Great success with the audience for the awarding of the 2014 TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year and the big “Evening of Champions,” the highlight event of the second day of the TAG Heuer VELAFestival. During the applauded grand soiree all the winners of the most prestigious award in Italian sailing are unveiled. First of all precisely the 2014 TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year, the best overall, that is the sailor from Cagliari, Andrea Mura. Who, the citation reads, deserved the Sailor of the Year award first and foremost because in 2013 he triumphed in real time at the legendary OSTAR, one of the toughest solo transatlantic races ever. Recall that Andrea Mura was first voted and placed on the shortlist of finalists, thanks to the audience of enthusiasts Italy who during a special online survey expressed over 12,000 preferences, and then proclaimed TAG Heuer 2014 Sailor of the Year by a jury of quality assembled in the editorial staff of The Journal of Sailing.
Parterre de roi, let us say, for the other three awards of the evening as well! The TAG Heuer “Passion” Award, reserved for the person who has most distinguished himself or herself for the grit shown on the race courses, was won by a very emotional Marta Maggetti. Rewarded because passion is ageless: in fact, at only 18 years old, she has already won three World Championships, a World Silver and two European titles between Techno 293 and RS:X.
The TAG Heuer “High Performance” Award, for those who distinguished themselves in a pure regatta with high technical content, went instead to Gilberto Nobili. The Italian sailor won it for being the only Italian on board Team Oracle during the “double” America’s Cup victories of 2010 and 2013, as a grinder but especially as the creator of the wireless navigation software. Finally, the TAG Heuer “Innovation” Award, dedicated to those who have come up with something innovative in design and equipment, was won by the “Oracle pair” formed by Mario Caponnetto and Michele Stroligo. Reason? The innovation award can only fall to the pair of Italians who were the “behind the scenes” architects of Oracle’s success at the last America’s Cup thanks to their work in the design team on fluid dynamics and the wing.
Between laughter, historic boats and excitement
We also honored a boat on the stage, at least in the person of its captain: the Goletta America, that boat that gave its name to the world’s most important regatta and whose faithful replica is moored here at the TAG Heuer VELAFestival.
Instead, laughter and applause marked a unique moment in the history of Italian sailing: Franco, Fausta and Enrico Malingri on stage together with Mauro Pelaschier to invite everyone to one of tomorrow’s highlights, the great event dedicated precisely to the Malingri Family, the greatest dynasty in Italian sailing. With them will also be Giovanni Soldini, who precisely thanks to Franco Malingri began his incredible adventure in the world of sailing. All immortalized by vignettes, made in real time, by Davide Besana.