TAG Heuer 2015 Sailor of the Year: the best of Olympic sailing

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Olympic_classes_beesThe presentation of the 2015 TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year nominees continues: in this latest installment we present in detail the nominees who held high the blue colors in the Olympic 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
8- THE MONOTYPE SPECIALISTS

CANDIDATES ON THE CATWALK – THE OLYMPIC DRIFTERS
balbiVALENTINA BALBI
Valentina Balbi, a Yacht Club Italiano athlete class of 1996, is one of the most promising Laser Radial athletes: in 2014 she won the national youth title while at the world championships she had to “settle” for a sixth place.

blessedDANIELE BENEDETTI
If any athlete will be able to participate in the 2016 Rio Olympics in men’s RS:X, we owe it to Lazio’s Daniele Benedetti, 19, who qualified the nation. His determination is enviable: an Olympic campaign is expensive, so together with his colleague and lifelong friend Mattia Camboni, he decided to launch a web crowdfunding effort to be able to afford it.

Italian Olympic Classes Championship 2014 - Marina di Loano 9-12ELENA BERTA/GIULIA PAOLILLO
After Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol dropped out of the 470, Italy risked a gap in this Olympic class: they are raising hopes for Roman Elena Berta and Giulia Paolillo, 22 and 23, 2014 Italian champions, always well placed at the ISAF World Cup and the only Italian team to enter the gold fleet at the World Cup.

bissaro-sicouriVITTORIO BISSARO/SILVIA SICOURI
Vittorio and Silvia (27 and 26) are 2014’s biggest surprise in Olympic sailing. ISAF rankings in hand, they are, for now, the strongest athletes in the world on the new mixed class of Nacra 17 catamarans. They are our most concrete medal hope in Rio 2016.

RS:X Youth World ChampionshipsMATTIA CAMBONI
Here he is, the friend-rival of the aforementioned Benedetti, who is also in the running for Rio 2016: for Mattia Camboni, 2014 brought world youth RS:X silver. For the young phenom born in 1996, this is the second world medal after the gold he won in 2013.

cherin-teseiSTEFANO CHERIN/ANDREA TESEI
Has the Italian 49er finally found Sibello heirs? Perhaps so, with Stefano Cherin and Andrea Tesei, best Italians at the Olympic Classes World Championships in Santander and since then main candidates for Rio 2016.

citizensMICHELE CITIZENS
Michele Cittadini, 17, is the Italian Youth RS:X Champion: to be watched, he has always done and is doing very well. Last summer he won bronze at the European Youth Championships.

ISAF SAILING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - SANTANDER 8-21 SEPTEMBER 2014GIULIA CONTI/FRANCESCA CLAPCICH
After many “near-goals” on the 470, Giulia Conti (class of 1985) has decided to start again on the 49er FX with a new partner, Francesca Clapcich, a Laser specialist. Right choice: third place at the World Olympic Classes and consistently top results in international regattas nominate them as potential medalists in Rio 2016.

joyce floridiaJOYCE FLORIDIA
We have to put a lot of trust in this Veronese girl born in 1994, a fresh acquisition of the Yellow Flames. In 2014 she finished fifth at the Laser Radial under-21 World Championships, as well as winning the Italian U21.

gualandris zanettiMARCO GUALANDRIS/MARTA ZANETTI
Paralympic sailing is finally gaining the importance it deserves in Italy as well. And with it, come results, such as the excellent world bronze won by Marco Gualandris and Marta Zanetti among the Skud 18s.

marta maggettiMARTA MAGGETTI
For Marta Maggetti, now 19, the Olympic dream begins in RS:X. Meanwhile, last year he won bronze at the World Youth Championship. Some have called her the heir to Alessandra Sensini. Marta is so strong.

marraiFRANCESCO MARRAI
Francesco Marrai of Pisa is no longer a promise in the Laser: at 21 years old, he continues to place in the top positions of all ISAF international events, is Italian Standard champion, and, when he is not aboard his Laser, wins every match-race event he takes part in. More than a hope for Rio 2016.

squizzatoANTONIO SQUIZZATO
The strongest, in Italy is him. Antonio Squizzato, a specialist in the 2.4 mR Paralympic class, won bronze at the European Championships in Valencia in the fall, and dominated at the CICO in Loano in his category, becoming national champion for the second year in a row.

tartagliniFLAVIA TARTAGLINI
Looking at the ISAF World Ranking List of the women’s RS:X, Flavia Tartaglini from Rome towers in first place. She whom Alessandra Sensini herself has designated as her heir is not disappointing expectations: Rio 2016 is not far off…

zennaroSILVIA ZENNARO
Thanks to her results, chioggio’s Silvia Zennaro, 25, qualified the nation for Rio in the Laser Radial class. The path is arduous, but the Venice Sailing Company athlete, the reigning Italian champion, is the most likely candidate to represent us.

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 speciali@panamaeditore.it, 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.

FIND OUT WHAT THE SAILOR OF THE YEAR IS
FIND OUT WHO WILL BE HONORED
DISCOVER THE DAY OF CHAMPIONS

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