From today the Rolex Capri Sailing Week shifts its focus to Naples and the Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia, where, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, 15 May, (7 p.m. start for the fleet competing in the ORC European Championship) the Regata dei Tre Golfi will get underway. The celebrated and captivating offshore race will set off, for the first time in its long history, as dusk falls. Given the record number of boats on the starting line – 120 confirmed as of today – a spectacle on the water is assured, and will be clearly visible from the Naples seafront. The city is the proud host of the first major event on the international sailing calendar, which has attracted the world’s top sailors and is made even more special against the backdrop of the world events that halted sporting activities for so long.
It is also worth mentioning the importance of the Gulf of Naples on the world stage, classed among the best race courses in the world, it was chosen as the sailing venue for the Rome Olympics in 1960 and has gone on to host numerous international events.
This is the largest international regatta to be held here since 1989, with 20 nations represented and 1,500 people including crews, skippers and international officials attending.
A flag raising ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. tomorrow to greet the participants, and will be attended by municipal, military and sporting dignitaries.
Special patron of the event is Maria Vera Ratti, an up-and-coming Neapolitan actress with close links to the Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia considering that her great-grandfather was one of the sailing club’s founders, a tradition passed down through generations of her family.
From the start off Naples, the competing boats will race to Ponza before returning to round the Li Galli islets off Positano. After approximately 150 miles of racing, the fleet will cross the finish line in Capri. The 66th Regata dei Tre Golfi, a thrilling race where the winner can never be predicted, is also open to multihulls, vintage and classic boats, and double-handed crews.
The fleet competing in the ORC European Championship will have until Monday 17 to complete the offshore race (within a time limit of 80 hours), before touching down in Capri for the second phase of their championship. From Tuesday 18 to Thursday 20 May, 3 days of mark racing – with a total of 6 races scheduled, including the offshore – will be held to assign the title of ORC European Champion 2021. No less than 93 crews representing 9 different nations are expected in waters of the Gulf of Naples.
A warm front is due to pass over Southern Italy tonight, making way tomorrow, Saturday 15 May, for a beautiful westerly wind of 16-18 knots at the start. The breeze is predicted to fall off somewhat during the night, turning to the southwest for Sunday morning. On Sunday 16 May, the wind should be southerly and blowing at around 10-12 knots with some risk of light patches caused by the transition to south-westerly and westerly. Ultimately, the 66th Regata dei Tre Golfi looks like a fast race with a long upwind leg to Ponza, a reaching descent to the middle of the Gulf of Naples, then becoming upwind again to Li Galli and the final stretch to the finish line in Capri.