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The 2023 Vele Storiche Viareggio season starts again

With the fifth edition of the Coppa Ponte Vecchio for dinghies of the Dinghy 12′ Class and the third edition of the Capraia e Arcipelago Sail Rally, the itinerant regatta for vintage sails that will take place in the Tuscan Archipelago, the Vele Storiche Viareggio Association’s 2023 season starts again. On 2 June, the Dinghy 12′ will meet at the Società Canottieri Firenze to compete on the Arno River. From 8 to 11 June, a fleet of vintage sails will instead take part in the third edition of the Capraia e Arcipelago Sail Rally, which will see the boats “multipartenza” from the ports of the Tyrrhenian Sea arriving in Capraia, a coastal regatta, and subsequent stages in Marciana Marina and Portoferraio, on the Island of Elba. Capraia will also host the first edition of the Piero Ottone International Literary Sea Prize, dedicated to the well-known journalist, writer and sailor who passed away in 2017.

A spectacle of traditional sailing unique in the world. The first event of the 2023 season of the Viareggio Historical Sails Association (, the association founded in 2005 and now chaired by the Florentine Gianni Fernandes, will in fact take place on Friday 2 June at the Società Canottieri Firenze, a few steps away from Ponte Vecchio. On Republic Day, the dinghies of the Dinghy 12′ Class will compete in front of the Uffizi Gallery in the fifth edition of the Coppa Ponte Vecchio, along a course between two buoys placed on the Arno River. Spectators will be able to witness a decidedly unique event from the banks. The programme includes the arrival of the participants starting at 10 a.m., followed by the awarding of the Sergio Orsi prize by the President of ANSMeS Toscana. At 12 noon, the well-known cartoonist and sailor Davide Besana will describe his boat trips as part of the Sail The Children project, where he will teach sailing and drawing to Save The Children and Lega Navale Italiana children. FIV regional president Andrea Leonardi will recall how the ‘Vela Day’ takes place on the same day. This will be followed by an aperitif for guests and participants, the start of the regatta at 2.30 pm, and finally the prize-giving ceremony. The event is organised by Vele Storiche Viareggio in cooperation with Società Canottieri Firenze, I Renaioli, Circolo Nautico Mugello and the patronage of AICD (Associazione Italiana Classe Dinghy) and FIV (Federazione Italiana Vela)

The second event of the season for Vele Storiche Viareggio is the third edition of the Capraia e Arcipelago Sail Rally (registration at this link ), scheduled from 8 to 11 June 2023 and to which over 20 boats have already registered, organised with the support of the Coast Guard. During those days, the port of Capraia will become a veritable Floating Museum. After the arrival at the island on Thursday 8 June with the “multi-departure” formula from the ports of the Tyrrhenian Sea (La Spezia, Viareggio, Pisa, Livorno, etc.), the classification will be drawn up for the awarding on the same evening of the Challenge Trophy, offered as a prize by the Noble Maritime Order Knights of Capraia, who will offer an aperitif on the quay for the crews at the prize-giving ceremony. The classification will be based on the tried and tested formula of recording the “start & stop” coordinates, detected by means of the Navionics Boating application. On Friday 9 June, a coastal regatta will take place in front of the island, organised in cooperation with the FIV, Italian Sailing Federation, and the AIVE, Italian Vintage Sails Association. This will be followed by the crews’ dinner at the quay, which will also be attended by the participants and the jury of the Piero Ottone Sea Literary Prize. On Saturday 10 June, depending on weather conditions, there will be a regatta or rally of approximately 25 miles to the Island of Elba with arrival in Marciana Marina. Sunday 11 June will see the start of the Marciana Marina-Gulf of Procchio-Portoferraio sailing race, with real time ranking, where the event will end. The Lamma Meteo Consortium will provide all participants with wind and sea forecasts for each day. The Capraia e Arcipelago Sail Rally is sponsored by the Region of Tuscany, the Province of Livorno, the Municipality of Capraia Isola, the Municipality of Marciana Marina, the Municipality of Portoferraio, FIV, AIVE, the Coast Guard, and the Knights of Capraia. The event will take place thanks to the partners Locman, Acqua dell’Elba, 4F Group, Ancomar Sarda di Antonio Farigu, Frisbi, Versilia Marine Service, veleria Millenium, Navionics, Navigo, Sacomar Yacht Agency, Marina di Capraia, Circolo della Vela Marciana Marina, Darsena Cosimo de’ Medici and the local producers La Piana, Arura Azienda Agricola, Il Saracello, Birrificio Ortigrandi, Azienda Agricola San Rocco.


From 8 to 10 June 2023, Capraia Island, on the occasion of the 3rd Capraia Sail Rally, will host the first edition of the ‘Piero Ottone International Sea Literary Award’, organised by the Capraia Island Municipality in collaboration with the local Pro Loco. Italian and foreign works of fiction on the theme of the sea, islands, and navigation compete. The Prize, which is awarded every two years, is named after the writer, journalist and former editor of Corriere della Sera who passed away in 2017 at the age of 92. A sailor and great sea enthusiast, he was also a Cavaliere di Capraia who was particularly attached to the island. Ottone also lived through the tragic experience of a shipwreck, when in 1992 due to an unmarked shoal off Casablanca, Morocco, his Solaris 39 “Ciaika IV” sank, fortunately without consequences for the crew.

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