Way of Life, owned by the Slovenian shipowner Gašper Vinčec, wins Barcolana51 presented by Generali in 1h54’10’’. The boat beat an epic calm sea and all the competitors who had been tipped to win on the eve of Barcolana, thanks to an outstanding set-off and to the accurate selection of the stern sail.
The crew decided to use a small winseeker instead of a big code zero, in order to take advantage of any puff of wind and get closer to the first mark. The second place was unexpectedly scored by Shining, the ultralight hull owned by Milos Radonjic, followed by the RC44 Scorpio of Iztok Krumpak. This podium was completely unexpected and made up of Adriatic light boats, which benefited from the non-existent wind: Adriatic Europa came fourth with Dusan Puh and Fanatic of Alex Peresson fifth.
Arca SGR, the 100-feet hull of the Benussi brothers, scored a sixth place, the women’s crew of Golfo di Trieste captained by Francesca Clapcich came eighth, behind Barraonda (provvidenti-Ferluga), whereas Portopiccolo Tempus Fugit with Mitja Kosmina came ninth.
Known in the Gulf under the name of Maxi Jena, Way of Life won the regatta in 2009 and scored a second place in several editions: today, the boat has raced an excellent regatta with no wind, steadily sailing at a maximum speed of 3 knots.
Gašper Vinčec, Finn class Olympic champion (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008) was at the helm and accurately replaced, according to the different speed, by Zan Luka Zelko, a young promising Slovenian sailor who has already qualified in Laser class in the Tokyo Olympics, and by the Slovenian “super coach” Neno Viali, sporting “dad” of many champions. The Slovenian cycling champion Primož Roglič, winner of the Vuelta race, was aboard Way of Life too, during this epic victory that was build meter after meter.
“What a beautiful day, Barcolana is a never-ending surprise – commented SVBG chairman Mitja Gialuz –the largest boats couldn’t sail at their best with no wind and an outsider won, setting off with the right sail and sailing at a very fast pace without slowing down, and staying upright. A beautiful and crowded Barcolana: the images that will be in my heart are those of the fleet of sailors bathing, or playing the guitar, or waving happily despite the slow race, excited to be racing Barcolana. The lightest and under sail boats were the luckiest ones as they benefited from no wind conditions and gave us an unexpected podium. The good thing about our event is that there’s no predicted winner and that the regatta is anticipated by a pre-tactical phase and suspence.But, beyond doubt, the best thing about Barcolana is the striking participation of the city and the community on land, which this year almost outnumbered that of the 50th edition. We also won another bet: Barcolana Village in Piazza Unità was a great success, with lots of visitors especially during the weekend.”
The event’s testimonial Dee Caffari stated: “Barcolana 51 was extraordinary, crazy, fabulous, so many boats! But the wind was very light and we didn’t finish the course, so I have to come back next year.”
The Race Committee decided to reduce the race course and place the finish line at the second Mark due to the lack of wind which only reached a peak of 3 knots. So at 5.00 pm the finish line was crossed by those boats and crews that managed to defeat the dead calm sea, also because they wanted to know who would rank last. They were all welcomed by a festive city.