mercoledì 5 luglio 2017

It’s time to register for the October 12-15, 2017 XIII Gathering of Historic Sailboats in Tuscany: the Zaca, Errol Flynn’s vintage schooner is highly anticipated

On October 12-15, for the 13th year in a row, the Tuscan city of Viareggio will be the official host for the closing ceremonies of the 2017 season devoted to historic and classic sailboats. Organized by Viareggio Historic Sailboat Association, over these 3 days the XIII edition of the Viareggio Gathering of Historic Sailboats ( will also offer boating and seamanship cultural activities, including a book presentation and other newly instituted association events. 

We are anticipating a fleet of over 40 wooden boats, built between the early 1900s and the 1980s and designed by world famous naval architects, which will compete in 3 regattas. Boats that register before the end of July be rewarded with a lovely cashmere shawl decorated with a vintage nautical map made by Leopolda Manifatture Artigiane. And, once again, there will be a dinner feast for the crews at the historic Del Carlo shipyard of Viareggio.

The gathering is being held in collaboration with the Versilia Nautical Club and Perini Navi, where the boats will be docked during the event, and with the patronage of AIVE (Associazione Italiana Vele d’Epoca/Italian Vintage Sailboat Association). Main sponsors are Bisonte, the historic Florentine leather goods company, Leopolda Manifatture Artigiane, renowned for its cashmere and fine yarn apparel, and Mediterranean Yacht Maintenance, which decided to join in after participating in rigging the Barbara, a historic yacht launched in 1923 by the British Camper & Nicholson shipyard. The Barbara will be participating in the gathering thanks to its restoration by the Del Carlo shipyard.

The Zaca is a double beam Oregon pine and teak gaff schooner. She was designed by naval architect Garland Rotch and built in 1930 in Sausalito, California by Nunes Brothers. Measuring 34 meters long and 6.90 meters wide, it was originally used for scientific expeditions in the Pacific Ocean. In 1946 the Hollywood movie star Errol Flynn bought it and turned into his houseboat. The following year the Zaca was used as a floating set for the Orson Welles movie The Lady from Shanghai starring Rita Hayworth. It then sailed between Spain and the French Riviera until 1991 when its new ship-owner berthed it in Monte Carlo. The Orion is a 50-meter gaff schooner built in 1910 by the British Camper & Nicholsons shipyard. The Orion has sailed all over the Mediterranean and is frequently seen and admired at historic sailboat events. It has a sail span of up to 1,200 square meters.

Viareggio is looking forward to the participation of a small fleet of 5.50-meter International Rule class boats. Created officially in 1949, this class of boats raced in the Olympics for 5 times, beginning in Helsinki in 1952 and for the last time in Mexico City in 1968. These 9.50-meter long keelboats have Bermuda Sloop rigging and sail with a crew of 3 in regattas. An estimated 800 were built. Nowadays they are subdivided into the following categories: Classic, Evolution and Modern. The 5.50-meters have been sailed by greats such as Dario Salata, Max Oberti, Giulio Cesare Carcano, Admiral Agostino Straulino and Beppe Croce. In 2014 Porto Stefano, Tuscany hosted a class World Championship. The current president of the Italy class is attorney Maria Cristina Rapisardi of Milan.

An added attraction this year is a large number of prestigious vintage cars thanks to CAMET (Club Auto d’Epoca Toscano/ Vintage Automobile Club of Tuscany), one of the most renowned in the sector. Cars and boats will be matched on the basis of their age. Bisonte, a main sponsor, will award the Prize for Elegance to the winning couple to be chosen by a specially selected jury. For the third consecutive year the Sangermani Challenge Trophy for all vessels launched by the Sangermani shipyard and participating in the gathering will be awarded. As in the past, Cesare Sangermani, the shipyard’s owner, will present the award. In its second year, the Versilia Rotary Club is sponsoring the Cerri Challenge Trophy dedicated to Admiral Florindo Cerri, a fervent promoter of the Versilia Nautical Club who died in 2015. The trophy will be awarded to the first boat to sail around the regatta’s first

The 13th Viareggio Gathering of Historic Sailboats is being made possible thanks to numerous new and long-time general and technical sponsors. Sponsors: Il Bisonte, Cioni, Leopolda Manifatture Artigiane, Mediterranean Yacht Maintenance, Veleria Be1, Azimut, Tera Energy. Technical sponsors: Ubi Maior, Giornale della Vela, Acqua dell’Elba, Caffè New York, Cantine di Soffiano, Porto di Pisa.

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