One can participate in offshore racing out of simple passion, a desire to share an experience with a crew of friends and family. In a word, to have fun. We asked Marco Cohen, a film entrepreneur from Milan, to tell us how he manages to have fun setting off on an offshore race knowing already that he will not win.
Read and understand that, really, the important thing is to participate. Here is his recipe.
On the aperitif we are strong
Triangles I have always hated, all the way back to my math days in school. I put up with them for about ten years when, with my first J/24 and then J/92, I plied the Tigullio.
Regatina, bathing with wine to refresh the soul, some winter, but always protected by a gulf smiling and placid as the area of equatorial calms.
Until one day, prompted by a friend inviting me out of my comfort zone, I discovered Roberto Lacorte’s 151 Miglia. An enlightenment: a regatta that smells of night and the open sea but without ever letting you lose sight of the land, through its islands.
Perfect for a somewhat rabbit-like sailor like me, a worthy son of his father’s art, who is more comfortable handling the wine list than the wind list.
I became familiar with the 151 and then doubled up with the Giraglia Rolex Cup. Since 2016, I haven’t missed a beat.
This year we finally got back into our routines.
You spend the spring swearing about all the work that needs to be done to get the boat in shape, about the crew that doesn’t get behind you quitting in solo mode as soon as something needs to be fixed. Then late May comes and like every year the miracle is performed:
You start fucking consulting 12 weather sites with improbable 20-day forecasts, sending motivational messages as if I were Jose Mourinho to the various 151 chats, Giraglia, Dajenu (Dajenu is the name of the creature taken together with my partner, more cyclist than sailor, Claudio Gabbai, a Mat 1010 Mark Mills’ project, which like every scarf is good for its own sake) and to warn everyone around you that, For about twenty days, they will not be able to rely on your full mental faculties. My wife and sometimes my partners argue that they can’t even count on it during the rest of the year but that’s another matter.
Offshore racing: the 151 Mile “alcoholic” aboard Dajenu
On June 2, 2022, we will finally leave for the 151 Miglia with my historical crew. True to our motto “on the aperitif we are strong,” while others are landing superfluous weights, we are loading everything and more.
Our sailmaker, Roberto Westermann, said one day upon seeing our boarding operations, ” .
Speaking of boarding, it feels like British Airways check-in.
We catch everything, nonexistent wind from Tigullio at the start, but then a pandering breeze takes us toward Corsica. We take 20\25 knots on the nose in Giraglia just to remind ourselves how it’s done and then head for fatal Elba. For those who do not have a Maxi, and are familiar with this route, it is easy to understand the meaning of this sentence. While we are already dreading a second long night, a friendly southerner comes to the rescue and takes us to Punta Ala just after midnight.
First, to the ants in Grosseto, in the middle of the sunset we toast with Spirit of Dajenu, a citrus distillate prepared with loving hands by the friend who advised me to stop with the triangles and start sailing. On the gradation of this loving drink I appeal to the Fifth Amendment.
We close with a decent 13th place out of 32 for us, considering the alcohol content and the absolute lack of any kind of training and preparation.
Here comes the Giraglia
Time to go by the office, with a dumb grin on my face, just to remind myself of what I was going to miss the next week by having to leave again for the Rolex Giraglia.
Another round, another gift (so to speak because my little friends who do the San Remo-St Tropez , saying “so we’ll bring you the boat” actually have as their primary goal the subtraction of sponsor giveaways from the owner’s bag) and another crew.
Gone this year are the Russians and Swans, but what about St Tropez c’est toujours St Tropez and getting together on a boat with friends from the “forsailing” group Of the previous year is always wonderful. Having, as I said, long since abolished all forms of training and preparation, as we have our usual aperitif with oysters, I realize that it has indeed been a year since I have seen them.
Lots of rosé and champagne conditions on the coastal races, while for the Giraglia we are preparing for a crossing in very very Tigullio conditions. It ‘s been years since I’ve seen entire white areas, in Meteo Lamma’s gust model, at Cape Corso.
From this photo above you can see how the weather model got it right.
We sort out a few little problems with the rudder brakes that slow us down, but given the conditions we are not worried and three pastries later we arrive on Friday night in Genoa holding pedestrian averages but still allowing us to arrive within maximum time.
On the final result here again I appeal to the Fifth Amendment and give myself to the Copa del Rey in Palma in early August. It’s true that the sticks in the Bay of Mallorca are still similar to triangles, but the paella and sangria from the Real Club Nautico (sensational) will take care of that.
*Who is Marco Cohen
Marco Cohen, a film producer and avid sailor, describes himself as follows: “Marco Cohen, Interist, philosopher, size 54 and in good times 56, producer of necessary films for me and my family. I re-embraced sailing at the age of 37 after yet another soccer injury when I realized it is the only sport you can do sitting down and with a glass in your hand.
Until I was 25 years old family brawls on a J/24, Fiesta, with my twin brother Daniel and our father Corrado, called the ghost vessel because even when they could not see us, they could hear us, then again a J/24, a J/92 s and since 2016 my beloved Dajenu by Mark Mills. Fast and classy medium improperly ended up in our hands, more apt to pick up the bottle opener than the rudder.”