VELAFestival has begun. Spend a weekend sailing with us!

Screenshot 2016-04-28 at 1:26:26 p.m.

Today begins the fourth edition of TAG Heuer VELAFestival, the only Italian event devoted solely to the world of sailing, the logical extension of the Giornale della Vela. We look forward to seeing you in Santa Margherita Ligure, “Santa” for the habitués, the ideal harbor representing the ideal Mediterranean retreat, set in the Tigullio Gulf, with Portofino Mountain providing shelter. You are all invited to this celebration of sailing that is not the usual boat show that is exhausted in an exhibition area, but offers much more. Starting with the major events that enliven the spectacular area hanging on the rocks overlooking the sea, the harbor, the gulf, and the beach hosting as many as thirteen events. To continue with the sixteen activities and exhibition spaces to meet every need and at every age. Because sailing is experienced in every span of life, from age 1 to 90. Hundreds of boats are involved, from the dozens on display from 3 to 30 meters, to the 200 participating in the VELA Cup, the most crowded sailing event in the Tyrrhenian Sea. We look forward to seeing you. Below we present events, activities and exhibition in detail.


Friday, May 6, 3 p.m.aoe_heroes_vfHospitality Tag Heuer VELAFestival
The TAG Heuer VELAFestival’s big events begin at 3 p.m. Friday, May 6, at the Hospitality area with a confrontation between some of Italy’s greatest sailors and sailors who have been the protagonists of feats bordering between heroism and madness. Vittorio Malingri, Ambrogio Beccaria Balduzzi, Giancarlo Pedote, Salvatore Mantaci and Geatano Mura will recount their legendary exploits. You can attend the meeting from the comfort of the open air and submit to these great sailors all the questions you have long had in your drawer: how many times reading their stories have you called someone crazy and after a short time they entered the Olympus of your heroes? What, for example, drives Vittorio Malingri to come up with ever crazier feats? Or young Ambogio to fly all the way to Portugal to retrieve a semi-ruined Mini and become Italian champion in no time? How does it feel to see one’s boat sink in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, as happened to Salvatore Mantaci, or to become like Giancarlo Pedote the King of loners on French soil? This meeting is a prequel to “warm up” your spirits and prepare you for the big Evening of Champions that will feature the winners of the Sailor of the Year.

Friday, May 6, 7 p.m.
Hospitality Tag Heuer VELAFestival
Screenshot 2016-03-24 at 5:40:47 p.m.
The event everyone has been waiting for for a year. The Oscars of Italian sailing. After three months of online voting in which we received more than 40,000 votes, the time has come to award the 2016 TAG Heuer Sailor of the Year awards. 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, Passion, which celebrates the Italian who has most distinguished himself for his passion towards sailing and the sea, Performance, to the person who has 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 all over the world and celebrating its first 30 years this year. Then from this year we introduced a new award, the “Young” award, reserved for the best young sailor of the year. After the last consultative phase, the jury’s choice fell on six names who are vying for the different titles: Ambrogio Beccaria Balduzzi, 2015 Italian Mini Series Champion; Edoardo Ferraro and Francesco Orlando who won the 420 Under 17 World Championship; Roberto Lacorte and his SuperNikka who won the Mini Maxi World Championship this year; Salvatore Mantaci protagonist of a shipwreck in the Atlantic that has made him a hero on the web; Giancarlo Pedote, probably the strongest ocean sailor we have in Italy and who won the Transat Jacques Vabre this year; Roberto Tomasini Grinover who does not stop for a moment and is about to unleash a new hyper-tech Maxi. 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 was recently hired to design the Wally Cento.

Saturday, May 7 8:30 a.m.
Hospitality Tag Heuer VELAFestival
The most sporty day of the VELAFestival is Saturday, May 7. The day of the VELA Cup. It starts early, at 8:30 a.m. at Aera Hospitality there will be the briefing of the regatta/race that will start at 11 a.m. The organizers present the course with a start in front of Santa Margherita, first buoy in front of Portofino, second buoy at the end of the Gulf of Tigullio towards Sestri Levante and then back to Santa Margherita, for a total of 15 miles. Meteomed experts then comment on the weather forecast for the day.

Saturday, May 7, 11 a.m.
Gulf of Tigullio
Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 3:08:29 p.m.
The countdown to the start of the regatta/sailing race will be heard throughout the Tigullio Gulf at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 7. About two hundred boats of all sizes and types are expected on the starting line, from dinghies such as the Lasers to 8o-foot giants such as the Maxi Ourdream. For once all together on the same starting line without distinction and with a single purpose: to have fun on the course from Santa Margherita to the tip of Portofino where the first buoy will be placed. When will you ever again witness an engagement between a 420 and the SuperNikka bolide, see the Moor of Venice set off at the buoy, or witness the head-to-head between two legendary Sparkman&Stephens Swans? In fact, everyone can participate: the more relaxed white-sailed in the cruising category, the more “avid” in the spinnaker and gennaker racing category. The rankings will then be compiled in real time and divided by off-road length into six classes. If you have not yet signed up, do so now from or directly at St. Margaret’s.

Saturday, May 7, 6:30 p.m.
Hospitality Tag Heuer VELAFestival
ea gentlemen yachting award
After the sea rivalry, we all gather ashore where the second party will begin, which will start at 6:30 p.m. at the TAG Heuer VELAFestival Hospitality Area with the Dufour Cup awards ceremony. Rankings and prizes will be awarded according to the length of the boat.

Saturday, May 7 7 p.m.
Hospitality Tag Heuer VELAFestival
With the Dufour Cup prizes awarded, there is no stopping for a moment. At 7 p.m. the TAG Heuer VELA Cup prize-giving is scheduled to begin in the scenic terrace hanging over the rocks with a view of Santa Margherita harbor and Portofino mountain, and all regatta participants will be with bated breath to know who will have won. A regatta that is also a self-respecting party must have rich prizes for “almost” everyone. It will be so at the 2016 VELA Cup awards ceremony. Yes, because the beauty of the VELA Cup is that until the time of the award ceremony you do not know who has won, in each of the categories divided by length. Categories for “cruising” and “racing” classes, as well as special prizes, such as that for #plasticfantastic or the GlobeSailor Trophy dedicated to charter boats. In the end there will be over 50 boats awarded this year. But that’s not all, the big news is the products that will be raffled off by VELAFestival exhibitors. Let’s look together at what can be won. From Garmin, a GPS 73, the most popular and reliable handheld; from Nauticplace, the ingenious Olaf suitcase scooter, the effortless onboard transport solution, and the Tacking Master tactical wristwatch, to always navigate at your best; from Astra Yacht, the wrist smartwatch that displays all boat data; from Rigoni di Asiago, a kit with mouthwatering organic jams in galley packs; from Plastimo, eight latest-generation self-inflating lifebuoys; and from U Sail, the innovative Speeder Shoes boat shoes.

Saturday, May 7, 8 p.m.
Hospitality Tag Heuer VELAFestival
After a day of sea and sports it’s time to refresh yourself with some music, food and cocktails on the spelndid terrace of the Hospitality Area but don’t run away because the best is yet to come…

Saturday, May 7, 9:30 p.m.
Porto Santa Margherita Ligure
The long night of the VELAFestival is not over yet. After refreshments with hot dish and cocktails galore, while the bar remains open, we move a few steps, to the dock, to follow from 9:30 p.m. the Crazy Night Race. Illuminated by powerful photocells with music and commentary “à la Gialappas band,” the top sailors of the VELA Cup crews jump aboard two H 22s competing in a fierce match race in Santa’s harbor. On board, in addition to the selected sailors, are two exceptional skippers-Ambrogio Beccaria Balduzzi and Simone Gesi. After the selection batteries, the best two crews compete in the finals.

Sunday, May 8, 12 noon
Beach Village

After Saturday night’s revelry, we want you charged up on Sunday as well. We’ll let you sleep a little longer: the appointment is for 12 noon at the Beach Village where the SUP competition will start in collaboration with our friends at Outdoor Portofino who will provide all the equipment you need for free. The amateur competition is open to anyone who wants to get involved in a healthy and fun form of competition, children, teens, adults and athletes.

Sunday, May 8, 1 p.m.
Beach Village
Also from the Beach Village at 1 p.m., the kayak race will start, and don’t worry if you don’t have your own equipment, because the folks at Outdoor Portofino will take care of that once again. Registration for both races can be done online at or directly at the beach!
Sunday, May 8, 2 p.m.
Hospitality Tag Heuer VELAFestival
Let’s get serious again for a moment, because on Sunday at 2 p.m. there will be the big tribute to celebrate 50 years of fiberglass boats together: the #plasticfantastic Tribute, dedicated to all the mass-produced fiberglass boats built from the 1960s to 1995. It will be the time when protagonsita will be the general public who filled our online bulletin board with more than a hundred #plasticafantastic models. On the stage of the Hospitality Area, great figures from that world will be there to tell fans how #plasticfantastic came to be, their merits and flaws, which boats are the most significant. Telling you about the magical world of boats that have made yachting history will be, in addition to the editor of the Giornale della Vela Luca Oriani, “mythical” characters such as Claudio Maletto, Guido Colnaghi and Mauro Pelaschier, along with representatives of the historical shipyards present at the VELAFestival. But also taking the stage once again will be Pietro Supparo, who will tell us how to transform an old 1976 Hallberg Rassy, his Gianin VI, into a winning boat. We won’t even miss a chat with the whole “tribe” of Sparkman&Stephens Swans participating in the fleet as Cult #plasticfantastic boats in this great tribute.

Sunday, May 8, 3:30 p.m.
Hospitality Tag Heuer VELAFestival
Screenshot 2016-04-21 at 1:20:47 p.m.For the winners of the morning SUP and kayak races, it comes time to receive their well-deserved prizes. From 3:30 p.m. at the Hospitality Area another big party will begin for the Water Games awards ceremony.


Calata del porto / Beach Village
VELAFestival is also the right place to take your children for their first encounter with the world of sailing. There are attentive instructors from the Naval League who from their slip take them for a ride aboard an Optimist or, if they are older, on a Laser, or aboard a Soling. Or, if you prefer, you can get them off the beach, because the Beach Village will also have Optimists and Lasers on hand with instructors from Outdoor Portofino.

Calata del porto
Also moored at the dock waiting for you is the thirty-meter schooner Pandora, a perfect replica of a nineteenth-century sailing ship, where you will find seafaring art workshops. Splicing and splicing with three-tie ropes, sail maintenance, furling, and ferzi sewing will be the main activities of the four days.

But aboard the schooner Pandora, with its crew of real sailors, younger children can play pirates (Pandora’s really look like one) and participate in other activities to bring them closer to the world of sailing and seafaring. Traditional nautical gestures and vocabulary will be reenacted on Pandora’s deck, and the charming schooner will be the scene of real events during which visitors will be part of the crew and take care of the ship as they did in the long sailings of yesteryear.

Beach Village
Waiting for you on the beach are the instructors of Outdoor Portofino, who will provide you with their Sup and kayaks for a paddle in the middle of the gulf and give you useful tips to improve. But if you prefer to get some air in the middle of the sea ask them to take you for a ride on a windsurfer, they will prepare it for you and take you out on the water. Don’t worry if you don’t have equipment, they will supply you with wetsuit and everything you need, just bring a swimsuit!

Beach Village
All the dinghies on display at the Beach Village are available for everyone to try out at sea: you can glide the new Melges 14 in the middle of the Gulf, try out the entire RS fleet including the new Quest, or take a ride aboard Dufour’s Drakkar 24 even with the whole family. But it doesn’t end there, because if you are a fan of beach multihulls, there is also the fantastic Mini Cat for you!

Hospitality / Calata del porto
One of the reasons to come to VELAFestival is undoubtedly the chance to meet and chat with great Italian sailors, to learn their stories and, why not, get some tips. Great navigators such as Vittorio Malingri, Giancarlo Pedote, Gaetano Mura, Ambrogio Beccaria Balduzzi, and Mauro Pelaschier are at your disposal, as well as young talents of the caliber of Edoardo Ferraro and Francesco Orlando.


Every day, from morning to night, sailing videos, great food, relaxing sea views, music, exhibitions, boat rides, sea trials, a beach full of dinghies, pirate school, knot tying school and meetings with great experts, sailors and sailors to ask for advice from. But also the best of the boating market: all the boats you can dream of, big, small, technological, modern, vintage, plastic, cabin cruisers and dinghies. All the most innovative accessories to make your boat beautiful distributed in dozens of booths, but also many boating services from insurance to the best of charters. In short, if you want to have a full immersion of pure sailing, you are entering the right place.

The most beautiful boats in the world Novelty cabin cruisers

Santa Margherita/ Sea harbor cove
vf boats

Every day at the dock you will find representatives of the world’s largest shipyards presenting their newest products. Waiting for you are many world premieres such as the Mylius 76 FD and Vismara V56, Jeanneau’s Sun Odyssey 519 with Harken’s revolutionary Assisted Sail Trim, and Italians such as the new Dufour 412 GL, the Saffier 6.50 the Quest by RS and the Melges 14. As well as dozens of models from monohulls to multihulls, monotypes to dinghies, ideal for cruising or racing, told by those who know them well, because they built them. Italia Yachts is participating with two models, the 12.98 and 9.98, Grand Soleil with the LC 46 and GS 43, Ice Yachts will be there with the new 62 EVO, Wauquiez with the Centurion 57. This year there is also a nice fleet of multihulls: the Lagoon 52, the Lagoon 450 the Bali 4.0,the C-Cat 37 and the Nautitech Open 40.Then we have the Solaris shipyard with its 50-footer, the Delphia 47, the Elan E4, the Pogo 30, the Melges 14, the Hallberg Rassy 342, the RM 890, the Bavaria 51 and 41 and these are just some of the models you can admire, we just wanted to make you curious.

CHOOSE and buy Accessories, equipment, clothing, services
St. Margaret’s harbor cove/ Quay
Strolling along the Santa Margherita harbor cove you will also find dozens of booths to take a closer look at the best of accessories, the latest sailmakers, (North Sails, Quantum and Elvstrom) and many services for you and your boat. In fact, VELAFestival is the place to shop if you need to refresh your sailor wardrobe (others include Musto, Helly Hansen, Sea Storm, Lizard); if you are planning to upgrade your deck equipment (Facnor for furlers, Gottifredi and Maffioli for topsails, Pontos for winches, Ubimaior if you want to take a closer look at the jiber, Plastimo for compasses, Brunton’s Propellers and Ewol for propellers, Nanni Diesel for the engine, Bert Mauri for carbon gear and many others, Nauticplace with the best in boating accessories) or add some new goodies to the onboard electronics (you’ll be spoiled for choice with the best products from Garmin and NKE Electronics). But not only that, you can also find a wide range of services, from sailing schools to charters for your vacation from insurance with Pantaenius to sail washing with Parasciani, from refitting by De Cesari to antifouling by Veneziani.

CULT BOATS – 1 Classic Cult of Yachting History
Screenshot 2016-03-29 at 5:24:32 p.m.St. Margaret’s harbor cove/ Quay
This year our Cults are divided into two groups: Classic Cult, the classic icons that have made yachting history, and Modern Cult, or our #plasticfantastic. As for the Classic Cult the absolute queen you will have the pleasure of admiring on the dock is Massimiliano Ferruzzi’s Moro di Venezia I, the boat that symbolizes the Italian love of sailing: the design, signed German Frers, of the Moro di Venezia I, built by the Carlini shipyard in laminated wood; we will then have Giuseppe Marino’s Bufeo Blanco (named after a particular white dolphin), a beautiful 15-meter from the Sangermani shipyard built in 1962; Ilda, a 1946 design with an unmistakable canoe stern and an incredible history reconstructed by her owner Gianni Fernandes; and Whitefin the magnificent 27-meter yacht Spirit of Tradition, born in 1983 in Maine to a design by Bruce King.

CULT BOATS – 2 Modern Cult, the “#plasticfantastic”
St. Margaret’s harbor cove/ Quay
NEWS 57The stars of our grand tribute to 50 years since fiberglass boats were built will be the #plasticfantastic CULT boats you will see on the dock, representing the more than one hundred “plastic” models built between the mid-1960s and 1995 that you have sent us in recent months and that you will find all posted on our online bulletin board at So we will have representing this golden age of sailing four Swan Sparkman&Stephens jewels built in the 1970s: the Swan 37 Tikka, the Swan 47 Vanessa and the Swan 44 Pippus and Four Winds; then there will be Saravà a splendid Sweden 41 from 1982 just out of an exceptional restoration; Rainbow the C&C 61 a 1972 design by Cuthbertson and Cassian, among the first to build boats out of balsa sandwich; and, of course, the legendary Gianin VI, the 1976 Hallberg Rassy 41, the queen of the Modern Cult, which will be honored with the #plasticfantastic Tribute along with her owner Ciccio Supparo during Friday night’s Sailor of the Year awards ceremony. Then there is an exception among these Modern Cult; it is the brand new Vismara V56 Twin that will arrive at the VELAFestival as an absolute world premiere and that even before it hits the water is already a CULT boat because it aims to be the perfect, custom-designed hull. And finally, Beccaria’s Mini 650 Alla Grande.

The big exhibition. Men, boats, races, adventures
St. Margaret’s harbor cove/ Waterfront
exhibitionWalking along the docks you will be “surrounded” ,literally, by the history of sailing. In fact, for the first time, the great myths, boats, and adventures of the sea will go to make up a large exhibition spread along the entire route. Of course, we have divided it into thematic areas: from the boats that have made sailing history to the faces marked by the sea and wind of the greatest sailors of all time (and their stories); not forgetting the panels that tell the story of the first forty years of the Journal of Sailing through our most beautiful covers. The sportiest aspect then awaits you along the main quay, just past the Piazzetta della Vela. Could we have forgotten the excitement of Azzurra, Moro di Venezia or Luna Rossa in their hunt for the America’s Cup?

The boats of summer. Discover your future charter boat
St. Margaret’s harbor cove/ Waterfront
Looking at the boats on the dock will also allow you to choose which one you will charter this summer, including flotilla or cabin charter. You can tour the boats and be guided by experts from GlobeSailor, Sailogy, Mondovela. Goddess of the Seas, Arundel, Helm Charter, Going Sailing, Blue Project, who will advise you on the right model and the best itinerary in the Mediterranean and world seas for your next vacation. Or if your plans include booking a sailing course, sailing course, or if you are looking for a summer course for your children, turn to Sea-Master or if you want to try a kayaking experience you will have all the experience of Tuilik and its patron Guido Grugnola at your disposal.

For your eyes only. The great sailing videos & films
Hospitality TAG Heuer VELAFestival
At the Hospitality area, when there is no one on stage, of course talking about sailing, one can enjoy the best of such films as Deep Water and Tabarly, the story of the 1973/74 Whitbread World Tour, videos of the great regattas, tests of the most prestigious boats and educational features, as well as the strangest and funniest videos.

VELA Cup exposition The party boats at sea
Docks / Waterfront
Don’t forget to take a stroll among the floating docks to take a look at the moored boats and find out the participants in the VELA Cup, the great festival of sailing at sea, the regatta/sailing event that will start on Saturday, May 7, at 11 a.m.

Sailing for all Dinghies, Cat, Kite, Surf, Sup, Inflatables
Beach Village
mainThis year Beach Village, the most beautiful beach in Santa Margherita, will have a guest star. We are talking about Vittorio Malingri, the “daddy” of young Italian sailors who are making a name for themselves all over the world. Then there will be the brand new Melges 14, the ultra-technological drift of the moment. But the entire RS Sailing shipyard fleet will also be present at Beach Village with the premiere Quest, Aero, RS 500 and Feva. Also completing the beach display are the Mini Cat and Aquaglide Multi Sport.

Relaxation & Good Food. With a view of the most beautiful gulf in the world
Hospitality / Beach Village / Calata del porto
aaIMG_8010In order for you to enjoy your days at VELAFestival to the fullest, we have also thought about having you eat well in total relaxation. In fact, there is a Hospitality Area and an entire beach designed especially for you to relax in the sun (with a view of the most beautiful gulf in the world) while enjoying a typical dish while having a drink. The special dish designed to refresh your mind and body are delicious and mouth-watering cartocci of fried fish and vegetables Fish and vegetables are “floured” in durum wheat semolina, freshly fried and served in traditional yellow paper cartocci with a slice of lemon and a long wooden skewer. Good and inexpensive, they are the ideal solution that allows you to continue walking around the docks.




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