Sailing legends: find out who won the super-subscription (and all the whys)


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tabarly-ericAnd the winner is… Marco Zanini! He is the winner of the 30-year super-subscription to the Journal of Sailing that we raffled off among those who, having voted on our site for their greatest sailor in history, would best justify their choice in an email.

Screenshot 2016-09-14 at 12:31:10 p.m.He is the winner among the many who wrote to us-Mark chose Eric Tabarly (the greatest, in our opinion and in your opinion, in the end) and below you will find his motivation. Then, at the bottom, you will find the most beautiful motivations you sent us: there are so many of them, but they are all worth reading!

Photos by Marco Zanini
Photos by Marco Zanini


I have no doubt : Eric is the greatest.

I was introduced to him many years ago by an instructor in Caprera, I was at the beginning of my sailing life, I knew nothing about these great men except for the “National Soldini” who I now think is a bit overblown (and while good, there are many better than him such as Pietro D’alì, Vittorio Malingri and many young people including Zambelli my current guru, who have had less luck and are probably more humble and less able to promote themselves). Eric has been a beacon for me to follow both as a sailor and as a man. In the French-language film about his life, it denotes his extreme humility’ as a human being, typical of truly capable people. Among my sailings the most ‘beautiful one I wanted to undertake on a family cruise was the one in the seas of Eric , in Brittany, where I had the great “honor” of mooring at his buoy along the Odet where he would go down from his house to his pen duick from his gangway along the river. Beautiful his works especially practical maneuvering guide where from that book I learned a lot of many tricks. So Go Eric. I am attaching a photo of his footbridge over the Odet River in Benodet.
hello, good wind.”

In this video, there is all the greatness of Tabarly: both sides of him, the “romantic” side and the “technological” side:

Marco Farina for Tabarly: “When I was a child, instead of buying Panini soccer player albums and stickers, I bought nautical magazines where I was enraptured by the stories of Tabarly’s regattas, who with his Pen Duick VI always got the better of Falck’s Guia III and for years overcame them all. Hence my passion for the sea and for sailing solo.”

Gianpaolo Pedroni for Tabarly: “I’m still not able to watch others leave while I stay at the dock.” Instead, I learned to do… In addition to being a quiet winner and in these times where everyone is blathering, that seems like no small thing.”

Roberto Pierantoni for Straulino: “The giant of European sailing like say Maradona in soccer or Mozart in music … he had the innate talent and that’s it!”

Barbara Romoli for Tabarly: “Bungiorno, I voted Tabarly from the beginning because this summer we were in France and visited in Lorient “La Citè de la Voile” dedicated to him (including his 5 Pen Duick exhibits there) and I could see how “ahead” he actually was in every way. This is even though my heart wanted to vote Straulino because I have always admired his madness, his going against the rules (see his sailing out of Taranto harbor, which made him famous all over the world including those who did not chew sailing), his skill.”

Francis Celestino for Straulino: “Both Great Sailors, but I believe that Straulino, given the era in which he lived in realizing his great performances,that is,without the help of sophisticated technical means that Tabarly enjoyed,from the point of view of seafaring art, matured through the hard experience of the true sailor, deserves greater consideration and, therefore, a higher final score.”

G. Ungaro for Straulino: “Agostino Straulino, the only Commander of the Vespucci who could afford to sail out of Taranto harbor.”

Enrico Albano for Straulino: “Dear Friends of Il Giornale della Vela, I chose Agostino Straulino because:
– in difficult times (he also went through a war that robbed him of years of life, sailing and racing) he achieved resounding results;
– racing “his way.”
– trivially “felt the wind” like no one else;
– Italian sailors and sailors also made sailing history;
– did not relinquish his helm even when the aches and pains of life were depriving him of his sight;
– his sailings on Nave Vespucci filled the hearts of all sailors around the world.
Thank you for your wonderful initiative!!!”

Roberto Veronese for Straulino: “For me it is Straulino because what he did with the Vespucci no other man in the world has been able and will ever be able to do again.”

Davide Pregnolato for Straulino: “Straulino because he is part of Italian seafaring history. I remember when I was a neophyte of sailing and not only of sailing, but also of the sea and sea characters, an old Commandant, who was Istrian like Straulino who had taken on the arduous task of teaching me how to go to sea, during the long sailings he would talk to me about the sea, fishing, seafaring history according to you have places that the wind gave us the opportunity to reach. Once fresh and gassed from the various courses in renowned sailing clubs I asked him to take a buoy under sail, you should have seen the look on his face when he looked at me and exclaimed the phrase “who do you think you are Straulino” I didn’t know what he meant and quietly with my head down I went to the mast to fold the mainsail in order. We remained practically silent until after dinner then he began to explain to me why he wouldn’t let me take the buoy under sail, he asked me what I had to prove, the only thing you have to prove is that you know how to bring home the skin and the boat in every situation and not that you are good at complicating your life. Later he began to tell me the story of Stralunino and his fascinating exploits. That is why I voted Straulino I will never forget his story and his exploits I connected them to an important sailing and life lesson.”

Federico Piccini for Straulino: “I vote for him because he was born on the same island where my dad was born and now they are also buried in the same cemetery.
And I learned to sail on that very island called Mali Lošinj. And that is why it is right to remember all the Italians who had to leave their lands because of others. And the most ridiculous thing is that now we boast that Straulino is Italian but if it were for some Italians Straulino would have been first Yugoslav and then Croatian!!!
Sincerely greetings from a son of Dalmatian exiles.”

Roberto Franzoni for Tabarly: “He is Éric Tabarly. He was not only a sailor. He is the greatest sailor of all time (of our kind of course, excluding Horatio Nelson, Captain Ahab, The Commander Calamai of the Andrea Doria, etc., etc.). I interviewed him for Uomo Mare at the departure of the Atlantic Triangle in September 1976. Few questions, few words in each answer. Each word a thought and a truth. Then he left on the Pen Duick VI, a 26-meter aluminum behemoth with a tiller rudder! Because it was more sensitive… His death was as epic as his life. I don’t know what ailment he was suffering from, but he chose to end his life from the boat from which he had begun, in that Irish Sea that had seen him star dozens of times. In silence, melting and mingling with the waves. For those who have not, read his books, “I, Tabarly,” 1977 and “Tabarly, Memoirs of the Offshore,” 1998. Best.
A dear greeting.”

Federico Bruzzone for Straulino: “The finalists are obviously both great sailors to look up to. I am voting for Agostino Straulino because of the two he is the Italian one, and as much as they say that nationalism is disappearing, I hope an Italian wins.
Thank you.”

74 Roca for Peyron, Cayard, Grael, Joyon and Desjoyeaux.: “I didn’t vote Tabarly because he died a fool for attitude not the best sailor in history, the reckless sometimes win but I’m not a role model. sorry I couldn’t vote earlier, I don’t know what the list of 30 was but surely loick peyron, paul cayard and torben grael and desjoyeaux would be in my semi-final … Of your four proposed Joyon, but he would lose to all my four, moitessier to a contest for writers rather than sailors.”

Daniele Gaviotis for Moitessier: “Moitessier. sailing is a passion, a way of life, tying together instinct, heart, art, man and Nature… who better represents all this than one who went to sea without a motor, without an autopilot (for a long time), without a destination… it is quicker to write down what he did not have, than what he was equipped with!!! however that unconditional love of the sea, solitude, the boat! pure people unspoiled by “modern” mental chaos, the preservation of the one thing we cannot do without in life (our wonderful Nature!) are peculiar only to Bernard Moitessier… the first to circumnavigate without any stopovers, participating in the first round-the-world race for solo sailors, and the ONLY winner of any competition not to have gone to collect the rich prize money that awaited him a few thousand miles away while he was abysmally ahead of everyone! he decided to “pull straight” to Polynesia, a “pure” place, by doing another half-round the World…! come on, how can you not vote for Moitessier!
Of course he is a controversial character… Definitely he was a strange guy…. It is obvious that he made many mistakes…. but how can you not like Moitessier!!! here you vote for the greatest Sailor in (modern) history. But what is a sailor? According to the Treccani the definition of a Sailor is: “one who practices the sport of Sailing.” Well Moitessier was much more than a sailor. He tied with two half-necks his life with going to sea in a pure, honest and rebellious way, going in the opposite direction to “Western doctrine,” to what he “should have done.” and for that, he will probably not win the GDV online competition. Exactly because Moitessier was not “just” a sailor. but you know what? he didn’t care about WINNING at all, so maybe it’s even okay that way–rebellious even on the internet, absolutely Bernard Moitessier style!!!
what a subject 🙂 !”.

Pietro Lapietra for Straulino: “Dear GdV editorial staff, I voted for Admiral Straulino because I had the privilege of knowing him and boarding his KERKIRA (owned by the Navy) moored for some years at Fiumara Grande (Fiumicino). He was a humble person and respectful of the sea and people, sometimes even those people who boasted in front of him as great sailors (mostly dock workers). He had a sly and amused look in front of the usual “blowhards” but also careful to perceive the smallest detail of those who spoke to him: if you could hold his penetrating gaze, it seemed as if he was reading you inside! I am sorry that in the end he suffered greatly from the health condition of his wife who by now immobilized could not even leave the house due to the failure to overcome the architectural barriers there. He will forever remain “the Admiral.”
Thank you.”

Antonio Santoro for Moitessier: “Really a big bellyache not to see at least 6/7 simultaneously winning. The sail has always been divided into 2:
– racers
– Poets of being carried by the wind.
Among the first really hard to say “the best sailor”!
Among the “poets” of sailing Bernard towers above all.
And without poetry/evasion/feeling, etc., what would going to sea be?
BV !!!”

Antonio Sciotto for Straulino: “I voted Ago Straulino because an Olympic gold medal in the class that was considered the “queen” of the Olympic Classes in my opinion is worth much more than one hundred America’s Cups! moreover, many people do not know that the great Admiral was also nicknamed “the ‘pacifist admiral” and was boycotted not a little by the top brass of the then M.M. General Staff. secondly he was heroic for winning in spite of the ‘accident to the eye during a demining. last but not least , even today his feat with the Vespucci remains epic: going out of a harbor with totally unfurled sails, a feat that at the petty officer schools of La maddalena I have heard and heard again dozens of times: it has entered the myth, beyond the legend. good wind to all the editorial staff _/)”

Leandro Campagna for Straulino: “Good evening, I voted for Straulino because unlike all the other great sailors each with a distinct talent, Agostino Straulino demonstrated his great sailing skills on multiple levels, from racing to running mega ships such as the Vespucci, from long cruising on prototypes to commanding hundreds of sailors. All with a humility and simplicity that is as incredible as many of his most famous maneuvers that everyone has heard of at least once. His whole life is about the sea and sailing, and when I have to talk about Straulino I always visualize that little boy who at age 6 was going to school by sea in his little sailboat, and that says a lot about his being a “man of the sea.” Greetings.”

Claudio Lucisano for Straulino: “I can confirm that the great Straulino felt the wind in a special way having sailed under his command. He definitely deserves the title of best sailor.”

Lorenzo Lancellotti for Straulino: “I’m voting for Agostino Straulino because when I think of him and what he did at sea as a man and a sailor, it reconciles me with my daily life and makes me think that being on this land is worth it!”

Daniele Rebecchi for Moitessier: “I am voting Moitessier because he has always made me dream and experience freedom.”

Jacopo Ognibene for Moitessier: “My vote goes to Bernard Moitessier.
All 4 semifinalists are great sailors, but my preference for Moitessier is motivated by the fact that, unlike the others, he has been able to show all sailors (and not only) that it is possible to interpret life outside pure competition, away from the spasmodic chase for overcoming limits that is increasingly exaggerated today (I am thinking not only of the America’s Cup distorted by foils or the albeit very good Soldini, but also of young base jumpers). Moitessier has always seen man in a balanced and symbiotic relationship with nature and the Earth, which has always fueled his desire for discovery, his endless curiosity and his ability to wonder with little. This is perhaps his most precious legacy. Finally, I also chose him for his dry and direct writing, with which (like the mountaineer Bonatti) he left us an absolutely unique depth of thought, a legacy that every sailor should carry with him.”

Tollardo Gottero for Soldini: “I chose Giovanni Soldini because he has twenty years of ocean racing and two solo round-the-world races. the main reason for my vote is because of Giovanni Soldini’s rescue of Isabelle Autissier during a solo round-the-world race in stages. He found the boat capsized due to an overhang of the automatic peg and only after throwing a hammer on the hull did Isabelle get out. Soldini won that leg and the following one by winning the race.”

Nicola Ieva for Tabarly: “In my opinion Tabarly is the greatest sailor in modern sailing. Without in any way detracting from the great Straulino, victories in races on the stars are one thing ,another are the epoch-making feats in ocean races that made more than one generation of sailors dream ,and created a great school of Breton sailors, many of whom started with the great Eric Tabarly.”

John Spinoglio for Straulino: “In addition to his innumerable sporting achievements Straulino embodies the image of an Italian hero of our time, of those people, that is, whose absence is felt in a society increasingly deprived of high moral values, a commander to whose abilities we would all gladly rely in the certainty that he knows how to lead us beyond the storm……..”

Francesco Teso for Straulino: “Definitely the greatest is Straulino, because as you say he “felt” the wind, in addition to a very respectable palmares, then the famous feat of leaving the harbor with the Amerigo Vespucci is something unique!
the greatest.”

Marco Gigantesco for Straulino: “I vote for Agostino Straulino, because in addition to having won several Olympic competitions and world championships, he was the first, and to date the only, Commander of the Ship Amerigo Vespucci to have had the courage to sail through the channel connecting the Mar Piccolo and the Mar Grande in Taranto !

Pier Giacomo Borsetti for Moitessier: “Bernard Moitessier: in addition to being a skilled sailor and navigator, with his “Thalatta and the Alliance” he expressed the most as a writer is made generations of sailors dream.”

Pier Luigi Zaffagnini for Straulino: “Try sailing out of Taranto on the Amerigo Vespucci….”

Pietro Ranotto for Paul Elvstrøm: “Hello editorial staff, I voted for paul elvstrøm because I think he is the most worthy winner, a true legend not only able to collect Olympic medals and more but for the ability to bring technical innovations ( equipment and clothing) to the sailing world.



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