Carlo Borlenghi /

Barcolana record falls

Esimit Europa 2 leads fleet of 1852 in the world's largest single start regatta

Sunday October 10th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: Italy

This year's Barcolana, the world's largest single-start regatta, held off Trieste, Italy featured sparkling sunshine, a gentle Bora winds, and a giant fleet of 1852 boats. Marks were simultaneously rounded by 100 boats at a time in very close proximity to one another, a situation in which skill and sailing experience are fundamental. The Barcolana sailors did an excellent job.

From a technical standpoint, it was a Barcolana in three chapters.

1) The race of the expected winner, Esimit Europa 2 (the former Alfa Romeo supermaxi), which sailed at her best, avoided all risks with the aim of setting a new course record. The dream team of skipper Flavio Favini, with the excellent choice of Alberto Bolzan at the helm, did not make a single mistake. From a perfect start half way along the start line, to the choice of sails - avoiding the use of a spinnaker, which would have taken the boat off the course at the first mark (a mistake many made,), The speed of the boat did all the rest: Reichel-Pugh design boat literally flew around the course at a speed which could hardly be maintained by a RIB.

The last leg between Miramare and the finish line was favourable: Esimit Europa 2 did it in a flash without tacking, while many boats behind had to tack several times. Once across the line there were hugs on board and huge satisfaction for Igor Simcic, setting a new record time of 56 minutes and 13 seconds.

Mission accomplished.

Igor Simcic said: "We have just ended a season full of successes and records. This Barcolana has been fantastic from all points of view, and the greatest satisfaction is that of having beaten Alfa Romeo's record in lighter wind conditions. This means that the crew has worked perfectly in preparing the boat and upgrading the hull. This project will continue to give us great satisfaction”.

Helmsman Alberto Bolzan said: “We have been able to use all tricks to make this boat go at its best. Until the last leg we did not think we would set a new record but, as soon as we rounded the last mark and thanks to the constant speed of 15 kts, we have started to believe in it and we made it. We have a boat that won everything in all seas and the fact that we are doing better proves that the project is good and the crew is excellent”.

2) The outsiders'regatta. There were those who followed Esimit Europa 2 hoping she would make a mistake. Those who hoped for miracles were happy with an unexpected result: the fleet of Esimit Europa 2's pursuers was even larger than in the past. And in the end the best was Mitja Kosmina, the winner of Barcolana 2009, with his Maxi Jena Amori, which had been able to keep the pace of Esimit as far as the last mark. However a hydraulic problem with the canting keel made manoeuvring her impossible, and she had a tough time on the last leg.

Behind, Andrea Nevierov at the helm of Beauxt Vte Tuttatrieste 1 was really close, due to her crew who took advantage of every tiny wind
shift. Fourth was Shining Umag with Zeljko Perovic, fifth Idea Amori with Alberto Leghissa and sixth Tuttatrieste 2 with Furio Benussi.

Among the surprises were a seventh place finish clinched by the TP52 Vitrani, led by the excellent team of Gabriele Benussi (first in Category 0 ahead of Filippo Sammarini's Orlanda), even if Vasco Vascotto was not on board, and ninth place of Montenegro Wild & Beauty with Riccardo Bonetti, first of the small fleet of Farr 80s.

3) The regatta of the best of class. A note of merit for Alligator 2, the RC 44 of Marko Popovic who won in Class 1 ahead of Casali No Border’s Team, the Fast Wave 40R of Mirko Sardoc. There was a good race for the Olympic stars of Larissa Nevierov helmed by Greek Sofia Bekatorou, who were eighth in class. In category 2 first was Roberto Bertocchi who did a good job on his Sayonara Orion (Millenium 40R), 28th overall.

Gastone Novelli, President of the SVBG commented: "The winning combination which has been the motto of this Barcolana, with the event that took place on 10-10-10 and which came true on the race course, with a number of entrants greater than in the past, a beautiful Village on land, tailored to the passions and interests of seafarers and weather conditions that enabled everybody to race safely and have fun. Congratulations to all participants, from the first to the last and to the many boats that at 5.30 pm still hadn't crossed the finish line, but nevertheless enjoyed the party and the great spirit of the Barcolana. I would like to thank all institutions, sponsors and police forces as well as all the members of the sailing club who worked with passion and love for the regatta that made Trieste become great in this weekend”.

More images from Carlo Borlenghi, Stefano Gattini and Luca Buttò/


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