It would have been edition number 19, but the health emergency linked to Covid-19 has postponed the appointment to 2021. We are talking about the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni Trophy, a sailing race reserved for vintage boats. Special event in the waters of Lake Como, the Trophy is organized by the Circolo della Vela Pescallo with the collaboration of the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni.
To tell us the origins of this fascinating competition is Carlo Gilardoni, secretary of the organizing club: «The idea is thanks to one of our members, Pietro Castagna from Erba, who in 2002 proposed the project to Gianfranco Bucher, owner of the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni. Bucher was immediately enthusiastic and offered to collaborate by sponsoring this event which, over the years, has become a great classic». In common, among the promoters of the initiative, the passion for vintage boats: “Both Castagna and me already owned an old wooden boat and already in the past, until the first half of the 70s, there were similar events on the Lario, such as the Bonafide Trophy. It seems to me that the last edition was in 1975, then nothing was organized and almost thirty years later we decided to try to promote something new».
Two types of boats admitted to the race, namely vintage wooden sailboats, built before december 1980, and traditional sailing boats, vintage or more recent, in wood or fiberglass but which by design or construction or material have an interest in nautical traditions. «Two categories always start separately, but the path to be followed is the same. Departure and arrival from Pescallo, with a stick path reaching the Madonna del Moletto on the border between Bellagio and Limonta. The smaller and slower boats complete one lap, the faster two» explains Gilardoni.
Over the years the event has collected an increasing number of partecipants, reaching a number of 30 boats at the start, the maximum achievable for organizational reasons. In 18 editions there were also anecdotes or celebrities at the start of the Trophy: «In 2008 we hosted the Italian Championship in the Trophy for the 5.50 class, for 9-meter vintage boats. Among the illustrious people at the start, i remember that for two years the CEO of Apple also participated and, among other things, the first time his boat capsized in the lake but this did not take away the taste of re-appearing. Unfortunately, this year we were unable to organize it for obvious reasons, the appointment is therefore for next summer!» concludes the secretary of the Sailing Club of Pescallo.