Learn about the TAG Heuer VELAFestival skippers at the Barcolana

BarcolanaScreenshot 2014-10-08 at 1:37:32 p.m.We are there now. We are very close to the start of Barcolana number 46, October 10-12. We will also be there, along with you, at the great celebration of Trieste sailing. Aboard the four boats we have prepared for all participants in our TAG Heuer VELAFestival initiative at the Barcolana will be as many exceptional skippers. We present them to you!


Mini Transat, Simone GesiBorn in Follonica on September 29, 1969, did my military service in the Navy at the La Spezia Sailing Section as bowman of Bellatrix, a One Tonner helmed by Vasco Vascotto. Over the years, he has raced extensively, including winning the World Sailing Championships Quarter Ton on “Jonathan VI” with Vascotto, Paoletti, Favretto and Tosi, the Nioularge on the bow of Flica 2 with Enrico Chieffi at the helm, and counts a 3rd place at the Tour of Italy in Sailing on Friuli Albatros with Stefano Rizzi and Vasco Vascotto in ’93 and winning the Volvo Cup leg in Punta Ala with Lorenzo Bressani at the helm. Between 2008 and 2009 he traveled more than 5,000 miles together with Dagada, his Mini 6.50 Tip Top. In order to gain admission to the 2009 Transat 6.50, he had to travel 1,000 miles solo and obtain “points” by participating in world-class regattas. September 2008 saw the debut at the Mini Empuries, a 200-mile doubles regatta: it was immediately an excellent third place. In 2009, he graduated Italian Champion of the Mini 6.50 Class, then managed to participate in the Mini Transat. His philosophy? “Sailing solo requires a great deal of discipline and self-knowledge, to know when to speed up and push the boat to its limits and when it is time to pull the handbrake. Because the only thing that matters during a solo Atlantic crossing is getting the boat across the ocean and being mindful that the sea and wind are always stronger than us“.


Alessandro can boast twenty years of experience in the world of major offshore racing and sailing in small crews of only two people. He has significant knowledge of everything related to rigging, equipment, and shipboard facilities, experience gained in part through his role as master of vessels of all types and sizes. Alessandro is part of the Sea Master team and is the instructor at the Rimini base.

– 24 years of offshore and coastal racing on cabin cruisers in small 2-person crews
– 1 crewed Atlantic crossing
– 1 solo Atlantic crossing on minitransat 6.50
– 14 years of charters in Italy, Croatia, France, Spain and Ionian Greece
– 4 years of leadership on “Goletta Verde” Cattolica
– countless sail and motor transfers throughout the Mediterranean
– construction and maintenance of composite sailing cabin cruisers

vettoratoHe is from Bolzano and started out as an extreme mountaineer. He participated in many non-European expeditions, conquering some of the world’s highest peaks. He opens together with his wife and some companions, climbing routes both in Europe and on other continents, some of them even still unrepeated. He competes in numerous national and world sport climbing championships. He obtains the qualification of National Instructor of different mountain disciplines such as free climbing, ski mountaineering, ice and National Instructor of the Italian Sport Climbing Federation. He earns diplomas as an Athletic Trainer. He also participates in numerous internships on the methodologies of ‘nutrition applied to sports. In 1997 he decided to transfer all his sporting experience and deep determination to the field of sailing quickly achieving excellent results, participating with some of the most important teams in numerous national and international regattas, both long and stick. After racing with many external Teams, he decided to create his own to participate in one of the most challenging and impressive transoceanic races, the Transat 650, with one of the most fascinating boats in many ways: the fantastic Mini 6.50s. During 2006 he achieved excellent results and was proclaimed Italian Champion. During 2007 he raced in the Italian Grand Prix in tandem with Giovanni Soldini aboard ITA 623 SpazioLibero. Then he participated with gardening legend Giulio Comboni alongside him in the TreContinenti, a race from Marseilles to Alexandria, Egypt, 1700 miles. And finally the Transat 650, Queen of solo ocean races 4200 miles running from Brittany to Brazil, during which Maurizio unfortunately suffered an accident that compromised the final result.”What matters is getting to the finish line, having realized that you are richer inside and loving life more than before!” said Mauritius as soon as he landed in Bahia.

GiangoHe has been sailing for as long as he can remember; after all the way in the world of dinghies, he threw himself into the offshore, before discovering a love for monotypes: Beneteau 25 (finishing third at the 2004 Italian Championship), H22 (with a second place at the 2007 European Capionato) and Melges 24. From singlehandedness he returned to the world of offshore racing, first as a mainsail trimmer on Jeronimo J133, aboard which he won Alassio Week two years in a row and took second place overall at the 2008 Giraglia. Since then he has been, and still is, the tactician of Baciottinho, the Dufour 34 with which he has just become ORC Italian Champion. Still on Baciottinho, he also won two Alassio weeks, a Giraglia and counts a second place in Les Voiles de St Tropez.




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