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The historic Barcolana regatta, – held in Trieste from October 5th to 14th – reaches its 50th edition. And it does it with a new record: in 2017, in fact, with 2101 registered boats, it became the largest and biggest regatta in the world. The thing that makes it unique, is the same formula that has characterized it since the first edition: the competition involves professional sailors and simple enthusiasts, side by side on the starting line, divided by categories of boat. Every year it involves about 25 thousand sailors, and an audience that reaches peaks of 250 thousand visitors. The regatta is followed both from the banks of Trieste and the Carso hills, thanks to the particular conformation of the Gulf of Trieste.
The Barcolana was founded in 1969, thanks to the initiative of the Sailing Company of Barcola and Grignano, with the name of “Regatta Coppa d’Autunno Barcolana”. In its first year, there were 51 participating boats, coming from sailing clubs in the city of Trieste, but over time it has assumed increasing importance and participation, and has now reached international level.
The regatta involves a race of about 15 miles, within a quadrangle of fixed points. The starting line is between the Castle of Miramare and the Sailing Club of Barcola and Grignano, and the finish line, since 2014, has been located in the stretch of sea in front of Piazza Unità d’Italia.
The slogan of the 2018 edition of the Barcolana, conceived by the artist Marina Abramovic – who edited the poster for this year’s regatta – is “We are all in the same boat”. The sponsor of the great sailing event is Illy Caffè, the leading company in the high-quality coffee segment, and involves the greatest international artists for the creativity linked to the event.
We must also point out the initiatives that go under the name of WATCH EXPERIENCE: these are the different ways that the general public can closely follow the regatta (and also participate directly), even from a helicopter, or on board a rubber boat or a motor ship, or from a panoramic terrace. All these initiatives have been designed to offer a view of the competition in close contact with the regatta, in a totally exclusive and privileged way.
La Barcolana is not just a regatta. Indeed, year after year the organization has set up a wide series of side events during the 10 days preceding the competition, involving the city and the sea. Among the events that take place in the water we would like to mention the “Barcolana Young”, reserved for sailors from 8 to 15 years, the “Barcolana by Night”, reserved for boats of the UFO 28 class, which takes place at night in front of Piazza Unità d ‘Italia, and “Barcolana Nuota”, a long-distance swimming competition. Furthermore, in the Barcolana Village there is an area dedicated to food and wine and an exhibition of technical materials. The “Barcolana in Musica”, on the other hand, includes a program of evening concerts, while the recently concieved “Fuoriregata”, consists of a review of events and activities with food, wine and cultural background promoted by the city’s exhibitors.