The Pandora kids are asking for our help. They are friends and fellow adventurers “in trouble,” and we, by the law of the sea, can do no more than make our own small contribution, serving as a “megaphone” to their cry.
We are talking about Fanja and Luca, two young people, founders of Vela Tradizionale, who for years have been training small mariners and handicapped people in Italy and beyond, making them discover the art of “seamanship” by sailing on Pandora, a 28-meter schooner, and other classic boats, Latin-sailed and otherwise.
Now with the times, the Covid, the bans, they can no longer maintain the expenses of the main craft, which is also their home. Much of the season went up in smoke and with it the savings that were needed for management. They decided to ask for help from all sea and sailing lovers and to open a page on a well-known crowfunding site to ask for support from those who share their vision.
For those who would like to help, here is the link: gofund.me/736b5ea1
The History of Traditional Sailing
It all began in Russia in 1994, when Pandora was built together with its twins as a replica of an early 19th-century post office. It is a schooner with two masts, auric sails, and square sails: the kind of boat that makes all children think of stories of pirates and past adventures. After various vicissitudes, it became part and flagship of the newly formed VelaTradizionale association in 2012. With its displacement of 55 tons and length of 28 meters, it can accommodate up to 17 people and safely navigate all seas.
Since 2018, the VelaTradizionale fleet has been enriched with the presence of gozzi, small boats of about 4-5 meters, equipped with the traditional lateen sail rig that characterized classic fishing and transport boats throughout the Mediterranean.
The association was established with the specific purpose of popularizing the culture and traditions of the sea, which is important for a country like Italy, which has a long history of seafaring. Proposed activities include: educational pathways for children and youth, the fostering of social inclusion projects, and the intent to strip the boating world of the elitist guise that has formed in recent years. Sailing should be a sport for everyone. Hence the decision to use boats linked to tradition-often forgotten and abandoned-where wood is the main element, and where teamwork is essential.
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