370 participating boats, 3,000 sailors on board, 10,000 people involved, 230 prizes distributed over three dates from May to the end of September. These are the numbers of the 2016 TAG Heuer VELA Cup circuit , the innovative regattas/sailings open to all boats of all sizes and shapes, with no age restrictions, no bureaucracy or technical complications, with rankings drawn up by length. The course is inshore, within everyone’s reach, with true sailing in every gait that gives every boat, with or without a spinnaker, a chance for results. In the evening awards ceremony with prizes for “almost” everyone, food, music and fun guaranteed. All this in places that are the most beautiful in the Mediterranean.
The reasons for this success
Thanks to its simple formula in the three 2016 dates, the biggest sailing festival in the Tyrrhenian Sea was staged: on May 7 in Santa Margherita Ligure in the Gulf of Tigullio, on August 20 in Port Rafael in the Sardinian archipelago of La Maddalena and on September 24 in The Graces in the Gulf of Poets in La Spezia. The TAG Heuer VELA Cup circuit will be replicated in 2017 with the three locations already confirmed for 2017 (Santa Margherita on May 6; Porto Rafael in conjunction with the Formenton Trophy on August 20; and in the Gulf of La Spezia in June) and others to be added.
The TAG Heuer VELA Cup formula has tapped into sailors’ desire for fun at sea and on land, involving all kinds of boats and enthusiasts.
In Liguria, in Santa Margherita, top boats such as SuperNikka, the sacred monster sailor Mauro Pelaschier, but also hulls led by a 92-year-old skipper or with a crew that included a 6-month-old baby.
In Sardinia among the islands of La Maddalena, brand new boats from famous shipyards such as Grand Soleil and Ice Yachts compared with ladies of the sea such as Loki, an 11-meter yawl from 1948.
Pure racing boats such as the Rodman 42 Cheyenne but also boats that would have no other chance of competing such as an 18-ton steel motorsailer competed in the Gulf of La Spezia.
For all events, the party did not end at sea but continued ashore with an awards party where a total of 213 prizes were distributed, including the prestigious TAG Heuer Aquaracer raffled off among all participants. Plus, evening of good food and music for all participants.
The secret of the formula
In a nutshell, the secret of the TAG Heuer VELA Cup’s winning formula can be summed up in these few words: This is what the sailing world is all about, not an exclusive image for the few. The truth is that sailing is contamination. Boats and sailors of all backgrounds and levels. With passion, fun, and the desire to confront each other as the glue.
You are all invited to the 2017 TAG Heuer VELA Cup circuit, starting in early May 2017. Get ready!