Nearly 13,000 votes, 58,419 views at http://velistadellanno.giornaledellavela.com, a cycling-style breakaway by the front-runner. TAG Heuer’s 2019 Sailor of the Year, the most coveted award in Italian sailing, has racked up unprecedented numbers in these first five days, and the adrenaline was not lacking. You have until noon on Feb. 15 to give your three preferences to the 100 candidates in the race. And remember that by voting, you can win a valuable TAG Heuer watch and a boat vacation offered by Globesailor.
FIND OUT ALL THE CANDIDATES AND VOTE FOR THEM HERE!
WHO IS THE NORMAL SAILOR?
Meanwhile, everyone was amazed by the leap forward of Yakamoz, theOvni 41 of Giampaolo Gentili and his partner Basak (leading with 848 votes): the boat that symbolizes how one can “unplug,” escape from “evolved” society, and downsize to devote oneself to a sustainable (and peaceful) existence. For years the two have been living “on less than 500 euros a month” between the Mediterranean and the Aegean. Theirs is a good story, and the two are great at self-promotion. Posts on their blog, dedicated newsletters, social bounces.
In an article, Giampaolo (who turns 47 today, congratulations!) poses a beautiful reflection on what a “sailor” is. Here is what he writes:
I apologize to you in advance, because at this time it is easy you will have to endure every now and then some reference to the competition being held, a very important event: “The Sailor of the Year,” organized every year by “The Journal of Sailing.” But I mention it gladly for a specific reason and one that I hope you can appreciate: at the moment in question “Yakamoz” is 1st! I took advantage of the 666th vote to write this article, as the fact is really “diabolical” for us.
Now, seriously we feel like we are living a dream (and at times a nightmare), as at first already the mere nomination was taken by us as a very pleasant and appreciated recognition, but it ended there. Too many weighty competitors, victorious athletes, and emblazoned boats to compete to even think about such an outcome. Instead, something magical, unique is happening.
The audience, our friends, and maybe even some who got to know us just through this contest, all took up our call for participation in a massive, choral way. There is only one word for such a phenomenon: ‘incredible.’ After the initial feelings of intoxication, now that at 47 years old (I turn it on Monday) I have experienced enough to not delude myself like a child, I can sit back and calmly reflect on why this is so. Tomorrow we will slide to the bottom of the standings, it doesn’t matter. Now we are first and that’s enough for me.
My thoughts immediately lead me to search for meaning to the title “Sailor of the Year.” And even more precisely a real meaning to the word “sailor.”
Because if by sailor we mean a racer, then clearly we and Yakamoz would be hopeless. But then it would have been the case that the award should have been called “Racer of the Year,” or “Sailing Athlete of the Year,” etc. Instead, and here is perhaps why the organization wanted to include us in the challenge, the sailor is a person who has chosen sailing as a passion, and the sea (don’t get me wrong with the lacustrians) as an element ‘where to do something’.
There are those who leave the harbor few times, devoting themselves to dockside life; those who make it a fetishistic passion, smoothing and pampering their shells; and those who travel endless miles to discover the dry land, as per centuries-old tradition. Those of us who live there much of the year, as a chosen domicile, wandering a little there, a little here in search of happiness.
Ah yes, and then certainly those who make a sport of it.
So, if we can all agree, the word ‘sailor’ encompasses many case histories, among which perhaps the most common is precisely represented by the normal person: not a ‘ lion,’ not a ‘sheep,’ but perhaps ‘the teddy bear’ of the group. In short, the one next door.
We are this, ordinary people who have chosen to live with little. And the avalanche of votes we are receiving, perhaps have a meaning beyond sympathy for us; I think there is a desire to identify with us, and the message that slowly, just like the keel of Yakamoz, we have been trying for years to bring forward: the vision of life based on simpler patterns, an economic degrowth necessary to return to milder advice; slowness as a leitmotif to think more. In short, there is perhaps a desire to give a resounding response to a bad system, of which sailing and boating, alas, are often no exception.
Dear friends, I don’t know if we will ever make it to that podium, in this strange virtual regatta, but know that we will give it our all, and today however it goes, we proved something great.
Go Yakamoz go, continue to make us dream.
HOW THE VOTING IS GOING
Here is the top ten: behind Yakamoz, Matteo Sericano (632 votes), Pierluigi De Felice (563 votes), Ambrogio Beccaria (539 votes), Crazy Horse II (532 votes), Marco Carpinello (494 votes), Carlo De Paoli (481 votes), Francesca Clapcich (424 votes), Giulio Desiderato (392 votes), Gentilina (387 votes). In 50th place, the last eligible for passage to the round, Vasco Vascotto with 37 votes.
Our editorial staff will constantly update you with news, posts on Facebook and stories on Instagram, on the Sail Newspaper profile and on the Sailor of the Year profile.
HERE THE DETAILED REGULATIONS OF THE SAILOR OF THE YEAR
THREE VOTES PER PHASE
Starting this year there are two new features: it will be possible to cast three votes per stage (and no longer just one)! You can decide to give three preferences to a single candidate, or divide them among several candidates. For the validation of each vote, you will be asked for your email address: we recommend that you type in the right one; you will find out why in a moment:
VOTE AND WIN!
This year there are two more (mouth-watering) opportunities to vote for your favorite Velista of the Year candidates. Among all the survey voters who will take part in the Evening of Champions (you will be asked to register for the event with the email you provided during voting), on Friday, May 3 at 7 p.m. at theTAG Heuer VELAFestival, will be raffled off a prestigious Aquaracer chronograph from our longtime partner TAG Heuer And, thanks to new partner of the Sailor of the Year Globesailor a long weekend on a boat provided by Sail Italy (May 8-9-10, 2020 in the base of Procida aboard a Beneteau Oceanis 38, 3 cabins and 2 bathrooms, skipper not included).