This year The Journal of Sailing turns 45 years old. We celebrate the anniversary with the first “memorable” photo published in our magazine, dated 1975. The sea, a wave, a sail, a flag. And Admiral Agostino Tino Straulino’s yellow oilskin and cap pop up. The boat is Marina Spaccarelli Bulgari’s 11-meter Ydra (designed by Dick Carter) with which Straulino won the One Ton Cup in Costa Smeralda and the Giraglia in 1973.
Why was that wonderful photo published in the second issue of the Sailing Newspaper? Straulino was back in the limelight, winning in third class IOR the Middle Sea Race at the age of 61. Keep in mind that at that time past sixty you were considered “decrepit…”
“To say that Straulino was the greatest Italian sailor of all time is quite obvious… but it is the truth,” Franco Belloni wrote about him in our pages. And indeed: one Star Olympic gold and silver, four world titles, ten European titles. The palmares of Agostino Straulino (born in Mali Lošinj in 1914 and passed away in Rome in 2004) are frightening.
The incredible string of European titles won consecutively (eight, from 1949 to 1956, paired with Nico Rode) the world championships and Olympic gold take on even greater value when one considers that Agostino had major problems with his eyesight following an accident during a demining operation in the harbor.
But it was enough for him to “feel” the wind. In 1961 he was commander of the Corsair II and participated in the Transpacifica, finishing fourth. Famous was his sailing out of Taranto harbor when, in 1965, he was commander of the Amerigo Vespucci. “I have always conducted regattas on the edge of the rulebook,” he told us, “throwing myself into the most risky situations. I like to dare, because the regatta becomes more interesting, more fun.”.