TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year 2015: all sailors competing

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Bee_marinaiThe presentation of the 2015 TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year nominees continues: in this installment we present the Italian sailors in detail. We are becoming more French, long range sailing is becoming more and more ingrained in our sea culture.

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), theTAG 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 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.


KNOW IN DETAIL THE CANDIDATES ALREADY SUBMITTED

1- THE IRC/ORC WINNING OWNERS.

CANDIDATES ON THE CATWALK – THE SAILORS

bolzanALBERTO BOLZAN – 32 YEARS OLD
The former Esimit Europa 2 helmsman crowned his dream by abandoning stick racing bewitched by the ocean. At 32 years of age, Alberto Bolzan, born in Romans d’Isonzo (Udine) but raised sailing in Trieste, is the only Italian competing in the 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race (the round-the-world crewed sailing race) aboard Team Alvimedica!

bonaALBERTO BONA – 28 YEARS OLD
Alberto Bona (28) is preparing for the Mini Transat after his excellent fifth place in 2013 among the Series: this time he will race among the Protos, on the Mini that was Andrea Caracci’s and that some very young Italian designers (Skyron Lab Design) are modifying. To keep himself in training, meanwhile, he won the Valencia 650 and took silver at the Barcelona Mini in 2014.

of BenedictALESSANDRO DI BENEDETTO – 43 YEARS OLD
Alessandro Di Benedetto in 2014 finished sixth at the Route du Rhum (3,543 miles from Saint Malo to Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe) on his Imoca 60 Team Plastique (the only one among those in the race still with a fixed keel) despite breakages and ailments (tendonitis, bruises, and a poisoning!). Here is one who never gives up.


andrea fornaroANDREA FORNARO – 37 YEARS OLD

Another Italian who will take part in the Mini Transat, and not to make up the numbers, is Andrea Fornaro, born in Orbetello in 1977. On his 6.50 Sideral capped off an excellent 2014 season with a splendid second place in the Mini Fastnet (the race that starts in Douarnenez, Brittany and then rounds the mythical lighthouse in Cork, Ireland and returns) and seventh place in ranking among the series, first among the Italians.

matteo-miceli650x433MATTEO MICELI – 44 YEARS OLD
The 44-year-old Roman yachtsman is back in the news by embarking on a new, original venture, driven by an “eco” spirit: a solo round-the-world voyage without stopover or assistance aboard a self-built Class 40 modified to be completely energy self-sufficient, with solar panels, wind power, hydro generators and a waste recycling system. And food, thanks to an on-board vegetable garden and La Bionda and La Mora–two chickens.

andrea muraANDREA MURA – 50 YEARS OLD
Italy needs navigators like this, who never give up, and eventually, should it take years, succeed. The second place at the 2014 Route du Rhum served as a fitting farewell to his trusty Open 50 squire Vento di Sardegna and transition to the new IMOCA 60 aboard which Andrea Mura will participate in the 2016 Vendée Globe (solo round-the-world voyage without stopover or assistance starting in Les Sables d’Olonne). Finally, at 50 years old, Mura has fulfilled his dream and will be able to compare himself with the world’s greatest loners.

pedoteGIANCARLO PEDOTE – 39 YEARS OLD
Italy’s strongest ever minista also swept the wolf’s den in France: in 2014 with his proto Prysmian he won Lorient-Bretagne Sud Mini 2014, Pornichet Sélect, Mini en Mai 2014, Trophée Marie-Agnès Péron and Les Sables Les Açores Les Sables. On the Class 40 Fantastica made available to him by Lanfranco Cirillo he participated in the Route du Rhum finishing in tenth position, never had any Italian done so well. Now what? It smells like Vendée Globe…

ANDREA PENDIBENE – 33 YEARS OLD
The title of Italian Series Category Champion went for the second year in a row (2013 and 2014) to the ITA 520 MM team, the boat of Andrea Pendibene, a Navy athlete who, with co-skipper Giovanna Valsecchi, collected one victory after another throughout the course of the Championship, fighting by any means. Now Andrea is preparing for the 2015 Mini Transat.

pennyGIOVANNI SOLDINI – 48 YEARS OLD
Soldini is the sailor who gets you most discussion: “Thanks to him, we talk more about sailing,” Andrea Mura once told us. Although 2014 did not bode well for him (the New York-Cape Lizard Atlantic record attempt faded), the triumph of Maserati (the former VOR70 he led) at Cape2Rio should not be forgotten, complete with an overall record on the race course, victory in actual and on handicap.

Michele Zambelli / Proto 788MICHELE ZAMBELLI – 24 YEARS OLD
The Italian Mini 650 Champion, Proto class, is Michele Zambelli from Romagna, class of 1990. This could be his year, as on his new Proto Illumia he will enter the 2015 Mini Transat with the clear goal of getting on the podium. The premise is great: last year he took third place at Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables. Now that Giancarlo Pedote has dropped out of the Mini class, he could be its heir, capable of giving the French a hard time…

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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