Your participation in voting for the TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year, the most coveted award in Italian sailing put up for grabs since 1991, reached a record high in this edition: during the first two rounds of selection, where from a “shortlist” of 100 candidates, including boats, both vintage and modern, we got down to 25 (where your vote was binding) and in the last round (where instead the preferences had an advisory value and were used by the Jury of the Journal of Sailing to determine the final five candidates from which the Sailor of the Year will be elected) we recorded a total of 37,000 votes on our site. Now it is time to unveil the top five names and boats vying for the title and whom you will be able to meet in person at the Day of Champions on Friday, May 8 at VELAFestival.
FIND OUT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ARTICLE HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GRAND EVENING OF CHAMPIONS, FRIDAY, MAY 8 AT THE VELAFESTIVAL IN SANTA MARGHERITA LIGURE
THE FIVE CANDIDATES CHOSEN BY THE JURY
It must be said that the jury had it easy this year: the guidance you gave us with your votes in the final round was a great help. And so, the jurors’ choice fell on five names that, given the voting pattern, enjoyed the favor of the oddsmakers.
THE FLYING ENGINEERS
They could not miss the “flying engineers” Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri, the strongest Italian drifters of the moment, specialists in the Nacra 17 Olympic catamaran: data in hand, given also their recent victory at the Miami leg of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, which they also won last year (and the fact that they alternate, with their French rivals Besson-Riou, at the top of the world ranking list) they are the most concrete Italian medal hope ahead of the Rio 2016 Games. And the color could be golden.
ROBERTO “CATCHER” TOMASINI GRINOVER
Roberto Tomasini Grinover has been an incredible success with the public, racking up the votes in all three “election” rounds: the owner of the successful Robertissima series of boats (including the Melges 32 that you will be able to admire at the VELAFestival and the Mini Maxi ex-Ran II) has been coming off a banner sailing year.
In 2014 Robertissima III participated in the IMA circuit for the first time, achieving a second place in Palmavela, victory in the Volcano Race, Rolex Capri Sailing Week and the Giraglia Rolex Cup. In the second half of the season, Robertissima III’s palmares grew again with the second place at the Mini Maxi World Championship and with another prestigious victory this time at the regattas de Le sVoiles de Saint Tropez. In 2014, also in St. Tropez, Robertissima III won Rothschild Trophy and Boat of the Week title. Also in 2014, Tomasini won the
Melges 32 European Championship
in Riva del Garda.
THE BOAT THAT GETS BETTER AS IT GETS OLDER
The bid for Il Moro di Venezia I, the first in the series of boats made famous by Raul Gardini and which made Italian sailing history, also had a large following. The 20-meter designed by German Frers in 1975, now owned by Massimiliano Ferruzzi, has achieved many notable results in recent years (triumphant in vintage circuits, gold at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez). Like good wine, Il Moro improves with age.
THE WIZARD OF ORC
Giuseppe Giuffré is a true legend in the ORC: last year, on his MC37 Low Noise (which he has now abandoned for the Italy 9.98 Low Noise II, with which he is again winning everything), he won both the European and the World Offshore Championships. Similar results made him “uncludable,” plus he received a lot of votes from the public. He also won the Tigullio Invernale, the Alassio International Week, Pasquavela, the Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean National Championships.
THE MOST “ECO” SAILOR THERE IS
Last but not least Matteo Miceli. The Roman yachtsman narrowly failed to complete his nonstop, solo circumnavigation in total energy and food autonomy, but he succeeded in his quest to prove that zero-impact sailing is possible and garnered the esteem of all the sailing people: he sailed 145 sailing days and 25 thousand miles! By the way, Miceli will be the protagonist of a meeting (also in the Hospitality area) on May 8 at 4:30 p.m.: Matteo will tell us about his adventure and for the occasion he will show a film about the “eco” world tour.
AND THE WINNER IS…
Which, of them, will be elected TAG Heuer 2015 Sailor of the Year? You will find out at the Evening of Champions on Friday, May 8 during the VELAFestival in Santa Margherita Ligure, starting at 7 p.m.. On the event stage in the Hospitality area, together with Mediaset journalist (and passionate sailor) Mino Taveri, the award ceremony will take place. We will also find out who, among them, will win the other three prizes up for grabs: TAG Heuer Innovation, Passion and Performance.
BUT IT DIDN’T END THERE…
This year the TAG Heuer VELAFestival Grand Prize, reserved for prominent Italian sailing personalities (last year it was the turn of the Malingri family) will be awarded (again during the Evening of Champions) to Luca Bassani, founder and president of Wally Yachts. An economics graduate, he has changed the way of sailing: that “easy sailing” that is now so fashionable even among standard cruising boats takes its cue from boats launched by his yard back in the 1990s. Bassani was the first to understand the importance (and the power) and to pose the problem of ease of boat handling, even of significant size, arriving at innovative technological solutions. There will be more surprises during the Evening of Champions, we don’t want to reveal everything!