The Evening of Champions, the final act of the TAG Heuer 2022 Sailor of the Year, took place in the heart of Milan, between the Signature Kitchen Suite showroom and the Hotel Manin, with some of the most important names in Italian sailing today, yesterday, and tomorrow. A real catwalk of champions and bigwigs of our sailing, which we tell you about in the photo gallery of the evening.
Conducting the games was sports journalist Mino Taveri, a longtime friend of the Sailor of the Year, in an evening that also had Italian Sailing Federation President Francesco Ettorre among those in attendance, who stepped in for a greeting and comment: “I am glad to be here for this appointment because I see that there is so much passion and there are so many beautiful realities of the sailing world. We come from a period in which we have seen an increase in the number of practitioners of Italian sailing, and we want this enthusiasm to grow further, and certainly the victories of our athletes have contributed“.
One of the most exciting moments of the evening was the presentation of the award Epic Sailor of the Year to Azure, with Riccardo Bonadeo, Mauro Pelaschier, Nico Reggio, Niky Mosca, Chicco Isenburg, to remember those days 40 years ago where the fever for sailing began to infect Italians with the first challenge to the America’s Cup.
There were those who, in order to be at the Evening of Champions, took a dinghy jumping off Maserati, Alberto Riva, to get to Milan and then back to Soldini’s crew in Naples for the Regatta of the Three Gulfs. There was also plenty of future sailing, with the Young category, and the award to innovative start-up Northern Light Composites in the Designer SKS category, two awards that look to the sailing of tomorrow. And there was today’s sailing, with the audience’s Most Voted Francesco Sena the passion of the Owners, declined in various ways, between Ocean, racing between the buoys, and boats for everyone, like those of Gennaro Coretti. And yacht club challenges, with Circolo della Vela Sicilia’s run-up to the America’s Cup.
SEE ALL THE PHOTOS FROM THE NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS
And then there were Caterina Banti, Ruggero Tita and Gabriele Bruni, the winners of the Tag Heuer 2022 Sailor of the Year. The two athletes brought the gold medal in sailing back to Italy, and the coach of the blue team accompanied them to that last regatta that had been bewitched to the blue colors for so many years.
“The medal is an indelible memory, but in this sport you cannot stay looking back, we are already looking ahead to the next goal, the next regatta, because that is the only way to stay competitive,” Ruggero Tita told from the stage of the Evening of Champions.
Gabriele Bruni then told an anecdote: “I had played for an Olympic medal twice, the first time with my brother in 2000 when we came in 49er as favorites but it didn’t go. The second as coach, with Bissaro-Sicouri escaping at the last race. That’s why this one in Tokyo I was feeling it a lot, also because we were also coming in here as favorites, but with silver already mathematically around our necks, we were playing for gold. Everything seemed easy but I know that in these situations, especially on a light windy day, the “catch” is around the corner and I was on my toes. When I got to the hotel at the end of the day, alone, and realized what had happened, I cried for an hour“.
In the story Caterina Banti continued, “We were in the shade on the ground, there was little wind, and Ganga kept saying over and over again “you have to be quiet” (laughs ed.) but we were. Already in the morning he had moved the boat for us to tacks, he wanted us to stay as calm and focused as possible“. Tales from an Evening of Champions, featuring the best of Italian sailing and a long-missing Olympic gold medal.
The Sailor of the‘TAG Heuer Year
The Sailor of the Year is the most prestigious award in Italian sailing, awarded by the Giornale della Vela since 1991 and now in its 31st edition. The 2021 Sailor of the Year was won by Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team.
The 2022 edition consisted of 3 stages: the first was the “charge of the 100” candidates chosen by the Jury. From these, the public voted at http://velistadellanno.giornaledellavela.com/ to choose the three finalists in each category, casting a total of 23,000 preferences.
The second phase was still online, with interviews with the finalists, conducted by Mino Taveri and Ambrogio Beccaria, with contributions from Mauro Giuffrè, aired in the days leading up to the Evening of Champions on the Journal of Sailing’s YouTube channel (you can see them all HERE).
TAG Heuer 2022 Sailor of the Year Partners.
NEVER STILL. AS TIME. TAG Heuer, lo historic Swiss watch brand of the LVMH Group, active in 139 countries, has been the naming partner of the Sailor of the Year since 2013. Its Aquaracer marine timepieces are the “summa” of 160 years of history, research and innovation.
BETTER SAILORS WITH SEABLY. Seably For Leisure is the online training platform for all sea lovers. Seably offers a world of courses for every shipowner. Download Seably’s app and enjoy the best content available for every boater.
“TOP” KITCHENS ARE SKS. Signature Kitchen Suite is the appliance brand from high-end built-in kitchen from LG Electronics, a world leader in consumer electronics. At the SKS Showroom in Milan, the Evening of Champions opened on May 12.