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, starting from today, we will present 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.
CANDIDATES ON THE CATWALK – IRC/ORC AND OFFSHORE SHIPOWNERS
Let’s start by introducing the first names, those of the shipowners who have distanced themselves the most, this year in Offshore, IRC, ORC but not only.
GIUSEPPE GIUFFRÉ – 73 YEARS OLD
Giuseppe Giuffré, this year, achieved the one-two punch dreamed of by every shipowner by winning both the World (Class C) that the European ORC (Class B) with his M37 Low Noise (helmsman Duccio Colombi, tactician Lorenzo Bodini). But the Lombardi publisher (and Cavaliere del Lavoro) is one who loves a challenge. “Tired” of winning everything, he decided to challenge himself again by purchasing the new Low Noise, an Italia Yachts Custom 9.98. Will he be able to replicate his many successes? Meanwhile, he was elected by the UVAI Shipowner of the Year 2014…
PIERO PLATO – 42 YEARS OLD
It is by no means easy to win the Italian Offshore Championship, the national circuit that brings together the fourteen most important offshore regattas on the calendar and has involved more than 360 boats. Piero Plato, a Genoese owner of the J-111 Black Bull, a long experience as a miner behind him, succeeded. And almost always minists are his crewmates. Put many loners together, team up, and win.
MARINO QUAIAT – 49 YEARS OLD
Marino Quaiat is the owner of the RC44 Illyteca. The owner of Quaiat Yard kept the whole of Trieste in suspense when, at the last Barcolana, he came close to winning in real time by breaking the Slovenian domination of Esimit Europa II. The Trieste “almost hero” still accomplished a feat for the annals, beating giant boats almost three times as long.
ALBERTO ROSSI – 55 YEARS OLD
With the 2014 ORC World Championship win in Kiel, there are three in Class A. Three times, Alberto Rossi from Ancona, owner of the TP52 Enfant Terrible, has held the rainbow title (the other times were in 2011 and 2012). An avid racer, Rossi also took home bronze this year at the Farr 40 World Championship in San Francisco (gold in 2013 in Newport).
MARTIN OROMBELLI – 60 YEARS OLD
The likeable Milanese shipowner, helmsman of the Swan 42 Mandolino, is a true team builder, great at managing and organizing his crew: in just one year (in fact, he bought Mandolino in 2013) Orombelli has made giant strides by triumphing at the two most important offshore races in the Tyrrhenian Sea in 2014, the 151 Miglia and the Giraglia.
MARCO RODOLFI/MATTEO AUGUADRO – 50 YEARS/38 YEARS OLD
Milanese, born in 1965, Marco Rodolfi is probably the most multifaceted shipowner on the Italian scene. He started on the Lasers, then switched to the Soling, He has many ARCs behind him (the last one just this year, closed in third place overall with his Swan 80 Berenice), he finished second at the 2014 Rolex Swan Cup in Porto Cervo, but his best is when paired with titled sailor Matteo Auguadro, aboard the Class 40 TWT Ucomm. This year the two won the Five Hundred in real and finished second in the Two Hundred.
LANFRANCO CIRILLO – 55 YEARS OLD
An architect from Treviso, he is a true archistar in Russia. In Italy, however, he is known as a “sailing patron”: in fact, he is the deus ex machina of the Fantastica Sailing Team, the team that gathers young and old with important goals, such as winning an Olympic medal (in the Finn class, or among the Nacra 17). He offered Giancarlo Pedote his Class 40, with which the Florentine sailor took part in the Route du Rhum. His appeal, made to “fellow” boat owners, to allocate at least 10 percent of the budget used on maxis or other boats to support youth sailing activities. There were more of them, of Lanfranchi Cirilli!
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), Blue 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), Edward Lupi, Elena Berta/Giulia Paolillo, Elizabeth Fedele, Energy Solution (ILC26), Ettore Botticini/Lorenzo Gennari, Flavia Tartaglini, Flavio Favini, Francis Conte, Francesco Marrai, Giancarlo Pedote, Gianclaudio Bassetti, Gianluigi Ugolini/Giulio Zizzari, Gianmarco Planchesteiner, Giorgia Speciale, John Ceccarelli, Giovanni Soldini, Giulia Alagna, Giulia Conti/Francesca Clapcich, Joseph Giuffré, Joseph Puttini, Red Globule (Este 31), Guido Miani, The Moor of Venice (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, Milu (Mylius 14E55), Namib (Sangermani, 1967), Neo (Neo 400), Nyala (12 M.S.I., 1938), Paolo Bertuzzi, Patrizio Bertelli, Piero Plato, Peter 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, Nauta Studio, 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.
FIND OUT WHAT THE SAILOR OF THE YEAR IS
FIND OUT WHO WILL BE HONORED
DISCOVER THE DAY OF CHAMPIONS