VELA Cup Tuscany, a fantastic course and the secrets to winning it


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Just over a month to go before the first leg of the VELA Cup Toscana, the regatta open to all boats and all sailors (sports and non-sports). The great sailing festival starts again at Marina Cala de’ Medici, where the VELAFestival will also be held May 26-28. Let’s discover the route together.

All the stages of the VELA Cup 2023


Here is the route of the VELA Cup Tuscany

Saturday, May 27, at 11 a.m. We will start. The route is triangular, starting in front of Cala de’ Medici Marina, between Castiglioncello and Rosignano. Windward buoy offshore and then tack and head for the shallows of Vada, southern edge of the Ligurian Sea and perfect place to (on Sundays) stop for a swim! Coastal side to the traverse, cutting through Quercetano Bay, Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea with its unique sunsets among nature, crystal clear waters and beaches enclosed by cliffs. Arrived at the third buoy, positioned off the coast of Quercianella, a town over which towers a large castle overlooking the sea that belonged to Baron Sidney Sonnino (Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the Kingdom of Italy), you go upwind to the first buoy In front of the Cala de’ Medici Marina. The finish is aft on the same line as the start. The course will be about 12 miles (with course reduction in case of low wind to allow everyone to finish the race).

The course of the VELA Cup Tuscany
The course of the VELA Cup Tuscany




Seven tips for participating in the VELA Cup… and win

Do you want to win but have never participated in a regatta? Here are some tips for getting “results” at a regatta where you can win, too! The drawing below, taken from Imhoff-Pranger’s monumental “Sailing and Competition,” illustrates seven clues from which certain conclusions can be drawn. In the table of course, for reasons of economy of space various indications are summarized that cannot occur at the same time.

race tactics VELA CUP
Race Tactics – Seven signs of a wind change to interpret

Imagine you are racing in a boat slightly abaft and to the wind of the yellow boat, with starboard tack: through the drawing here are all the clues that may have influence on your tactical choices to be made.

1. Read the ripples

Slight ripples on the water indicate that a gust is approaching. The evolution of the marks on the water will also give you the clue as to the direction of the gust. If it is a “good” gust, that is, a rightward rotation of the wind in the case of the drawing, it will cause you to heave.

Since you are upwind, you will be better off going ahead and gaining in terms of “VMG” (Velocity Made Good, which is the projection of the speed on the wind axis shown on the instruments on board). If the gust, on the other hand, is of “scarce” (rotation of the wind to the left, with a requirement to lean in the case under consideration) the best solution might be to get into it a few meters and then veer to take the good on the other walls, with the advantage of also removing you from any waste from the yellow boat.

2. Boats closer to the coast tell you that…

Boats with starboard tack near the coast, on the left in the drawing, tighten the wind more, which means the wind is turning to the right down there. Not bad for you upwind, but you need to consider how long it will take you to reach that area. The wind does not always stay in the same spot….

3. Clouds speak to you

Look at that “lump” in the upper left corner. Definitely something is going to happen. A gust is coming and very soon the wind will increase and change direction. Essential to read the sea ahead and observe other boats.

4. Smoking

A great source of information is factory smokestacks or chimney smoke. Look at the drawing. In this case, the direction of the smoke lets you know that down there the wind has turned considerably to the left. As you skirt the coast, you may find yourself forced to switch from upwind to downwind! A good tactician records the situation, and instructs the crew to start fitting gennaker or spinnaker if the intention is to continue ashore…

5. Understanding the wind from afar

Turn your gaze even farther out. Judging from the boats on the slack, the wind has turned to the right for the boats further back. Those in the lead do not have the spinnaker hoisted (meaning the wind angle does not allow it), while the chasing boats all have the spi or gennaker on shore.

6. Flags

Observe the buoy flag. It is indicating to you that a “good” gust is coming soon, which will raise your bow. Great news for you who are sailing, upwind, upwind of the fleet.

7. Race tactics – Watch out for false signals

The smoke coming out of the ferry’s funnel (blue arrow) seems to indicate that the wind will turn considerably to the right shortly, but this is not accurate. The ferry is moving forward at a rather fast speed, so the smoke only indicates the direction of the ferry’s apparent wind; the direction of the smoke is not related to that of the actual wind…

Bonus tip: get the boat ready to go

Has your boat been sitting idle since last summer? Before you leave for the SAIL Cup hull it! And if you can’t get by the yard, with a cargo lift strap and lots of elbow grease at least get the algae off the hull.

Marina Cala de’ Medici base of the first leg of the VELA Cup and VELAFestival from May 26 to 28

VELAFestival is back

On the docks and in the village of Marina Cala de’ Medici, from Friday through Sunday, leading boating operators present their products and are on hand to explain and illustrate their latest innovations at the VELAFestival. Alongside them also many excellences and typical local products, because this long weekend in May (from 26 to 28), made of sailing, relaxation and lots of fun, is to be spent both family and friends.



To register for the VELA Cup Toscana you just need to
enter here
and finalize your registration by entering your and the boat’s details!

James Barbaro



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