Wednesday, 27 September 2017


Trieste, September 26, 2017 – Each day brings Trieste closer to the magical atmosphere of the 49th Barcolana, the record-breaking regatta to be held this year on Sunday, October 8. Brothers Furio and Gabriele Benussi, winners of the 2016 edition with maxi 72 Alfa Romeo, have been working in the shadows over the past few months preparing to defend their title in an edition that promises to be one of the most competitive and uncertain of all time.

The Benussis and their teammates will be on the starting line with Spirit of Portopiccolo, an 86-foot maxi (26m) with a carbon hull and canting keel. The boat is well known in racing fields around the globe as Morning Glory (the latest in a series of successful racing boats launched by German magnate, Hasso Plattner).

Furio Benussi, team leader of Spirit of Portopiccolo, explains the details of the challenge: “For me, my brother, and the others who contributed to last year’s victory which was one of the best moments of our sailing careers, being on the starting line of the Barcolana again this year is more than a moral obligation. Just being there and defending the trophy we’ve kept for a year is not enough. For this reason, we organized our race based on two fundamental things: a group of skilled people interested in supporting the economic and athletic side of a top-level competitive project, and the right boat for improved performance over last year. We found an enthusiastic and passionate response from owners willing to build and share a long-term relationship that will extend well beyond the Barcolana. For the second principle we have one of the best racing boats available, designed by Reichel-Pugh, and built in Australia by McConaghy for German owner, Hasso Plattner. The boat has won some of the most important races in the world including Newport to Bermuda, Transpac, the Middle Sea Race and Maxi Worlds.”

Yacht club Portopiccolo, led by President Claudio de Eccher, is supporting the Benussis’ 86-footer, which has taken the name “Spirit of Portopiccolo” for the occasion.

Over the course of the next few days, the team will sail the boat from Marseilles (its most recent base) to Trieste. Preparation includes the Portopiccolo Maxi Race and the Bernetti Cup, both held the weekend before Barcolana 49, the last test for them and other crews as well before the regatta on October 8.

"We have one main goal, obviously, but reaching it will not be easy because there is no lack of high-profile opponents at the starting line," says Furio Benussi. "A Barcolana with no real favorite keeps competition open and motivates us more. Soon, we will be announcing names and roles for the crew of Spirit of Portopiccolo, which my brother, Gabriele, is working on."

Gabriele Benussi: "We’re coming to this Barcolana with an exciting and complicated boat and we will be working in the days preceding the race to learn all of its secrets. Sailing a boat of this kind requires sailors with a lot of experience. In making my selections, I have to keep this in mind to make sure Spirit of Portopiccolo has the best crew possible to squeeze every bit of horsepower out of it Spirit of Portopiccolo is an allround yacht that is at its best in any conditions. However, we are hoping for winds over 10 knots because anything less increases the chances for smaller boats to sail in front. Given the size of the starting line and the racing field where there can be different conditions at the same time, keeping adversaries in check can become complicated otherwise.”

Stefano Bareggi
+39 3387721969
skype: s.bareggi
Andrea Falcon
+39 3389083352
skype: falconandrea


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 September 2017 )