It was tactics that made the difference at the VELA Cup Toscana, the first leg of Italy’s most fun racing circuit organized by the large Giornale della Vela family. Sixty boats, of all sizes and types, competed in the waters in front of Marina Cala de’ Medici, on the picturesque stretch of the Tuscan coast between Rosignano Marittimo and Castiglioncello. A difficult race course, with constant wind shifts and a timid mistral that was slow to make itself felt.
All the stages of the VELA Cup 2023
- May 26 / 28 – VELA Cup Toscana / VELAFestival
- June 3 / 4 – VELA Cup Brindisi
- June 24 / 25 – VELA Cup Magdalena
- July 22 / 23 – VELA Cup Venice
- August 19 / 20 – VELA Cup Costa Smeralda
- October 7 / 8 – VELA Cup Sicily
VELA Cup Tuscany: how it went
A shy mistral, which lingered until the end, gave competitors in the first edition of the VELA Cup Toscana no small amount of trouble. In the morning, a weak landward breeze of 4/5 knots prompted the committee to move the start. To allow crews to safely start upwind, the first two buoys of the course were reversed. The VELA Cup-as we have always told you-even more than a regatta is a celebration, a competition in which everyone can participate, without bureaucracy or technical complications. The safety and enjoyment of crews is always our priority. That’s because, alongside performance boats and sporty multihulls (there was the brand new Corsair 880 that we tested for you), there were many families, friends and sailors at their first regatta today.
Initially rewarding was the choice of those who aimed to keep below the coast, even managing to get their sickle in the water at the first buoy, thanks to a slight strengthening of the wind. At the shallows of Vada, the southern edge of the Ligurian Sea, a few wind holes formed, and while the first crews had already taken some distance, much of the fleet was stranded.
After about 2 hours from the start the wind finally turned and the mistral arrived, the great absentee of this long morning. Weak and shaky at first, the wind then relaxed and strengthened in the afternoon (up to 15 knots). Crossing the finish line first was Arya, Giovanni Laviosa’s X-50 in 2 hours 30 minutes and 30 seconds. Behind him was Paolo Bertuzzi’s Vismara V47 RC Turboden Sailing Team and in third place in real time was Paolo Boricchi’s Grand Soleil 42 LC Eleven.
All the winners, the best is yet to come
But these are only the first ones in real time, all rankings and winners will be revealed this evening during the awards ceremony at Marina Cala de’ Medici (and later published on our website). In addition to class prizes, prizes will be awarded to the top Classic Boat (at least 25 years old) in each homogeneous grouping by length and the most beautiful and elegant boat. In addition, the numerous raffle prizes offered by our partners Garmin, Veneziani, Leatherman, Plastimo, HiNelson and YachtingBond will be awarded during the evening.
Photos by Simon Palfrader