to facilitate participants in the Tre Golfi Sailing Week, registration and documentation can be found exclusively online at www.tregolfisailingweek.com, while the event secretariat is also available to help crews find the best logistical accommodation. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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