“Our” Barcolana – Sailing is the best social glue

barcolana-usBarcolana dress rehearsal. Tomorrow it’s off, and this morning the 49 participants in the initiative promoted by TAG Heuer and the Journal of Sailing through which they take part in the Trieste classic – 36 guests and 13 owners and skippers on four boats – went out to sea for their first tests and to get to know each other. I was really curious to get on board one of these boats because I have long argued that the boat is the most effective of social glues, and I wanted to see my thesis borne out in the field. “There are people coming from all over Italy (Palermo people coming from Slovakia, Milanese, Padua people, Marche people), nobody knows each other,” I said to myself, “let’s see if they mix in a few hours.” So I snuck in on the Italia Yachts 13.98 with skipper Giango Tadini (ORC Italian Champion this year on the Dufour 34 “Baciottinho”) aboard, filling my mouth with a title that is very fashionable today, complicit with the Volvo Ocean Race: “Media Crew Member.” The other boats, for the record, were “captained” by Alessandro Zamagna, Maurizio Vettorato and Simone Gesi.

Giango Tadini (in blue) gives lessons to the Take Five crew.
Giango Tadini (in blue) gives lessons to the Take Five crew.

We go out into the becalmed, when the wind reaches 2 knots it is a miracle. Giango and Brenno, the coxswain, go to great lengths to bring the boat up to speed. The crew is continually stimulated: the lazy ones are “poked” in a friendly manner, with each mistake it is explained to those who made a mistake what they did wrong, and slowly the initial shyness gives way to the typical goliardia of sailing. The wind rises a little. The upwind becomes fun, the downwind even more so with the crew improving minute by minute and acquiring a maneuvering ability that allows “Take Five,” this is the name of the 13.98, to skim the Trieste shores under spinnaker, zigzagging through the myriad of boats in the sea, from the 1960s mudscraper to the very fast Extreme 40. If the parabola of improvement continued steadily, the boys aboard could easily sail out of Taranto harbor on the Amerigo Vespucci, on par with Agostino Straulino!

We return to land after a good sail, call each other by name and arrange a nice glass of white wine (my thesis is confirmed, then). Waiting for the big quiz that will soon involve all TAG Heuer VELAFestival participants at the Barcolana
: at 5:30 p.m. at the joint booth of TAG Heuer and Journal of Sailing written test and technical test to win a beautiful Tag Heuer Aquaracer watch. Outstanding judge: the great Mauro Pelaschier.

Eugene Ruocco



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