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Argentario Sailing Week 2019 - Overall

by Tessa Wiechmann 23 Jun 2019 12:19 PDT 19-23 June 2019

Heaven on earth for the final day of racing at the 20th edition of the Argentario Sailing Week with bright sunny skies, one meter swells, a thermal breeze from the north west that reached 18 knots.

The yachts raced on a course set along the pristine and wild beach of Feniglia, rounding one of the marks just off the ancient roman harbor of Talamone and then surfing under spinnaker towards the village of Porto Santo Stefano. Legend has it that the name Talamone comes directly from the Greek hero Telamon, son of Aeacus and Endeïs, brother of Achilles' father, Peleus. It says that Telamon landed here on his way back from Calabria and he is buried right under the fortress. The international classic yacht regatta is organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano and by the Municipality of Monte Argentario.

Spirit of tradition Tintagel (Hoek Design - 1994) is among the seven Grandes Dames of the Sea making their debut at Argentario Sailing Week 2019 and Swedish owner skipper Hakan Wersall spoke of why he chose her: "I was in Palma walking with my father along the docks. My father Sten is -was - a seaman through and through.

He said, "That boat is made for you"' and although he was already quite ill at the time, I decided then and there to buy Tintagel so that my father would be able to sail her with me on her maiden voyage, once we had completed refitting. We got to sail together twice before he passed; and for me sailing is a way to celebrate my father's life. Sten Wersall was a truly remarkable man: when he was only 13 years old, his parents let him sail an old boat singlehanded from the Swedish west coast to Denmark to save Jewish refugees who were escaping from Nazi Germany. Thirteen! I don't know how many people he saved by bringing them back to Sweden, but some of the people he picked up in Denmark became his best friends. Just imagine someone letting their son go there, dodging mines and warships!"

Hakan went on to describe his yacht's personality, "Tintagel is powerful. She is strong, helpful and safe. Like my wife". "I am very glad to have taken part in Argentario Sailing Week: a dream of a venue, excellent food, a very professional organization and a wonderful place for sailors to meet. Here you are able to become part of the community: the bars and restaurants in Porto Santo Stefano get to know you by name and greet you in the morning. It feels like home!" he concluded.

Overall winners of Argentario Sailing Week 2019 are, Viola (France - Vintage Aurici-1908-William Fife III), Comet (Switzerland - Vintage Marconi-1946-Sparkman & Stephens), Ojalà (United Kingdom - Classics-1973-Sparkman&Stephens), and Toi et Moi (Italy - Spirit of Tradition - 2018 - Dykstra Naval Architects).

Viola wins an exclusive Dino Zei Todaro timepiece, dedicated to Italian naval officer Salvatore Todaro, submariner commander, Gold Medal for Military Valor.

Salvatore Todaro, on the night of 16 October 1940, during a mission off the island of Madeira, sighted the Belgian steamer Kabalo (5,186 tons) and, after having uselessly launched three torpedoes, sank it using the cannon on board. Immediately after, Todaro picked up the twenty-six shipwrecked men of the Belgian ship and towed them, on a raft, for four days. When the raft broke the tow cable, Todaro did not hesitate to hosting the castaways on the submarine until they were disembarked, unharmed, on the coast of the Azores islands.

Once disembarked Kabalo's second officer asked Todaro: "If this is how your treat an enemy, what kind of man are you? If I hadn't been sleeping in my cabin when you attacked us by surprise, I frankly would have shot you with a cannon, pardon my bluntness". Salvatore Todaro replied: "I am a seaman like you. I know you would have done the same if the roles had been reversed."

As he was leaving, the second officer continued staring so Todaro asked: "Have you forgotten something?" He then put his hand to the visor in greeting and started to leave, but saw the second officer who was still looking at him and asked him: "Did you forget something"? "Yes" - the other answered "I forgot to tell you that I have four children: if you don't want to tell me your name for my own personal satisfaction, tell it to me so my children can remember you in their prayers". Todaro then answered, "Tell your children to remember Salvatore Todaro in their prayers". Commander Todaro died in 1942, at the age of 34, during a mission in Tunisia.

Day 4 Winners:

  • Vintage Aurici Viola (William Fife III-1908-Kostia Blekin)
  • Vintage Marconi Comet (Sparkman & Stephens -1946- Woodward-Fisher)
  • Classici Ojalà (Sparkman & Stephens-1973- Susan Carol Holland)
  • Spirit of Tradition Toi e Moi (Dykstra Naval Architects - 2018 - Alessandro Maria Rinaldi)
Results at

The Argentario Sailing Week fleet is divided into three categories: Classic & Spirit of Tradition (Classic Yachts and replicas of Vintage Yachts), Vintage Aurici (Vintage Yachts) and Vintage Marconi (Vintage Yachts).

Argentario Sailing Week 2019 is organized by the Yacht Club Santo Stefano and by the Municipality of Monte Argentario with the patronage of the Region of Tuscany, the Province of Grosseto, of the Proloco di Porto Santo Stefano, Approdi SsA and of the Comune di Monte Argentario. Sponsors of 20th Argentario Sailing Week: Bettoja Hotels, Caffè Mauro, Dino Zei Orologi, Sittel, VNS Vitelli Nautica Store, Zeurino snc, Engel & Völkers Castiglione della Pescaia-Argentario,, Autonautica Diglio and Delta Yachting Service. Technical Partners: Verdissimo, Argentarola, Acquedotto del Fiora, Cantina Vinicola Banfi, Consorzio Tutela Olio Seggiano DOP, Moroni Editore and Consorzio LaMMA for weather forecasting.

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