Wind jumps and lots of fun. Viva la VELA Cup in Salento

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Tense breeze and a few drops of rain, these were the conditions that the more than 30 crews, who arrived at the
Marina di Brindisi
from all over Salento and beyond, found at sea on Saturday, June 1. It was a wet VELA Cup Brindisi for sure, but also fast and fun, in which boats of all sizes and shapes took part. From the small monohull like Antonio Frascino’s Surprise to the Nuititech 46 Open, Massimiliano Pezzuto’s catamaran with sailing YouTuber Francesco Sena on board. To cross the finish line first is always him, Flash, Andrea Milizia’s Cookson Farr 39 IMS, already the winner of the last edition.

The great festival of SAIL in Salento

It was a beautiful regatta. There is a bit of this imagery that regattas are only for performance boats and very technical crews, whereas it is events like this that bring everyone a little closer to the world of sailing and racing. It is a very beautiful spirit and you could see it in all the boats that participated“, are the words of Francesco Sena, the sailing “youtuber” and brand ambassador of Leatherman, who participated in the VELA Cup Brindisi today. “We got off to a good start, at the beginning there were 18 to 20 knots, which favored the catamaran’s gait to the detriment of the monohulls. We immediately recovered many positions, moving from ninth to fourth. After the meda tack, the wind dropped a little and we could no longer use Code 0, because otherwise we would have gone too wide. We lost four to five positions again and eventually crossed the finish line tenth. The first part was much more adrenaline-pumping, with the start and the comeback up to the middle of the race. Anyway, we ate, drank and had a great time“.

It was precisely the genuine, relaxed spirit of the VELA Cup that was also the hallmark of this Salento leg of the most fun-filled racing circuit ever. The competitors also included a special crew of teenagers, attending competitive Optimist and Laser courses in the area. An initiative promoted by Federico Galliano, owner of the First 40.7 Blue Fantasia, to transmit to the very young the values of sailing practiced in Crew and fun in a non-competitive competition. “The boys were all on their first experience in offshore racing. They behaved not well, very well, taking turns maneuvering in a boat they did not know. Clearly, the experience gained on dinghies helped tremendously in sensitivity at the helm and in adjusting the sails. The hope is that these kids will be our future owners when they all get older“.

VELA Cup Brindisi: how it went.

The start was eventful, with a southerly wind that rotated to the right a few minutes before the shot, leading the entire fleet to concentrate in committee. Rising fairly quickly to the disengagement buoy, thanks to the 15-plus knots of wind, the crews set a compact course toward the meda, off the rocks of Àpani, skirting the Bridisine beaches of Punta Penne and Torre Testa.

As a water-laden cloud swept over the meda, the first crews reversed course and headed for the finish line. The wind dropped a bit but the one who never let up was Flash, Andrea Milizia’s Cookson Farr 39 IMS that came in first place, a regular at VELA Cup Brindisi. Behind him, he cuts in second place Soft, Bluesail ASD’s Dufour 40P, and in third Talitha, Gianluca Fischetto’s Salon 41.

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 the Marina di Brindisi (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, during the evening, the numerous raffle prizes offered by our partner partners Moby, IBSA, Honda, HiNelson, Garmin, Leatherman, ACSI Vela, Veneziani Yachting, Plastimo, YachtIngBond and AMBECO.

 

The next stages of the VELA Cup 2024

Photos by Simon Palfrader

James Barbaro

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