Celebrations in Grado for the first of the Barcolana's events at sea

Celebrations in Grado for the first of the Barcolana's events at sea

Celebrations in Grado for the first of the Barcolana's events at sea


01/10/2023 - 08:02

Perfect weather conditions, Grado, and its marvellous beach. The great celebration for the Barcolana SUP Experience goes down in the history of the Barcolana, which has introduced a new water activity for the wider public. This morning 61 registered participants took part in the first edition of the Barcolana SUP Experience Grado, the race that officially opened the events at sea of Barcolana 55 presented by Generali in a wonderful setting and in perfect weather conditions.

The first edition of the Barcolana Grado SUP Experience was won by Mauro Feltrin, naval engineer, SUP enthusiast, and designer of special SUP boards. He crossed the finish line ranking first overall, followed by Giacomo Feltrin (first ranked in the Open 18-45 category) and Marco Lipizer (Over 45 category). The first ranked woman was Valentina Blanco (Open 18-45), who came in 15th overall. The second female athlete was Elena Popko (Open 18-45) and the third was Francesca Merlino (Over 45). Caterina Stenta, who chaperoned the participants as patroness of the event, paddled side by side with Mitja Gialuz, who came in 24th overall, and tenth in his category.

"It has been a wonderful Barcolana SUP," said President Mitja Gialuz, who ranked 24th overall and tenth in his category, winning the challenge against Renato Bonaldo launched on the day of the official presentation. "It couldn't get any better. We had a smooth sea, the ideal temperature, and great participation from the town of Grado. It was the best way to open the Barcolana to a new sport and to highlight the collaboration with the Municipality of Grado and GIT (Gestore degli Impianti Turistici di Grado, Grado's tourist reception organisation). With the Barcolana starting at sea in Grado, it comes to embrace the entire Gulf. I would like to thank PromoTurismo FVG (FVG Tourism promotion organisation), who with their truck and the "Io Sono Friuli Venezia Giulia" (I am Friuli-Venezia Giulia)-branded race pack made the event on land a special, wonderful way to promote the excellence of regional food and wine."

The event was organised by Società Velica di Barcola e Grignano (Sailing Club of Barcola and Grignano) with the support of PromoTurismo FVG through the "Io Sono Friuli Venezia Giulia" brand, the Municipality of Grado, GIT - Gestore degli Impianti Turistici di Grado, Lega Navale Italiana di Grado (Grado's Naval League), and with the support of Federazione Italiana Canoa Kayak (Italian Canoe Kayak Federation), Società Canottieri Ausonia (Ausonia's Rowing Club), KiteLife Grado & Marina Julia and the technical sponsor Starboard SUP.

BARCOLANA YOUNG - On the first day of the Barcolana Young, the weather conditions were near perfect for 212 young sailors hailing from Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and Ukraine. Divided into two divisions, the largest being Division A with 149 boats at the starting line, racing took place in two batteries. Division B, consisting of the youngest participants, saw 63 registered sailors.

The morning began with preparations as anticipated, taking place at the logistical base at Molo IV and various sailing clubs. The fleet gathered in the middle of the Gulf shortly after 11:00 am, where a light 6-knot wind from 305 degrees allowed for the setup of a race course and the commencement of the first battery of races. However, this initial breeze was merely an appetizer, as the wind subsequently dropped and shifted. The race course had to be adjusted to welcome the Bora, which made its appearance at just the right moment, providing optimal conditions for the young sailors.

The Barcolana Young event, organized by the Società Velica di Barcola e Grignano in collaboration with Fondazione CRTrieste, Murphy&Nye, Dolomia, Fondazione Aquileia, and Coop Italia, marks the official start of the Barcolana regattas in Trieste. It provides a platform for the youngest sailors, ranging from newcomers fresh out of their first sailing courses to the most experienced, some of whom received accolades from AICO (the Italian Optimist Class Association) in the evening for their outstanding achievements in prestigious international regattas.
Thanks to the Bora wind, as many as three races were held for all categories, and the updated rankings will be published on the Barcolana website.

Reflecting on the day, SVBG sports director Alessandro Bonifacio, upon his return to shore, commented, "It was a simply perfect day, with wonderful light and perfect wind for everyone. The Bora provided us with an exceptional gift, ensuring that everyone, without exception, had fun in ideal and challenging conditions, even the novices. It was a beautiful day at sea, and the final standings are yet to be determined for tomorrow."
Indeed, the action continues tomorrow with three more scheduled races, likely still under the influence of the Bora wind.

In Division A, provisional first place belongs to Jesper Karlsen (Fraglia Vela Riva) with two first-place finishes and a fifth, closely followed by Francesco Pilato (Circolo della Vela di Muggia) with a third, a second, and a tenth place. Tommaso Geiger (Circolo della Vela di Muggia) secured the fifth, fourth, and eighth positions today. In the female category, Guia Legisa (SVBG) leads with a second, fifth, and twentieth place.
Among the young sailors in Division B, Luca Girani (Circolo Vela di Muggia) claimed the top spot with finishes of fourth, second, and fifth. Carolina Longo (Laguna) secured the second position with finishes of fifth, sixth, and first, followed by Francesco Frisan (SNPJ) with finishes of ninth, fourth, and second.

PIAZZA UNITÀ AND SCALA REALE - This morning the stands and facilities in Piazza Unità (Trieste's main square) and Scala Reale (the staircase right in front of the square, descending into the sea) have opened to the public. The official inauguration was held in the afternoon and focused on sustainability. "Thanks to AcegasApsAmga," underlined Mitja Gialuz, "the Barcolana Village gets more and more clean and sustainable. The initiatives carried out to improve recycling in the Village are ever more noticeable and go towards the development of positive behaviour in people attending the event. Intelligent messaging by AcegasApsAmga inviting people to sort their waste works towards nudging instead of imposing obligations or prohibitions. This will keep Trieste clean during the Barcolana, through the support of the people of Trieste at first and then of all the sea enthusiasts who will arrive in the city from Wednesday on. I would also like to thank Est Energy for raising awareness through gamification, which is the creation of games that raise awareness of sustainability and can be used as a dissemination tool," Gialuz added.

BARCOLANA HOSPITALITY - IO SONO FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA - The "Io sono Friuli Venezia Giulia" (I am Friuli Venezia Giulia) brand will also take part in the Barcolana. The Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region, with PromoTurismoFVG and the "Io sono Friuli Venezia Giulia" brand, will play a central role in the 55th edition of the most famous regatta in the world, which will be held in Trieste from 29 September to 8 October. It will join the celebrations at the Barcolana Hospitality area in Piazza Unità d'Italia, which will host some of the most notable local products, as well as events and presentations, a boat moored on the Rive (the city's waterfront) that will race in the regatta, and some activities for the promotion of Friuli-Venezia Giulia during the Barcolana.

THANKS, WENDY - A wonderful project to unite sailing with scientific dissemination and environmental education, thanks to the "grant", the donation made by Wendy Schmidt to the WWF and the Miramare Marine Reserve after winning Barcolana54 Presented by Generali. The use of the complete donation will be illustrated at a press conference next Friday by Maurizio Spoto, Director of the Miramare Marine Protected Area, but some of the activities are already visible at sea, where sharks, turtles and starfish, jellyfish and other endangered species have been sailing in the Barcolana Young since this morning, drawn on sails.

Over the summer, the sailing schools in the Gulf have in fact carried out training on the health of the Adriatic Sea with the WWF and created drawings dedicated to endangered species in each yacht club. Each sailing club in the area thus became an "ambassador" of the project realised by WWF with FIV, Barcolana and the Protected Marine Area of Miramare, and each helmsman sailing with a painted sail had the task of raising the awareness of his teammates and participants for "his" protected animal.

The sailing clubs in the area participated in the project, and lessons were given to both sailing school pupils and instructors, in a great alliance for the benefit of the environment. "A wonderful project, created with the Miramare Marine Reserve and the WWF to also invest Wendy Schmidt's donation in training young sailors. We worked together all summer, told many children about our sea, and visited the Marine Reserve: the goal is that the new generations of sailors that the sailing clubs are training may be more informed, more sensitive to the theme of the sea, ready to play in the front line when it comes to promoting and defending the environment".

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