VIDEO. Goatherds of yesterday and today, ready for tears? Look in 50 years how you have changed!


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Being a Caprerino is a bit of a status symbol: every Italian if he hears the word sailboat thinks of three things, the Moro of Venice, Paul Cayard, and Caprera. How many times has it happened to you, after “confessing” to being a sailor, that you are immediately pressed with the question, “Did you do Caprera?”
This is because the Caprera Sailing Center is a historical piece of Italian sailing, having “given birth” to 120,000 new sailors in 50 years. This year, 50 years to the day Guido Colnaghi decided to bring the French sailing school model to the Mediterranean at Les Glénans, Caprera celebrates its birthday.

So we want to make you a little teary-eyed by showing you two videos, the first one recounting the Caprera of the early 1970s and commented by Luca Goldoni, and the second one showing instead the Caprera of today. Because 50 years were not enough to change the spirit of a DOC goat herder!



The CVC- Centro Velico Caprera is not only a great institution of sail training but is above all a life experience that has left a deep mark on the 120,000 students who have learned to love the art of seamanship and sailing since 1967. A story that is told through the emotions of those who lived through the experience, helping to build the notoriety and credibility of the association, which today is an asset at the disposal of environmental and social sustainability.
For the past fifty years everything has changed, but everything has remained the same. Technological boats have replaced wooden ones, running water and hot water have come to the island, retiring the bettolines that supplied it, electricity now makes life at the base more comfortable after dark. But, decade after decade, the extraordinary human experience of reconnecting with nature, man and self has remained unchanged and continues to overwhelm every individual who sets foot on Caprera.

It was 1967 when, on the initiative of the Italian Naval League Milan Section and the Italian Touring Club, under the patronage of the Navy, which granted the use of the Caprera military base settlement in the spectacular La Maddalena Archipelago, the CVC- Centro Velico Caprera was born. These were the years in which it took two days to get to Sardinia and an additional half day to reach Caprera.

That voyage marked the beginning and became an integral part of the experience at the Caprera Sailing Center: in the slow passage of time, aspiring and experienced sailors prepared to experience totalizing sensations. Today, connections to the island are facilitated, but what allows those authentic and unrepeatable emotions to be experienced is the rhythm with which the days are cadenced, between navigation exercises, theory lessons, and strong moments of gathering at the base surrounded by the scenery of an unspoiled landscape.

Unconquered nature, the power of its elements, and boats make up a triptych that draws an experience of reflection, resourcefulness, courage, and sharing. Life at the Caprera Sailing Center is a set of simple i but “real” moments that offer children the opportunity to regain valuable contact with a primordial dimension where foundational values become protagonists and the futile downsized. Since its origins, the Caprera Sailing Center has represented, for those arriving at the base for the first time, an initiation rite: the passage from one age to another, an evolution into a new dimension.

An intense and profound ritual that etches and leaves a mark, often indelible, on the individual. Sheets, sails, tacking become everyday life; the dirt roads, which draw the Island, are path to navigation and stage of the return to base with the sunset in the gaze. It is a virus that infects students and instructors in a large community that speaks a common language, and has always, shared the same values. The same virus that over the years has infected, among others, student Luca Goldoni, world freediving record holder Stefano Makula, CVC instructor Gian Maria Volontè, and in more recent times Antonia Klugmann, star chef and new female face of Marsterchef.

That of CVC- Centro Velico Caprera is also a story of friendships and loves, in which relationships are defined in their deepest essence, in which individual choices give way to group dynamics. Boating is about trusting others, in a collaborative and forthright dimension. With respect for the individual and nature, but above all for the sea and its winds, the absolute protagonists and masters of the scene.

Having rounded the buoy of its first 50 years, the Caprera Sailing Center puts the bow towards 2067 by taking on a new ethical and social responsibility towards the new generations, mankind and the environment. That of offering young people a “unique educational experience” that can have a strong positive impact in their lives and change, for the better, their future.

That of making its heritage accessible to an ever-widening community by opening it up to learners with reduced mobility and various levels of disability.
Included in this vision is the CVC project to support WOW (Wheels on Waves) which will depart from New York next April to pick up the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from U.N. Secretary Antonio Guterres and deliver it, after the ocean crossing aboard the world’s first fully disability-accessible catamaran, to Pope Francis at the Vatican.
That of providing a different opportunity for people with particular illnesses, such as oncology, to benefit in a concrete way from the extraordinary therapeutic power of the experience at the CVC, its sea and its wind.
With this in mind, the new Collaboration between the Caprera Sailing Center and the European Oncology Institute, which will see, next June, a group of oncology students/patients, assisted by a team of IEO specialists and with the technical support of a team of selected CVC instructors, measure themselves in an out-of-the-ordinary experience.
The commitment made to the environment will see Centro Velico Caprera committed to the protection of the delicate ecosystem of the beautiful La Maddalena National Park where the base is located, carrying out information and dissemination programs, and making its fleet available for water monitoring and sampling programs. Out of this vision comes a collaboration with Plastic Busters, a project of the University of Siena under the auspices of the UN, with the goal of monitoring and reducing the impact of micro plastics in our sea.
Located in what was the land inhabited by Giuseppe Garibaldi, the CVC- Centro Velico Caprera thanks to the very low environmental impact of its settlement and its eco-sustainable approach contributes to preserving this extraordinary place in its original naturalness.




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