VELAFestival is Cult! Here are seven pieces of history that you can admire in Santa Margherita


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VELAFestival 2017, Santa Margherita Ligure May 4-7, will also be an opportunity for all sailing enthusiasts to be able to admire some cult boats that have made the history of world yachting at the dock. Yes, you got it right, we are not talking about simple boats on display but real pieces of history still sailing. You can admire them, photograph them, you can talk to their owners and learn about their history, which is also why it is worth being at the

It all began in 1967. A certain Michel Dufour, a French architect-engineer from La Rochelle in the Vendée, has an insight that will revolutionize the philosophy of sailboat construction. His experience led him to develop an innovative design: a hull with a large maximum beam compared to the customs of the time. Michel Dufour’s idea is still relevant today. With the Arpège, in 1967, the modern cruising sailboat was born, but with excellent racing characteristics. In fact in the same 1967 a fiberglass prototype built and helmed by Michel Dufour won the 12th Atlantic Cup for 18-foot rated boats with as many as 16 nations participating. Convinced of the success of his design, Dufour had the first standard fiberglass boats built by the Stratifiè Industriel Shipyard in La Rochelle. Only later did he give the shipyard his name and begin making the Arpège: 1,600 hulls produced from 1967 to 1978, in various versions. The name Arpège came from a combination with the perfumer Lanvin, who produced the well-known perfume Arpège, still on sale in perfumeries after fifty years. Guest among our “Cult Boats,” Sula, a 1972 Harpège that has just been refitted and is narrated as follows by its owner: “The boat was recently restored, this year marks the 50th year since the birth of the legendary Arpège, and with my father together with a group of friends, after months of hard work in the shipyard, we managed to give her new life. Suffice it to say that it had been ten years since the boat had been dry-docked after tackling a round-the-world trip in previous years.” For Friday, May 5, during the evening of champions that will feature the awarding of the Sailor of the Year, we are organizing a grand tribute for the 50th anniversary of the Arpége.


“They cross the ocean now even in the bathtub, I don’t understand why it can’t be done in Star.” It doesn’t make a wrinkle, the reasoning of Dario Noseda, a Larian from Mandello (Lecco). Aboard the legendary boat, Olympic class from 1932 to 2012, next November (presumably at 1 to 5) will set sail from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria towards the Bahamas, nearly 3,000 miles solo and 20 to 30 days at sea. Dario’s Star has been specially modified to attempt the feat and you can come and see it May 4-7 in Santa Margherita: and Dario will be there, ready to answer all your questions! “First of all,” he began, “we reinforced the hull and deck attachment and enclosed almost the entire cockpit. Such that removed the space for the helmsman. (I), create a covered compartment in the bow where I can sleep. A kind of survival cockpit made watertight. At the bow we closed the hole that allowed the forestay adjustment, the mast is no longer through but ends at the deck. Of course, the shaft base was reinforced with anti-torsion plates“. The rudder attachments have also been strengthened. In addition, “we set up a second emergency rudder with needles and sissies.” The tree, was made by Massimo Tagliaferro. Noseda explains, “It isone meter shorter than the original one, and the boom is also ‘cut’ by one meter. A raised carriage was built at the stern for the mainsail sheet. It is elevated so that I can act without hindrance should I need to use the emergency rudder at the stern). We left the flywheels in place, and mounted three stays at the bow instead. A different rollable sail is rigged on each. The traditional Star jib, a tormentor and an asymmetric ‘drifter’ style hoping to have trade winds at the carriers most of the time.” As for onboard power, Dario will be able to rely on three solar panels and probably two small hydro-generators (“but maybe I won’t need them”), which will go to charge two lithium batteries installed on the two inner bulwarks. These will be used to power two GPS and the satellite.

What about the supplies? “I will have freeze-dried foods that I will ‘revitalize’ with fresh water., which will be supplied to me by two manual desalinators and will cook on a tilting alcohol stove. In addition, I will have all the emergency equipment required by law.” The engine? “Absolutely not, I don’t want him aboard my Star!”

But it is in the inner lining of the hull that is the novelty. “Engineer Bertolotto’s idea. Use a kind of skeleton of plastic bottles, filled with air. In case of shocks and criticality, we have experienced, they are a very good shock absorber.”

One of the “goodies” not to be missed at TAG Heuer VelaFestival is Ojalà II, an elegant One Tonner designed in 1972 by Sparkman & Stephens and built in 1973 in aluminum, in Holland, by Royal Huisman Shipyard.
A spunky English boy is parachuted into the hills of Emilia during World War II. He will never leave Italy again, where he will start a family and found one of Italy’s best-known companies that will allow him to realize his lifelong dream: to have a sailboat and raise his daughter and a group of young people who, still friends after 30 years, race on his Ojalà II keeping his memory alive. Telling this fantastic story is Michele Frova, a 56-year-old entrepreneur from Milan, who first went up Ojalà II in Greece in 1988 and never came down again, becoming its historical memory. “Charles Holland, future father of my childhood friend Susan, was an expert in telephony and radio,” Frova begins. “In 1942 he was dropped by parachute near Sassuolo, with the task of keeping contact between the partisans and the Allied forces. Young and intelligent, when the war was over he decided to stay in Italy, in Milan, where he fell in love with a middle-class girl (Anna Maria Formiggini, ed.) whom he married in 1950.” Rich in ideas, in postwar Italy, Charles Holland founded a small hearing aid company for the deaf: the famous Amplifon, of which today his wife is president and his daughter vice president. Such was the company’s success that, a few years later, it could afford to commission the prestigious Sparkman&Stephens Studio to design a 10-meter, then built in wood by Carlini of Rimini. “Charles had Spanish and Argentine friends to whom he confessed his dream of one day owning a sailboat. These, in jest, would tease him, ‘So, are you going to have a sailboat?’ And he would reply, ‘Ojalà!’, which is Spanish for ‘maybe!” says Frova. That expression was chosen for the name of his first boat, which he later transferred, making it a “trademark” in the yachting world, to his second boat: in fact, wanting to make a larger boat, in 1972 he again commissioned a One Tonner (christened Ojalà II) from S&S. “The boat was launched in 1973, built in Holland by Royal Huisman, a leading shipyard in aluminum hulls, which today no longer manufactures anything under 40 meters.”


Umiak is the name inuit For a more squat single paddle canoe than the better known kajak used by men for hunting and fishing.Soft and capacious in shape the umiak was the “women’s” boat in which household items and children were transported, a ‘quiet boat that faced the sea without challenging it, made to protect the most precious treasure: the family. Thus, although Cesare Sangermani Jr tells a ‘different story about the origin of the name linked to the “Norwegian” stern of the Bermudian ketch that left his shipyards in 1954 , one cannot help but think that this splendid 15-meter motorsailer has some of the deep soul of the ancient Inuit canoe in it: femininity,gentleness,a sense of protection,courage and the taste, indeed the luxury, of slowness. “It is the stern that is the real feature of Umiak Cesare Sangermani Jr. son of “that” Cesare Sangermani, who was a designer and builder of outstanding wooden boats from the postwar period until the 1970s that marked the history of quality Italian yachting, explains to us. “A sharp stern, that of the “Umiak” , almost like a bow, made specifically to take the sea well with load-bearing gaits without boarding and without the boat turning over. This “Ketch,” Sangermani tells us again,” was born as a motorsailer, a type of boat that at that time did not exist in the Mediterranean where there were those who sailed and those who powered and were careful to stretch canvas in the wind. No one in the 1950s thought of using a sailboat for cruises or long motor transfers.” On the East Coast of the U.S., on the other hand, the motorsailer was a reality; in Florida , in the Keys, sailboats with powerful engines served as second homes, “campers on the water,” an idea that had caught on in Northern Europe.


There will also be Jadera, homebuilt by shipwright Musap in 1968, following the Dragon’s construction plans with a minor modification to the deckhouse that makes it a unique boat.
Completely made of wood, equipped with 3 sail games, it allows you to learn, on a classic boat, the modern technique of sailing. The boat has always sailed in Liguria and was based at the Italian Yacht Club in Genoa, where anew spruce mast was made in 2007. In 2012 it was taken over by the La Spezia association Vela Tradizionale, formerly the owner of the schooner Pandora, for restoration. Among the works performed by its commander Luca Buffo with the collaboration ofLa Spezia Sailing Club, where Jadera is based, the overhaul of the larch planking and mahogany framework and beams, the removal of the inboard thruster, and the refurbishment of the deck with douglas filarots, laid on a thin layer of marine plywood and coated with protective oil donated by International Paint.


This auric cutter represents Anglo-Saxon elegance in all its essence. Lona II was designed in 1905 by English architect Paine Clark and built by the William King and Sons shipyard. For a time in the 1960s, it sailed with Bermudian rigging before returning to its original auric cutter configuration through restoration work conducted in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1991 it was then purchased by British architect Richard Meynell, in whose hands it remained until 2005, when it was bought by Maurizio Manzoli, who brought it back to the Mediterranean. Among the first owners was Michael Barne, Robert Falcon Scott’s lieutenant, who reached Antarctica aboard the Discovery in 1902. Lona II during World War II was saved because she was hidden in a swamp in Essex.

The boat that brought Dick Carter to prominence and revolutionized the RORC era. In 1965 a small boat stunned the yachting world, winning the legendary Fastnet race outright. The boat is called Rabbit. It is just over ten meters long and was designed by an almost unknown thirty-seven-year-old American “amateur designer” Dick Carter. No one had ever designed a boat like this: a hull shape with tapered appendages and a very pronounced maximum beam placed amidships: 3.15 meters in just over 10 in length. His biographer, Sandy Weld, reports that as soon as the boat was launched, Carter expressed his surprised delight that it floated “just like a boat.” Recently purchased by her new owners, she will enter the shipyard in October 2017 for a restoration that will bring her to her 1965 glory.



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