STOP VOTING! TAG Heuer 2014 Sailor of the Year, here are your 5 favorites

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collage-sailorsWith more than 12,000 votes (sic!), the people of the web have spoken: Marta Maggetti, Gilberto Nobili, Andrea Mura, Gaetano Mura, and the Mario Caponnetto/Michele Stroligo pair are your 5 favorite nominations (click on this link to see the results and percentages). From among them, the jury of merit composed of the editorial staff of the Sailing Newspaper along with a pool of journalists and industry professionals) will choose the 2014 TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year. The identity of the winner will be revealed at the “Day of Champions,” Friday, April 11 at the TAG Heuer VELAFestival in Genoa. Three Sardinians (Maggetti and the two Muras) and three Italians who contributed to Team Oracle USA’s resounding victory (Nobili, grinder, and Caponnetto and Stroligo, on the U.S. design team). Let’s get to know them better. You can meet them in person and “pepper” them with questions by coming to the VELAFestival!

RS:X Youth World Championships
MARTA MAGGETTI, 18

WHY WE NOMINATED HER
Alessandra Sensini’s heir is named Marta Maggetti, a young board specialist on the strength of the Windsurfing Club of Cagliari: at age 18, won the world title at the RS:X Youth World Championship in Civitavecchia in October 2013 and took silver at the Under-19 World Championship in Cyprus in July, equaling the result her opponent Veronica Fanciulli had achieved in 2011.

CURRICULUM
The career of Marta Maggetti (born January 10, 1996) is a continuous string of international successes. In 2010 he won world and European Under 15 titles in Techno 293. Things do not change as an Under-17 in 2012: he won both the World Cup in the Netherlands and the European Championship in Spain. In 2013, in addition to silver at the Under-19 Worlds and gold in Civitavecchia, he won the CICO and all major national youth RS:X regattas.

gilberto-noblesGILBERTO NOBILI, 39

WHY WE NOMINATED HIM
In both 2013 and 2010, he won the America’s Cup with Team Oracle as an absolute hero, becoming one of the very few Italians to have won the jug twice. Embarked as a grinder, he does more than just turn winches. A big head, he was instrumental in the creation of Oracle’s wireless navigation software. And to think that until 2001 he was a canoeist!

CURRICULUM
Born in Castelnovo ne’ Monti (Reggio Emilia) on April 29, 1974, Gilberto Nobili was an avid canoeist before being called up in 2001 for a tryout on Luna Rossa. From there he devoted himself to the America’s Cup, as a grinder: two campaigns with Prada in 2003 and 2007, then with Oracle in 2010 and 2013: together with Cico Rapetti (twice victorious over Alinghi) he is one of the few Italians to have lifted the Cup to the sky twice.

andrea-muraANDREA MURA, 49

WHY WE NOMINATED HIM
Andrea Mura, aboard Vento di Sardegna, won in 2013 in real time the OSTAR, one of the toughest transatlantic races ever, and also had the honor of being called to participate in the Transat Jacques Vabre by Breton Gilles Lamiré, with whom he finished third. One of Italy’s most successful solo sailors, he is the epitome of the indefatigable sailor who cannot wait to set out to conquer the oceans.

CURRICULUM
Andrea Mura was born in Cagliari, Italy, on Sept. 13, 1964, and has a long and prestigious sports history: eight years on the FIV National Team, three Olympic campaigns, and one America’s Cup campaign as a mainsail trimmer on the Moro di Venezia. In 2006 he put the Open 50 Vento di Sardegna on the water. In Mura’s sights, among others, were the Route de Rhum, won in 2010, the Two Star and Québec-Saint Malo in 2012, and the Ostar, won in real time in 2013.

gaetano-muraGAETANO MURA, 45

WHY WE NOMINATED HIM
Gaetano authored, along with Sam Manuard, a feat that has the unbelievable. During the Transat Jacques Vabre, aboard his Class 40 Bet1128, he dismasted while sailing upwind at 25 knots. Anyone would have retreated: he did not, and with superhuman strength, he put the mast back up after attaching the halyard of the Code O to the bowsprit, managing to finish 12th!

CURRICULUM
Gaetano Mura was born July 7, 1968, in Cala Gonone, Nuoro. His career at sea began as a deckhand on fishing boats. At the age of 20, he bought a dilapidated 23-meter vintage sailing ship, which he restored and used to make ends meet by doing charters. A self-taught loner, he participated in the 2009 Transat, and in 2012 began operations with the Class 40 BET1128. In 2013 he took part in Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables (third) and Transat Jacques Vabre (12th).

stroligo-caponnetMARIO CAPONNETTO (52) AND MICHELE STROLIGO (30)

WHY WE NOMINATED THEM
Naval architect Mario Caponnetto is on his second victorious stint with Oracle’s design team, where he was considered the top expert in CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics). He was also one of the designers of the wing. His student Michele Stroligo, at 30 years old, is the youngest member of Oracle’s design team: he was in charge of hydrodynamic development and CFD analysis.

CURRICULUM
Genovese, 52, Mario Caponnetto was part of the design team of the Moro di Venezia (1990-92) and Luna Rossa (2007). He then moved on with Oracle, winning two Cups. An avid racer, he won the European 420 in1980.
Born Nov. 1, 1983, in Trieste, Italy, Michele Stroligo hit the jackpot immediately, joining the Oracle USA design team in his first job experience by virtue of an interesting thesis on multihulls.


THE STORY OF THE SAILOR OF THE YEAR

It has been since 1991 that Il Giornale della Vela has organized the most prestigious award given to an Italian sailor. Over the years it has been won by the likes of Paul Cayard, Alessandra Sensini, Giovanni Soldini, Francesco De Angelis, Vasco Vascotto and Vincenzo Onorato. The winners also include prominent names of ocean sailors such as Matteo Miceli, Alessandro Di Benedetto and Marco Nannini. In the last edition to win the TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year was Max Sirena, the Luna Rossa skipper who battled in the waters of San Francisco in the last America’s Cup. You will decide who succeeds him this year.


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