The presentation of the candidates for TAG Heuer 2015 Sailor of the Year continues: in this installment we present in detail all the Italian one-design specialists. Italy each year racks up titles in the one-design classes…
WHAT IS THE SAILOR OF THE YEAR
Here we go. Once again this year the time has come to award the most prestigious prize in Italian sailing. The Sailor of the Year has been awarded since 1991 to the best Italian sailor elected by a web poll that involves thousands of fans in the first phase and is decreed by a jury of quality. And, this year we thought we would involve you even more: never, as in the coming days, it will be your votes that will decide who will be part of the shortlist of candidates for the final victory, among whom will be revealed, at the 2015 TAG Heuer VELAFestival (May 7-10 in Santa Margherita Ligure: find everything about the event here), the TAG Heuer 2015 Sailor of the Year.
THE “MAGNIFICENT HUNDRED”
There are many, deserving sailors who have distinguished themselves through achievements, feats, passion and even patronage. Too many to make a strict initial selection. So, rankings and articles in hand, in the editorial office we took stock of the past season by identifying 100 “nominees” among drifters, specialists in Olympic classes, monotypes, IRC and ORC offshore racing on the vintage sail circuit, sailors and designers. But not only that. Every owner knows that the boat has a soul. So, we said to ourselves, why not treat it as a person? We also created two ad hoc categories related to both offshore and classic winning boats.
HOW IT WORKS.
These days we are presenting to you, category by category, the candidates we selected. Mind you that the categories are only indicative, because this will be a real “cauldron” in which the rule of “all against all” will apply: once the submission of nominations is over, we will go to the votes, and it will be you, with your preference expressed on our site, who will make the subsequent skimming. From 100 there will be 50 left, from 50 25, and so on, until you identify the shortlist of hopefuls whom you can meet in person at the TAG Heuer VELAFestival and among whom a quality jury, made up of the best journalists and sailing professionals, will decide (also taking into account the number of votes you cast) the winner of the TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year 2015.
KNOW IN DETAIL THE CANDIDATES ALREADY SUBMITTED
1- IRC/ORC WINNING OWNERS,
2- THE MARINERS
3- THE DERIVISTS
4- THE WINNING OFFSHORE BOATS
5- THE WINNING VINTAGE BOATS
6- THE DESIGNERS
7- THE “VINTAGE” OWNERS
CANDIDATES ON THE CATWALK – MONOTYPE SPECIALISTS
The J70 is a fledgling monotype class, but it is already a battleground for specialists: the strongest among the Italian team is Carlo Alberini, 53, a helmsman-owner who comes from the Melges 20 world. Aboard Calvi Network, he won the 2014 European (and Italian) title and the Italia Cup.
It was a good season for Gianclaudio Bassetti, a 45-year-old businessman from Abruzzo and owner of the X-41 WB-Five: he won the European class championship, while taking silver at the World Championship. A second place that is a bit “tight” for him, given the rainbow title he won in 2013.
Paolo Bertuzzi, owner of Turboden, is the reigning European Ufo22 Champion: a one-design class that, especially on the lakes, is going places. It is not talked about much, but regulars in the class include Diego Negri and even Russell Coutts. Hats off, then, to Paolo Bertuzzi and his crew.
Tommaso Chieffi is one of the most titled helmsmen in Italy: now he has made the Russians fall in love. Skipper and tactician of Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec, he won the rainbow title at the Swan 60 World Championship. He also won the World X-35 aboard Francesco Conte’s Giochelotta.
The owner of the X-35 Giochelotta won the World Class Championships in San Remo, continuing the long tradition of Italian victories that distinguishes international events featuring Jeppesen’s Danish monotypes.
Melges 24 world champion last February, in the summer winner of the Italian title. And perhaps, more important is the second, for Flavio Favini, 52, who returned to the race courses after a bad domestic accident. Had he not been convalescent, he probably would have participated in the European Championships as well, winning it!
The Italian face-to-face sailing wizard is him, Simone Ferrarese. At the head of the Ferrarese Racing Team, the 25-year-old from Puglia won the European match-race title in Poland (aboard the Tom 28, crewed by Francesco Marrai, Lorenzo De Felice and Andrea Quartulli), demonstrating a coolness and ability to get out of disadvantageous situations worthy of great sailors.
“Spider-Man” (as he is called for his masthead climbs in search of air puffs) strikes again. Michele Ivaldi, class of 1970, has added a rainbow title to his extensive palmares: as a tactician, he won the RC44 World Championship with the Russians of Bronenosec.
Edoardo Lupi went to the home of Melges, the United States, and took a chance on the big one, winning silver at the Melges 32 World Championship in Miami. A second place that is worth gold because it was won in the lair of the … wolf.
The deus ex machina of the Monaco Racing Fleet (which won the third Palermo Monte Carlo in 2014 with the TP52 B2), Guido Miani, is a “racing beast.” He won two legs and the overall standings of the Audi tron Sailing Series Melges 20, as well as taking world bronze in the same class. A mind that can always assemble winning designs.
Apulian star Sandro Montefusco won the World Platu 25, aboard Francesco Lanera’s Euz II Monella Vagabonda, becoming the best ever performer in the category: for Montefusco, in fact, this is the third world class title.
Vincenzo Onorato’s son inherited his father’s great passion for racing: last season for him was silver-tinged, with second place at both the Melges 20 World Championship and the Sailing Series in the same class, aboard Mascalzone Latino jr. Good blood doesn’t lie!
Roberto Spata is not only a great sailor, but he is one of the architects of the revival of minialtura in Italy. You can see him on every kind of boat, as long as it is small: from the Melges 32 (where at the tactician of Spirit of Nerina he won the first of the 2014 Audi tron Sailing Series in Naples) to the H22, from the Surprise to the J/70 passing through a great passion of his: the Fun (at the European he finished fourth and won the Champions Cup at the Interlaghi).
ROBERTO TOMASINI GRINOVER
2014 was a banner year for Roberto Tomasini Grinover of Gorizia, owner of the Robertissima series of boats (including the Melges 32 and Mini Maxi ex-Ran). So many good results, let’s try to summarize some of them: second place in Palmavela, victory at the European Melges 32 won on Lake Garda, victory at the Rolex Volcano Race as part of the Rolex Capri Sailing Week, Giraglia.
Impossible not to include Vasco Vascotto, the most titled Italian sailor of all. Behind Robertissima’s successes is his hand. In 2014 he also finished second in the RC44 world circuit on Peninsula Petroleum. Not counting successes as tactician on the TP52 Azzurra, virtually never outside the top three at the 52 Series. He is perhaps the most multifaceted sailor, able to give his best in any class in which he is engaged.
THE FULL LIST
While we wait to know the story of each of them in detail and the reasons for our candidacy, here is the list of names (strictly in alphabetical order) of the “magnificent hundred,” men and boats:
Achille Onorato, Alberto Bolzan, Alberto Bona, Alberto Rossi, Alberto Simeone, Alessandro Caldari, Alessandro Di Benedetto, Alice Secco/Martina Galvan, Andrea Fornaro, Andrea Mura, Andrea Pendibene, Angry Red Unitenergy (T-34), Antono Squizzato, Baciottinho (Dufour 34 Performance), Black Bull (J-111), Blu Colombre (First 40.7), Carlo Alberini, Carlo Ciabatti, Carlotta Omari/Francesca Russo Cirillo, Carolina Albano, Cippa Lippa (Cookson 50), Daniele Benedetti, Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi, Duvetica White Goose (Arya 415), Edoardo Lupi, Elena Berta/Giulia Paolillo, Elisabetta Fedele, Energy Solution (ILC26), Ettore Botticini/Lorenzo Gennari, Flavia Tartaglini, Flavio Favini, Francesco Conte, Francesco Marrai, Giancarlo Pedote, Gianclaudio Bassetti, Gianluigi Ugolini/Giulio Zizzari, Gianmarco Planchesteiner, Giorgia Speciale, Giovanni Ceccarelli, Giovanni Soldini, Giulia Alagna, Giulia Conti/Francesca Clapcich, Giuseppe Giuffré, Giuseppe Puttini, Globulo Rosso (Este 31), Guido Miani, Il Moro di Venezia (Maxiyacht IOR, 1975), Joyce Floridia, Lanfranco Cirillo, Latifa (Fife, 1936), Low Noise (M37), Luigi Pavese, Marco Gualandris/Marta Zanetti, Marco Rodolfi/Matteo Auguadro, Margherita Porro/Andrea Francesca Dallora, Marino Quaiat, Mario Pirri, Marta Maggetti, Martino Orombelli, Matteo Miceli, Matteo Polli, Mattia Camboni, Maurizio Cossutti, Michele Benamati, Michele Cittadini, Michele Ivaldi, Michele Zambelli, Milù (Mylius 14E55), Namib (Sangermani, 1967), Neo (Neo 400), Nyala (12 M.S.I., 1938), Paolo Bertuzzi, Patrizio Bertelli, Piero Plato, Pietro Bianchi, Riccardo Andrea Leccese, Roberto Biscontini, Roberto Bosi, Roberto Spata, Roberto Tomasini Grinover, Ruggero Lo Mauro, Samurai (Sangermani, 1962), Sandro Montefusco, Selene (Dehler 44), Silvia Zennaro, Simone Ferrarese, Sirius (New York 32, 1937), Stefano Cherin/Andrea Tesei, Studio Nauta, Tommaso Chieffi, Tommaso Fabbri, Tommaso Spadolini, Toni Punzio, Umberto Felci, Valentina Balbi, Valerio Galati, Vasco Vascotto, Vittorio Bissaro/Silvia Sicouri, Vittorio Gallinaro, Wianno (1932).
DO YOU THINK ANYONE IS MISSING AMONG THE IRC/ORC/ALTURA OWNERS? NO FEAR
If you believe that some other name may be part of the shortlist, please do not hesitate to indicate this by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, accompanying it with a photo of the candidate of your choice and the reason for the nomination. We will create a special section of “your picks,” and the top vote-getters will have the right to join the nominees.