Among the 1758 boats at the 48th Barcolana were our two glorious crews of readers of the Sailing Newspaper aboard two boats that were very different in history and performance, but they definitely stood out in the crowd. Rendezvous for all on Friday evening on the Molo Audace for a welcome drink at our Sailing Newspaper booth: it’s not Barcolana without a good bottle of Prosecco to welcome everyone to Trieste. In front of us, moored at the dock amidst such behemoths as the Moro di Venezia and Ancilla Domini our two boats, as different in performance as they are complementary in charm: the legendary Swan 47 of Enrico Malingri, a piece of sailing history, with its more than 40 years of sailing behind it, and the brand new More 55 just launched by the newly established Croatian shipyard, under the command of Maurizio Vettorato in the maxi category.
Saturday was a training day for everyone, with a still “gentle” bora that allowed the two crews to test the race course for the next day, divide their roles on board, test the main maneuvers and get familiar with the boats. It was a day of preparations and rehearsals that allowed the two crews to get together and make a date the next day at 8:30 a.m. to cast off their moorings and head for the starting line.
The cannon shot, scheduled for 10:30 a.m., was delayed by an hour due to the Bora wind blowing with “too much conviction” over the Gulf of Trieste. By 11:30 a.m. the race course was laid on the water and the Bora had dropped settling around 15-20 knots with gusts up to 25 and a big sun shining across the Gulf.
But let’s go and see how “our people” performed on the field starting with the crew of Enrico Malingri accompanied in the water on his Swan 47 Black Swan by Fabio Possamai, Antonio Ferrari, Alessandro Cordara, Filippo Gazzerro and Andrea Cechini. The testimony from aboard is from Antonio Ferrari who describes their regatta as follows, “Beautiful experience and organization. The Swan is over 40 years old and is a heavy boat designed for ocean sailing, with totally different canons from modern boats so her 250th place is a huge success!!! After a very conservative start that allowed us to avoid any possible boarding, we held a single tack up to the first buoy and then another single very long tack on the windward side passing an impressive number of “young” and beautifully equipped boats, us almost without instruments and without self tailing. Enrico was a wizard at running it even when the mainsail left us, defunct from tearing, and maintaining virtually the same speeds with just the jib. In short, I raced on a glorious old boat that proved it could leave behind modern, hyper-equipped boats without any fear, while maintaining very high safety standards. You have created a beautiful, highly organized and engaging affair. I will be there again next year! And if Enrico is there again it will be an added pleasure!”
Great enthusiasm, especially at the start also aboard the More 55 under the command of Maurizio Vettorato. Very different boat, fresh out of the yard, a 55-footer that really delivers interesting performance. After a pulse-pounding start in which the 55-footer found herself stuck in one of the typical “Barcolana sandwiches” as demonstrated in the video below, the race was a crescendo during which the More ate its way through dozens of boats one after another finishing in an excellent 120th place over all, 48th in cruise class out of 819 boats and sixth in maxi class out of 11 boats. Not bad for the crew nicknamed “dei Marchi” with Marco Furlan, Marco Rubino, Marco Pesce (all three on their second Barcolana with the Giornale della Vela), Tobia Testa, Marco Lombardi (the record man now on his third Barcolana with our newspaper) and Agnese Di Girolamo aboard.
And now let’s give some numbers of this Barcolana 2016:
300,000 people thronged the shores
25,000 sailors participated
1,758 boats registered
59 the minutes it took Alfa Romeo, the first place finisher, to complete the race
34 bottles of Prosecco uncorked aboard our boats
25 knots of Bora gusts recorded
13 Sailing Newspaper readers who participated
3 editions of the Barcolana with Marco Lombardo’s Sailing Newspaper
2 Sailing Newspaper boats registered for the Barcolana