“Our” Barcolana: GdV’s behind-the-scenes look at it in Trieste


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Evening on Trieste's shores: the boat is the Italia Yachts 13.98 Take Five, one of four that will participate in the regatta under the auspices of the TAG Heuer VELAFestival
Evening on Trieste’s shores: the boat is the Italia Yachts 13.98 Take Five, one of four that will participate in the regatta under the auspices of the TAG Heuer VELAFestival

Screenshot 2014-10-08 at 1:37:32 p.m.To truly understand what it means to live for sailing you have to go to Trieste. This year we are present at the Barcolana with our stand on land (by the way, come visit us along the piers, we are at number 35)…and at sea: aboard the four boats we prepared for all the participants (so many: 36!) in our TAG Heuer VELAFestival initiative at the Barcolana. I arrived in the Julian capital yesterday and was amazed like a child to see the road sign welcoming those arriving in the city: “Welcome to Trieste, the city of the Barcolana.” In fact, the regatta is the most important event ever for Trieste: I walk into a downtown bar (beautiful, Central European) and flip through “Il Piccolo.” Thirty pages dedicated to Barcolana number 46 and all its events!

Paul Rizzi

In any case, I have to forcibly distract myself from the beauty around me and go along with editor Luca Oriani to the Ex Pescheria in Riva Nazario Sauro, where he and I take part in a meeting where we talk about Trieste and ocean sailing: there is the ever-present Mauro Pelaschier (he will be the judge of the quiz that at the TAG Heuer Hospitality/Sailing Newspaper Mauro Pelaschier will test our 36 guests and decree the winner of a fantastic TAG Heuer Aquaracer chronograph), Stefano Spangaro and Paolo Rizzi: the latter we nicknamed “mister 200 thousand miles” because he has scampered the oceans far and wide, both for regattas (just to name one: in 1985 he participated in the Portofino-New York, the “Brooklyn Cup,” in doubles with his mother) and for sailing and transfers. And he was also shipwrecked while aboard his New Optimist 38 “Vento Fresco” and remained on the life raft seven days in 1993 before being fished out by a freighter.

Meanwhile, yesterday the Extreme 40s were starring: I didn’t have time to take pictures but one of the greatest “lenses” in sailing, Carlo Borlenghi, took care of that. An example? Enjoy this shot!

Barcolana 2014

The ritual selfie in the Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia
The ritual selfie in the Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia

After an evening spent setting up the booth, we relaxed with beer and sausages in a German pub, and today (as evidenced by Tommaso Oriani’s face and mine) we are supercharged. Today will see the staging of the Barcolana CHALLENGE – Medot Trophy, or the “regatta of the best,” a regatta where the class winners of the past edition will compete on equal terms on boats provided by the Este24 Class Association. Three scheduled regattas in one day and the gauntlet is thrown down. The regatta is held not far from the Shores, at the entrance to the San Giusto Basin, with a grand finale at night. I will also have the opportunity to try the very fast Stream 40, winner of last Barcolana in the 2 Cruise class.

Eugene Ruocco



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