VELA Cup, 148 boats invade Tigullio: here’s how it went


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aaIMG_6430Not since 1997 have so many boats been seen in Tigullio: 148, to be precise. That was the number of participants in the TAG Heuer VELA Cup, the VELAFestival regatta, with a total of about 1,200 sailors involved.

An “all against all passionately” that was the cornerstone of the event: it’s not every day you get to see dinghies like 420s and Lasers racing side-by-side with cabin cruisers of all sizes; but more importantly, you get the chance to challenge great sailors on the starting line such as, for example, Tommaso Chieffi, Giorgio Benussi (embarked aboard Pigi Loro Piana’s My Song), Andrea Casale and Silvio Arrivabene (hired on Oscar II, Aldo Parisotto’s Mylius 15E25). And the list could go on…

17914_959208820780346_8982361392073938719_nA REGATTA FOR OLD AND YOUNG
As further evidence of how the VELA Cup was an event open to all, we mention the youngest and oldest participant: Matthew, who boarded an Oceanis 411 at just 4 months of age, and Angela Besana Gagliardi, a sprightly 97-year-old who, he revealed to us in an interview, he hoped until the very end that he could stay at the helm.

The only fear, that of becalming (which in Tigullio often affects racing), was swept away by a 6- to 10-knot westerly which allowed participants to complete the 9-mile course in peace: starting in front of Santa Margherita Ligure and then leaving the Portofino meda on the left and heading toward the one in the center of the Gulf, returning to the starting buoy and again turning the Portofino meda to finally arrive in the waters off Santa.

Loro Piana’s My Song archived the regatta in just under an hour and a quarter, winning on elapsed time as well as overall in the Regatta and Maxi Regatta classes. In second place overall was Adriano Calvini’s Felci 61 Itacentodue and in third place was the aforementioned Oscar II. The prize for the best sailing club based on the placings of the supporting crews went to the Yacht Club of Chiavari, while the Gentlemen Yachting prize, reserved for the boat judged most elegant, went to EA, a splendid 1952 Baglietto.

Within the VELA Cup was the Dufour Cup, reserved for boats churned out by the French shipyard. And it too was a success, with 15 boats at the start. In the end, coming out on top was Giuseppe Tadini’s Dufour 34 Performance, reigning ORC Italian Champion.

All the VELA Cup and Dufour Cup rankings, category by category, can be found at this link:



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