Andrea Mura accuses: ‘Sardinia Region abandoned me, Vendée Globe at risk’


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Everything seemed fine. Andrea Mura at Vendée Globe, the round-the-world nonstop solo sailing race, challenging the greats of ocean sailing and aboard a superboat. Carrying with him the name of Italy and that of his homeland, Sardinia. Instead. Yesterday, the sailor urgently convened a press conference to raise the cry of alarm. It appears that the Region of Sardinia has backed out and does not want/can’t sponsor Andrea Mura’s project, effectively jeopardizing the possibility of his participation in the Vendée.

We reached Mura by phone to have all the background explained to us and found out that the situation, in fact, is even more complex.

“The region abandoned me on two fronts. The first is the one related to the promise of funding for my entire 2014 campaign, culminating with my participation in the Route du Rhum. They dragged it out, and in the end they withdrew the resolution, denying me the promised 300,000 euros. Result? I sponsored the Region of Sardinia at my own expense for all of 2014.”

Then the other lunge:

“For the 2016 Vendée we had a dialogue, everything seemed okay. We are talking about an event with very high media resonance, with two million spectators at the start in Les Sables d’Olonne alone, so the region would have had every interest in participating as a partner: in the meantime, my team and I had found other sponsors, including Ubiquity, who allowed me to build the new IMOCA 60. And now he has withdrawn this resolution as well, leaving me in the lurch. They say sponsorships are outlawed, but in the meantime 900,000 euros to support Dinamo Sassari, the basketball team, the Region of Sardinia has pulled it out.”

A few hours before the press conference, Mura is hopeful: “Without the help of institutions, I will hardly be able to complete the budget to participate in the Vendée Globe. At the conference they will present me with the guidons of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the Yach Club Porto Rotondo-I will run for them, so that I will be the face of a big team. A team of sailors, hoping to raise awareness of the importance of sailing as a vehicle for communication. Because, if the law does not allow sponsorship, there are many other legal ways to help a project (for example, putting up booths from the region in Le Havre, where I will leave for the Transat Jacques Vabre, the first race in my program, and in Itajaì, at the finish line). I mean, I still don’t understand why they don’t want to help me, but I’m desperate.”



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