That time the Sailor of the Year … was two, Tomasini and Bissaro/Sicouri


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In 2015 for the first time in the history of the Sailor of the Year, the jury declares an ex-aequo and both Roberto Tomasini Grinover, owner of the successful series of boats named “Robertissima,” and Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri, the “flying engineers” champions of the Nacra 17 class, are awarded.

Taken from The Journal of Sailing June 2015. As we call Roberto Tomasini Grinover to the stage to crown him Sailor of the Year 2015, the anthem of the Robertissima Sailing Team resounds: a team that has been the protagonist of outstanding results, both among the Mini Maxi (where Grinover races on Robertissima III, the Judel Vrolijk 72 purchased by skype patron Niklas Zennström) and on the Melges 32. “You’ve earned it,” Vasco Vascotto, a regular member aboard Grinover’s boats, wrote to him on Facebook, “because you’ve shown that you’ve become a fast, winning helmsman.” And if the sailor who has won the most titles in Italy says so, you can be sure that this is so. Goriziano by birth, Monfalcone by adoption, Grinover took his first sailing steps at the legendary Oscar Cosulich Sailing Society, on Flying Junior and Finn. Then the Flying Dutchmann, crewed by an “unknown” Mauro Pelaschier (who made a point of awarding him in person at the VELAFestival), the Star, his favorite boat (not coincidentally, a star stands out in Robertissima’s logo), and the One Tonners in the Gulf of Trieste.

Roberto has been through “the grind.” Enough to decide to jump into the Melges 32s and put his experience to good use, building a winning team around him. Laying the groundwork for its entry into the “Formula One of sailing,” the Mini Maxi. In 2014 Robertissima III participated in the IMA circuit for the first time, achieving a second place in Palmavela, victory in the Volcano Race, Capri Sailing Week and Giraglia. In the second part of the season Robertissima III’s palmares grew again with second place at the Mini Maxi World Championship and another prestigious victory this time at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez. Also in St. Tropez, Robertissima III won the Rothschild Trophy and the Boat of the Week title. Roberto Tomasini Grinover also won the Melges 32 European Championship in Riva del Garda.

We awarded them in absentia, with the Skype connection coming and going: then their manager, Lamberto Cesari, rushed from Santa Margherita to Malcesine (where Garda Trentino Olympic Week was underway) to present Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri, the strongest Italian dinghy sailors of the moment (on the Nacra 17, the mixed double catamaran chosen for the upcoming Rio Games, they have won everything and are at the top of the ISAF ranking list, representing our most concrete Olympic medal hope), the 2015 TAG Heuer Sailors of the Year award.Vittorio and Silvia held on to their newly acquired title, dominating the Garda regatta. A life dedicated to catamarans, that of the two “flying engineers” (aerospace he, management she), both born in 1987: a lot of apprenticeship for both, followed by good results on Hobie Cat, Formula 18 and Formula 16. It is said that an engineer is immediately recognizable: indeed, one of Vittorio and Silvia’s strengths is precisely their “engineering” approach to racing, with continuous analysis of what is happening on the water in order to improve from time to time, never sitting on their laurels. Even at the tactical level, they are known to be conservative and calculating of “costs and benefits.” But there are also the exploit days, where the two become uncatchable even for the strongest of opponents. Great Bissaro. And great Sicouri (an important surname: good blood doesn’t lie).





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