Over 40,000 votes in the three rounds of online voting that reduced the initial 100 candidates to 25. These are the numbers for the 2016 Sailor of the Year! Then the ball was passed to the jury, which met and – painstakingly – decided on the final shortlist of five nominees to be awarded the Sailor of the Year prizes (The Sailor of the Year, TAG Heuer #Don’tCrackUnderPressure, TAG Heuer Performance, TAG Heuer Innovation, TAG Heuer Performance and, as of this year, TAG Heuer Young). To find out which prize will be awarded to each of them, all you have to do is come to the big Evening of Champions scheduled starting at 7 p.m. in the Hospitality area of the TAG Heuer VELAFestival! An opportunity to meet the biggest names in Italian sailing live. But cut to the chase, here are who the five chosen are, in strict alphabetical order.
THE FIVE CANDIDATES CHOSEN BY THE JURY
1. Ambrogio Beccaria Balduzzi: what impressed the jury was his fine sea history, which ended with winning the Italian Mini 6.50 Series Championship. Ambrose wanted the ocean at all costs, found a half-destroyed boat in Portugal, went to salvage it himself on a novel voyage, and then spent months and months sweating to put it back together in a shed in La Spezia. He succeeded in a great way. And “Alla Grande” is indeed the name of his boat! In addition, he was overvoted by the public.
2. Edoardo Ferraro / Francesco Orlando: highly rated, the two young 420 specialists represent a hope for the future in terms of the Olympics, but they are already an established reality at the youth level. In Castle Bay Karatsu, Japan, they won the 420 Under 17 World Title: in Italy and abroad they are always at the top of the rankings. Fortissimo!
3. Roberto Lacorte and his Supernikka: For a special boat, as the Vismara Mills 62 SuperNikka is, it takes a special owner. And Lacorte is special. In 2015 he triumphed at the Mini Maxi World Championship in Porto Cervo. First, however, he took the satisfaction of winning the regatta he designed, the 151 Mile. An enlightened owner who is giving so much to sailing in Italy.
4. Giancarlo Pedote: Wherever he goes, he wins. Giancarlo Pedote is probably the strongest ocean sailor we have in Italy: in 2015, the FFV (the French sailing federation) awarded him and Erwan Le Roux, his partner on the Multi 50 trimaran FenetrèA-Prysmian, the prestigious 2015 Trophée des Champions following their important achievements during the year: winning the Transat Jacques Vabre, the very tough race from Le Havre (France) to Itajaì (Brazil) and all the other Multi 50 races on the calendar. Impossible to forget him.
5. Marcello Persico: Persico is synonymous with excellence. Internationally recognized, especially after the miraculous repair work on Team Vestas after the Volvo Ocean Race incident. Marcello Persico is head of the Nembro (Bergamo) shipyard, which is currently the most important “hi-tech” entity in Italian sailing. This is where the most cutting-edge boats are churned out, and this is where the new VO65s will be produced ahead of VOR 2018.
MICA THERE WILL BE ONLY THEM!
At the event that everyone has been waiting for for a year, the Oscars of Italian sailing, mica there will be only the nominees above. The TAG Heuer VELAFestival Hospitality area will be filled with Italy’s most titled, passionate, innovative and high-performance sailors as they wait for well-known sports journalist and passionate sailor Mino Taveri to announce the names of the winners. Up for grabs in addition to the 2016 TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year, are the Innovation awards, to the sailor, designer, owner, technician who has come up with something innovative, #Don’tCrackUnderPressure, which celebrates the Italian who has most distinguished himself or herself for his or her passion toward sailing and the sea, Performance, to those who have shown competitive verve by winning high-level regattas and the TAG Heuer VELAFestival Grand Prize recognition to a great sailor, a tribute to his or her career and which this year will be awarded to Mario Pedol and Studio Nauta Yacht, the great Italian designers famous on boats around the world and celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. Then from this year we introduced a new award, the “Young” award, reserved for the best young sailor of the year.
Then on stage it will be time to present the #plasticfantastic Tribute to an old 1976 Hallberg-Rassy 41 and its owner who won the Giraglia for the second time this year: we are talking about Gianin VI and Ciccio Supparo. But there will also be plenty of room on the stage for two superstars of the sailing world-Alessandro Vismara and Mark Mills, the designer of the moment who designed SuperNikka and the new Vismara V56 and was recently hired to design the Wally Cento. It appears that Dick Carter, the American whose designs changed the way we sail, will also return. These and many others will be the characters you will get to meet: there will also be Vittorio Malingri, the Italian sailor with the most miles on his shoulders-probably in the world-and Salvatore Mantaci, the man who quit his job to cross the Atlantic and who will tell of his beautiful adventure…gone wrong.
HOW THE 2016 SAILOR OF THE YEAR VOTING WORKED
On Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m., the Sailor of the Year award ceremony will take place at the VELAFestival in Santa Margherita Ligure (Genoa) during the Evening of Champions. But how does one come to award the most prestigious prize in Italian sailing? With a long and “hard” online selection process where your input is crucial. We explain it in detail, step by step.
– FIRST STAGE (WINNING VOTE – CONCLUDED) – FROM 100 to 52 CANDIDATES.
– 100 CANDIDATES to vote online on our website from Jan. 29 (from 1 p.m.) to Feb. 16 (closing at 12 p.m.)
– 20 CANDIDATES INDICATED BY YOU (you can send us names and motivation from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4 to email firstname.lastname@example.org) voted online on our website from Feb. 5 (from 1 p.m.) to Feb. 16 (close at 12 p.m.)
– The 50 most voted and the 2 most voted among those indicated by you pass the round
– SECOND STAGE (WINNING VOTE – CONCLUDED) – 52 to 25 CANDIDATES.
– 52 CANDIDATES to vote online from March 4 (from 1 p.m.) to March 15 (closing at 12 noon)
– The 25 highest vote-getters pass the round
– THIRD STAGE (CONSULTATIVE VOTE – CONCLUDED) – 25 to 5 CANDIDATES.
– 25 CANDIDATES to be voted for online from March 31 (from 1 p.m.) to April 15 (closing time 12 noon). The online public vote has advisory value: taking into account your preferences, a jury selects the 5 who pass the round
– FOURTH PHASE – CHOOSING THE SAILOR OF THE YEAR (AND OTHER AWARDS)
-THE 5 CANDIDATES make up the shortlist of “papabili” for Sailor of the Year. These will compete, based on the jury’s decisions, for the Sailor of the Year award and the others: TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year “Passion,” TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year “Innovation,” TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year “Performance,” and TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year “Young.” Each of the winners will be awarded a TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5 high-precision waterproof chronograph (pictured opposite), capable of withstanding depths of up to 300 meters. Who the winners are you will only know on the evening of May 6 in Santa Margherita. You are all invited!
For any information regarding the Sailor of the Year, please write to us at email@example.com