When the crew remembers the owner and other stories from the Italian Winter Championships

A moment of the winter in Marina di Loano. Photo Martino Motti

Sand there is something that sums up well the concept of “passion for sailing” are the winter championships.From November to March, every Saturday and Sunday, around for Italy, there are thousands of enthusiasts who are willing to wake up at dawn or earlier, drive perhaps hundreds of miles, take for at least 3-4 hours if not more buckets of cold water and icy wind, and then return home in time to get themselves together for the Monday morning office.

A “tribe” of sailors who cannot resist the allure of the winter sea, and of racing to experience it to its fullest. What’s more, winter championships have always been synonymous with sailing for everyone: new boats, old boats, fast or slow, with family or professional crews, everyone can try their hand at these championships and indeed they are often one of the gateways to the racing world.

And then on these winter weekends, which are not always cold and stormy but on the contrary give surprises in Italy, love affairs or decades-long friendships between crews can be born, or stories of passion for sailing that will mark you. Somewhat like the ones we tell you about in these pages, made up of friendship, passion for boats and, of course, winter sailing.

When the crew

remembers the owner

Vega’s equipment. Photo Martino Motti

Salvatore Giuffrida’s Grand Soleil 40 Vega is a well-known boat in Liguria, a regular presence at many regattas, winter and otherwise, always with amateur crews, often composed of friends. Also this year Vega could not miss the appointment with the Winter Championship, the one in Marina di Loano .

A “young” but fast-growing Championship, with a race course that Vega likes, often with strong winds, which from the first races has struggled in the first positions of the ORC ranking. In January, however, a sudden illness took Salvatore Giuffrida away at only 59 years old. A tragedy for the family, but also for the friends who had accompanied him on the boat over the years in his passion for racing. The crew decided to honor the memory of their owner by completing the Winter Championship and winning it. A gesture of friendship, in the name of sailing and the sea.


31st Winter Cimento © FVD/ZGN

Winter sailing and its championships not only come alive along the coasts, but also the main Italian lakes in winter do not cease their activities, in fact they revive them. Garda of course is one of them, and what is special about the Winter Championships on the lakes is that we see not only cabin cruisers but also very different boats in action: sport boats or very special monotypes like the Ace 99.

One of these, Max Tosi’s ITA 141, took center stage in the Cimento Invernale organized by Fraglia Vela Desenzano. A very well attended championship open to many of the classes that love Lake Garda: in addition to Ace 99s there are Meteors, Dolphin 81s, Surprise and even ORC boats. ITA 141 came out on top among the Ace 99, a class consisting of 9 boats at the Winter Regatta. And how can anyone be more passionate about sailing than theThe crew of an Ace 99 that stands on the trapeze in winter getting slapped by the Garda Pelèr?




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