Barcolana near record
Competing this year were 1761 entrants who sailed a 16.5 mile long course. Esimit Europa 2 completed this in 58 minutes and 5 seconds. With winds of up to 24 knots, weather conditions were favourable for the European flagged maxi, which sails under the patronage of Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, and with Gazprom as her main sponsor.
Owner, Igor Simčič, and his all-star crew, comprising many of the best sailors from six European countries, started perfectly and immediately took the lead, sailing at 15 to 20 knots.
The yacht’s victory was very well deserved – the experienced team, skippered by multiple Olympic medallist and America's Cup winner Jochen Schümann, prepared well and her lead was never contended. The team’s success was endorsed by the crowd of a few hundred people at the dockside, including members of the European Parliament, ambassadors from different European countries and chairmen of some of the largest European enterprises.
“First of all I would like to congratulate this amazing crew, who went beyond their possibilities to win for Europe again," said Igor Simčič on finishing. "I dedicate the victory to all sailing enthusiasts, ambassadors, diplomats and businessmen, who came to Trieste to see what can be done with cooperation and complete dedication to the common goals. Europe needs winning symbols more than ever and Esimit Europa 2 proves for almost two years that by joining their forces Europeans can achieve supreme results.
Jochen Schümann, skipper, added: “The crew has been practicing the manoeuvres over the past week in the Gulf of Trieste, therefore we got a chance to become familiar with sea and weather specifics of this area. Together with the rest of afterguard, Juan Vila as navigator, Vasilij Žbogar, Sidney Gavignet as tacticians and Alberto Bolzan on the helm, we prepared great tactics, which paid off very well. We really got maximum out of it. Congratulations also to the rest of the crew, it was a privilege and honour to share this amazing experience with them."
Esimit Europa 2 did not beat the race record set in 2010 of 56:13, but they surprised everyone sailing a near perfect race in every stage. On the finish line, in front of Unità d'Italia, the European crew received a standing ovation with thousands of people lining the waterfront cheering them to victory.
On land over 300,000 people followed the event and took part in the waterfront festival.
Esimit Europa finished a lap ahead of the next competitor, Maxi Jena of Mitja Kosmina, who was being hounded by the Croatian yacht Shining, which came home third.
"A unique emotion. This is my first Barcolana as President of the Società velica di Barcola e Grignano". Vincenzo Spina said about this edition of the Autumn's Cup. "The whole city gathers around the Barcolana and is taking this event beyond national borders. Trieste is the Barcolana and the Barcolana is Trieste. I would really like to thank the whole city, the police forces which ensured safety on both sea and land, all the volunteers for their passion, commitment and the time they dedicate to this event. I also have to thank the thousands of professional sailors and sailing lovers who like me today meet in the Gulf of Trieste on the second Sunday of October to live together a great adventure and turn the Barcolana into a great festival of the sea".
Category SuperMaxi: Esimit Europa 2 - Igor Simcic / Jochen Schuemann - y.c. Monaco
Category Maxi: Wild Joe - Marton Jozsa
Category 0: MoonShine - Edoardo Zicarelli - Lni Pesaro
Category 1: Tutti per Aism - Cesare Bressani /Antonella Ferrari - Società velica di Barcola e Grignano
Category 2: Sayonara - Roberto Bertocchi - Circolo della vela di Muggia
Category 3: w Madeline - Gilberto Cattarini - Società velica Oscar Cosulich
Category 4: Margherita Jackpot - Roberto Mazzuccato - Il Portodimare asd
Category 5: Mummy one Emk Group - Alessandro Alberti - Società velica Oscar Cosulich
Category 6: Code 7 Marine - Goran Ivankovic
Category 7: Perun - Tomaz Virnik jr. - Jadralni klub Lubljiana
Category 8: Maria Adele - Eugenio Maria Bischi - cdv Vela Alto Adriatico
Category 9: Ileus IV - Alessandro Luzzati - sv Desenzano
More photos from Carlo Borlenghi/Luca Butto