Pippo Dalla Vecchia, the tire dealer king of sailing, is gone


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foo from the old woman“I am a tire dealer.” This is how Pippo Dalla Vecchia called himself, who left us at the age of 90. But Pippo (Giuseppe on the registry), without detracting from his trade as a “tire maker,” was the king of Neapolitan and Italian sailing.

He ruled like an enlightened ruler from his club, the Royal Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia, which he first resurrected and then directed for 22 years, putting back the appellation “royal” that had been lost in the postwar period, of which he was a Meritorious President.

For us, the Oriani family and for all of Il Giornale della Vela, he was a friend and a teacher. I, in particular, attended his life (and sailing) lessons in the editorial office in Milan when Pippo came to us in his capacity as editor of the FIV’s monthly magazine Sport Vela, of which he was vice president.

It was the 1990s and Pippo was truly the “king” of Italian sailing, picking up the baton from Beppe Croce, a loyal ally of then-president Carlo Rolandi.

The Journal of Sailing supported him when, certainly not out of power but out of love for sailing, he ran for president of the Federation. She lost by only four votes, but he turned it into a victory. Reviving the Savoy and Neapolitan sailing.

Pippo Dalla Vecchia (left) with Gigi Rolandi at the 1970 Italian Tempest Championship.

Pippo Dalla Vecchia was not only an enlightened executive, he was also a great sailor. In 1960 and 1972 he was in contention to participate in the Olympics, just to make a mention of his sports record that was honored with the awarding of the Golden Collar of Sports Merit by the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI).

The entrance to the Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia, founded in 1893

At the helm of the Reale Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia, he launched the Campobasso Trophy, which hosts the hopes of world sailing every year; he launched Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino America’s Cup challenge in 2003.

Especially from the Santa Lucia dock he dispensed his unparalleled tales of great sailors, smugglers, and politicians. Never once did Goofy show resentment toward anyone or anything. He was a tire dealer but a great gentleman. Of sailing, of life.

Luca Oriani and the entire editorial staff of the Giornale della Vela are close to his family, his children, the Savoia, and sailing Naples.

Luca Oriani



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