The allure of sailing competitively at night is unquestionable and the Tre Golfi Regatta, the first trial of the RCSW, is the queen of these tests. But how do you win a 150-mile regatta that crosses 3 separate gulfs with diverse coastlines, winds and currents? The word, in keeping with the perfect number 3, is over to 3 Neapolitan sailors and decorated personalities.
Paolo Scutellaro (tactician on Macchia Mediterranea), ex-team manager of Mascalzone Latino in Auckland, puts it this way: “The maxis, which are boats of the highest level, in this not-too-long race with usually little air, take little advantage of their speed and this limits them greatly. A good departure and keeping track of their rivals is certainly a crucial decision.”
Francesco de Angelis (tactician on Caol Ila R), only non-British skipper to win the Louis Vuitton Cup in 1999-2000 at the helm of Luna Rosa and six-time world champion in various classes, including the J24 class in Capri 1987 and Naples 1989, warns: “It’s a complex regatta, the conditions can be highly varied, it’s important to be careful and quick to get into the wind zone to position yourself well, a small error and you’ll pay. There are many possible scenarios, that’s why I can only say: keep your eyes open and don’t let your guard down.”
Paolo Cian (helmsman of Lunz Am Meer) helmsman of Mascalzone Latino at the Louis Vuitton Cup in 2003 and of Shosholoza, the first African boat in the history of the America’s Cup, in 2007, points out the things to avoid: “In the long ones, it’s important to work hard for the entire circuit and in the possible stop and go moments under the islands you mustn’t commit errors and always keep your eyes open. Victory is not determined in the waters of the Gulf of Naples, a good departure and catching the wind are important, but there are critical areas coming up to Ischia, going toward Ponza, and how you turn under Pontine islands to head back. Lastly, keep an eye on the passages of Capri and Li Galli, if you pass in the early hours of the morning, you need to be careful of the wind.