More than 2,000 boats and 15,000 sailors take to the seas off the coast of northern Italy to compete in the historic Barcolana Regatta yesterday at Trieste.
It started off as an informal race between 51 locals in 1969 and is now the largest sailing race in the world
Sailors from Australia, the UK, the USA, Korea, Ukraine and China all took part in yesterday's race.
And this year, 50 years on, the event lived up to its title as thousands of yachts turned the Gulf of Trieste into the unofficial sailing capital of Europe.
The gathering is the biggest of its kind anywhere in the Mediterranean and more than 2,000 boats and 15,000 sailors from Australia, the UK, the USA, Korea, Ukraine and China took part today.
From the organisers:
Way of Life, owned by the Slovenian shipowner Gasper Vincec, wins Barcolana51 presented by Generali in 1h54'10''. The boat beat an epic calm sea and all the competitors who had been tipped to win on the eve of Barcolana, thanks to an outstanding set-off and to the accurate selection of the stern sail.
The crew decided to use a small winseeker instead of a big code zero, in order to take advantage of any puff of wind and get closer to the first mark. The second place was unexpectedly scored by Shining, the ultralight hull owned by Milos Radonjic, followed by the RC44 Scorpio of Iztok Krumpak.
This podium was completely unexpected and made up of Adriatic light boats, which benefited from the non-existent wind: Adriatic Europa came fourth with Dusan Puh and Fanatic of Alex Peresson fifth. Arca SGR, the 100-feet hull of the Benussi brothers, scored a sixth place, the women's crew of Golfo di Trieste captained by Francesca Clapcich came eighth, behind Barraonda (provvidenti-Ferluga), whereas Portopiccolo Tempus Fugit with Mitja Kosmina came ninth.
Known in the Gulf under the name of Maxi Jena, Way of Life won the regatta in 2009 and scored a second place in several editions: today, the boat has raced an excellent regatta with no wind, steadily sailing at a maximum speed of 3 knots. Gasper Vincec, Finn class Olympic champion (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008) was at the helm and accurately replaced, according to the different speed, by Zan Luka Zelko, a young promising Slovenian sailor who has already qualified in Laser class in the Tokyo Olympics, and by the Slovenian "super coach" Neno Viali, sporting "dad" of many champions. The Slovenian cycling champion Primož Roglic, winner of the Vuelta race, was aboard Way of Life,
The Race Committee decided to reduce the racecourse and place the finish line at the second Mark due to the lack of wind which only reached a peak of 3 knots. So at 5.00 pm the finish line was crossed by those boats and crews that managed to defeat the dead calm sea, also because they wanted to know who would rank last. They were all welcomed by a festive city.
The first 10 boats to have crossed the finish line:
1. Way of Life - Sailing Planet
2. MM Shining
3. Scorpio - JK Izola
4. Adriatic Europa Valicelli - JK Piranski Zaliv
5. Fanatic - S.T Sport del Mare
6. Arca SGR - Società Velica di Barcola e Grignano
7. Barraonda Confartiginato FVG - Società Velica Oscar 8 Cosulich
8. Golfo di Trieste - Società Nautica Pietas Julia
9. Portopiccolo Tempus Fugit - Yacht Club Portopiccolo
10. Cleansport one - Cartubi