With its mix of competitive offshore and inshore racing held in a gorgeous springtime Mediterranean setting, coupled with a deep heritage in event management excellence now in its 68th year, Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia’s Tre Golfi Sailing Week sponsored by Rolex is one of the best events in the race week genre. Nearly 140 entries from over a dozen countries participated in 2022, with more expected when the event offers some new formats and features for 2023.
First, the start of the legendary 150-mile Tre Golfi Race on Friday 12 May will not be at midnight as it has been a tradition for many years past. While this is a dramatic start to a classic race with silhouettes of the fleet backlit by the night lights of Napoli, there is also the difficulty of usually having very light wind conditions. The reflections of the fleet and the reflected glow of the lights on the glassy water makes for great art photography, but not for very great progress on the racecourse.
Accordingly this race is now due to start in the late afternoon on Friday while there are still remnants of the day’s sea breeze to make for a faster start and initial progress will be made by all boats in the fleet along the racecourse. As in years past, the Tre Golfi Race is open to entry for a wide variety of boat types: monohulls with ORC or IRC ratings, International Maxi Association (IMA) maxis with IRC ratings, classic yachts with CIM ratings and multihulls with ORCmh ratings. The event is truly a festival of sail.
There will be no lack of dramatic visuals for photographers to capture as the sunlight fades in the west to illuminate the boats sailing at the start held off the castle clubhouse of Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia, and later along the stunning rocky sea coast north of the club. The teams will have plenty of opportunities for night-fighting in light air after the sun fades, but at least with this earlier start most of the fleet will have a chance to finish before dark on Saturday and not have to do a second night of fighting the light air to the finish.
This new schedule also builds more time for the fleet to migrate to the week’s second venue south of Napoli in Sorrento where maxis competing in the IMA Maxi European Championship will resume competing with inshore racing held on Monday to Thursday, 15-18 May.
Also new this year will be the introduction of a Corinthian Division among maxi entries where qualifying teams need to have 80 per cent or more of the crew be confirmed as Group 1 (amateur) sailors under the World Sailing Sailor Categorisation guidelines. Trophies will be awarded in both the Open and Corinthian Divisions, and combined scoring of the inshore races with the Tre Golfi Race will determine the 2023 Maxi European Champions.
With the move to Sorrento also comes another phase of Tre Golfi Sailing Week: the 2022 ORC Mediterranean Championship. This event, which features inshore racing based in Sorrento, in 2022 attracted 42 entries from 11 countries divided into Racer and Racer-Cruiser divisions. The event is also a qualifier for the Italian National Offshore Championship held later in the season.
The race management tasks will be handled by the experienced and capable team from CRVI led this year by two-time past Finn Olympian Stuart Childerley from the UK, whose skills as a principal race officer have taken him around the world to manage numerous world-class one-design and handicap regattas.
The International Jury led by Timo Hass from Germany will have similarly impressive credentials. And coming only a few weeks after the ORC European Championship being held not far away in Malta, international participation for 2023 at Tre Golfi Sailing Week will likely be enhanced by teams coming from outside the area who will want to participate in two high-quality and competitive racing events within the same region.
So, for an excellent race week experience that offers top-quality event and race management, a world-class level of international competition, a variety of racecourses at two different and outstanding venues, and Rolex timepieces among other fabulous prizes, its worth adding Tre Golfi Sailing Week to your 2023 racing schedule.