Genoa Boat Show

Genoa celebrates the Oscars of Italian Sailing:

3 July 2023

Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti claim the title of FIV Sailor of the Year 2023

FlyingNikka wins Boat of the Year 2023 – claiming the Confindustria Nautica Trophy

Patrizio Bertelli is Owner-Captain of the Year 2023 – winning the BPER Banca Trophy.

The massive presence of young Italian athletes becomes the symbol of the event’s 29th edition.

The event was held in the presence of World Sailing President Quanhai Li, Singapore Sailing Federation Vice-President Tan Sain Kon Jevan, guests of Francesco Ettorre, President of the Italian Sailing Federation (FIV), and Saverio Cecchi, President of the Italian Marine Industry Association, alongside Liguria Region President Giovanni Toti and Genoa Mayor Marco Bucci.

Genoa, 29th June 2023: Yesterday evening, at the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa, more than 240 guests attended the traditional event celebrating the 29th edition of the Oscars of Sailing, the FIV Sailor of the Year Award, organised by the Italian Marine Industry Association – Confindustria Nautica and the Italian Sailing Federation (FIV).

At the opening, Sky Sport journalist Eleonora Cottarelli, presenter of the evening alongside Rai Sport journalist Giulio Guazzini, invited on stage Saverio Cecchi, President of the Italian Marine Industry Association, Francesco Ettorre, President of the Italian Sailing Federation, Giovanni Toti, President of the Liguria Region, and Marco Bucci, Mayor of Genoa, to join in welcoming the guests.

Saverio Cecchi, after greeting the guests attending on behalf of the Italian Marine Industry Association in what he called the stunning Maggior Consiglio Hall of the Palazzo Ducale, continued, stating, “I am proud of the fact that the Italian Marine Industry Association has officially become part of the organisation process driving the FIV Sailor of the Year Award, working with the Italian Sailing Federation while also confirming our sponsorship of the Boat of the Year – Confindustria Nautica trophy. It is precisely in the light of this close connection that lies between yachting, maritime culture, and the sport of sailing that we wanted to organise the 29th edition of the FIV Sailor of the Year ceremony together, here in Genoa, at the same time as the Grand Finale of The Ocean Race, as the round-the-world regatta lands in Italy for the first time in history.

I am truly honoured to officially open this ceremony of the 29th FIV Sailor of the Year Award and, in wishing you a wonderful evening, I invite you to come back to Genoa from 21st to 26th September, for the 63rd edition of the Genoa International Boat Show, an edition that, thanks to Renzo Piano’s new Eastern Waterfront project, will already be able to show exhibitors and visitors what will soon be an extraordinary and unique platform on the global stage, ready to host the very best of the international yachting industry.”

I would like to thank the Italian Marine Industry Association,” continued FIV President Francesco Ettorre, for his part, “because it is only when the intentions of all the various institutions align that great results can be achieved.  It is such an honour to see so many youngsters waving the colours of Italy high and who are also amazing to watch. They are truly a source of great pride for the Federation.”

Giovanni Toti emphasised in his speech how, “sailing, together with the yachting sector and the entire marine economy, has its home in Liguria: a land of great sailors, of people who see the water as a constant element of reference and the sea as their source of livelihood. This is why Genoa is the ideal location, in these days when our region is even more at the centre of the yachting world, to award the best-performing boats, true works of art, and the most important exponents of this sport, champions of tenacity, courage, and competence: qualities that make it possible to excel in sport, but which are indispensable in every sphere of life, and which therefore make these athletes an example for us all“.

Marco Bucci concluded the institutional greetings by underlining the city’s role as host of the event: ‘Welcome, everyone. The FIV Sailor of the Year Award has landed in Genoa: we are honoured to be able to host such a prestigious event precisely the very same year in which our city has climbed the Sailing Everest. These are extraordinary days that confirm our role as the absolute Capital of Yachting, the outcome of a great deal of hard work, creating synergy between Institutions and Trade Associations. An event that celebrates the best sailors at an international level, who export Genoa’s deep vocation for sailing around the world. I am proud to be here tonight, as a sailor and as a man of the sea“.

Immediately after the greetings, Cecchi and Ettorre welcomed the event’s international guests on stage: Quanhai Li, President of World Sailing, Singapore Sailing Federation Vice-President Tan Sain Kon Jevan, Josep Pla President of Eurosaf, and Richard Brisius President of The Ocean Race. In their speeches, the guests emphasised the role of the Italian Sailing Federation in Europe and in the world, highlighting in particular the presence in the hall of so many young athletes who are already champions despite their age and bear witness to the future of Italian and world sailing, concluding with them taking the opportunity to thank the Mayor of Genoa Marco Bucci for the hospitality offered by Genoa to The Ocean Race, an event that has given the city centre stage of world sailing on these same days.

After the institutional greetings, the first to take the stage were the finalists for the Boat of the Year Award – Confindustria Nautica TrophyEleonora Cottarelli invited on stage Marina Stella, General Manager of the Italian Marine Industry Association – Confindustria Nautica, and Alessandro Campagna, Sales Manager of I Saloni Nautici. Cottarelli pointed out that theItalian Marine Industry Associationis going through a very intense period of activities and institutional events, and that the FIV Sailor of the Year Award ceremony is just the first. “The sport of sailing imposes choices. Similarly, the Italian Marine Industry Association has chosen to concentrate all the association’s spring events into this key moment in Genoa: the Sailor of the Year Award ceremony, in collaboration with the Italian Sailing Federation, the ceremony of the 32nd edition of the “Boating Pioneers” Award, dedicated to managers, journalists, designers, and industry professionals who have distinguished themselves throughout the history and development of the yachting industry in Italy, and the SATEC Convention. All this, in the very week in which the City hosts The Ocean Race’s Grand Finale event, underlining the bond that has always united the yachting industry, maritime culture, and the sport of sailing and we strongly believe in the strength of the public-private cooperation model to achieve important results, as can be seen in the Genoa International Boat Show.

We have also chosen,” Marina Stella stressed, “to place the issue of environmental sustainability at the heart of the Italian Marine Industry Association’s agenda, dedicating to this commitment an event entitled Shaping the Future, the first World Yachting Sustainability Forum of the yachting industry, organized by IBI and McKinsey & Company and with the participation of international stakeholders who will be able to bring their own experiences of other production sectors such as automotive, cruising, and engines, to an open discussion concerning the optimisation of new technologies towards a sustainable industry and how the profile of the next generation of consumers will evolve, scheduled to take place on 30th June, here at the Palazzo Ducale.”

Alessandro Campagna continued, stating: “For 63 years Genoa and the International Boat Show have chosen each other. In easy times and in harder times. A few years ago, together with the city’s institutions, we set ourselves an ambitious goal: to make Genoa the Yachting Capital” – declared Alessandro Campagna-. “The project for the new Eastern Waterfront, born from the pen of renowned architect Renzo Piano, will already give this edition of the Boat Show brand new exhibition spaces. In fact, it will be possible to take advantage of two new docks that will further expand the exhibition’s offer and make the Show an exciting and stunning experience. And that project is becoming a reality“.

Giulio Guazzini and Eleonora Cottarelli then invited the finalists of the Barca dell’Anno – Confindustria Nautica Trophy to the stage: boat owner Roberto Lacorte representing the FlyingNikka, Sebastien Nolasco, general manager of Italia Yachts, and Maria Budano, owner of the Mylius 60 Fra Diavolo. The audience’s applause accompanied the reading of the award motivation and proclamation of the winner by Marina Stella: “Innovation, technology and challenging records are the hallmarks of the boat of the future, a future that is already a sailing reality: FlyingNikka wins the 2023 Boat of the Year – Confindustria Nautica Trophy.” FlyingNikka’s owner Roberto Lacorte accepted the award presented by Marina Stella, to resounding applause.

The evening continued as planned with the Owner-Captain of the Year – BPER Banca Trophy. Max Sirena representing Patrizio Bertelli and Filippo Pacinotti, finalists for the award, took to the stage alongside with Gilberto Borghi, events and sponsorship manager at BPER Banca, the evening’s main sponsor. Eleonora Cottarelli asked him about BPER Banca’s commitment to the sea: “We are an important player for Liguria, we are the third-largest listed Italian group,” said Gilberto Borghi, “and we accompany Liguria’s desire for growth, which has many projects dedicated to transforming the area. I also want to emphasise that we fully espouse the values of sport that Mayor Marco Bucci spoke about. Finally, I would like to emphasise that it was an enormous pleasure for me to see the presence of so many young people this evening, to whom our bank dedicates a great deal of attention and energy.”

After the customary interviews with the finalists, Giulio Guazzini asked Gilberto Borghi to read out the motivation with which the jury awarded the Shipowner/Timoniere of the YearBPER Banca Trophy: “A timeless, all-encompassing passion for boats and for sailing in all its expressions, from the America’s Cup to vintage boats: Patrizio Bertelli wins the 2023 Shipowner-Captain of the Year – BPER Banca Trophy.

The evening then continued with an award ceremony held by the Italian Sailing Federation dedicated to the athletes and coaches of the Olympic and Youth classes who achieved outstanding international results during 2022. Welcomed by Eleonora Cottarelli and Giulio Guazzini, the athletes took to the stage in quick succession accompanied by the Federation’s President Francesco Ettorre, Technical Director of the Federal Olympic team Michele Marchesini, and Technical Director of the Youth sector Alessandra Sensini. The spectacular group photo of 67 young athletes on stage concluded one of the most significant moments of the event.

At 22:40 the most eagerly awaited moment of the evening kicked off, dedicated to the 2023 FIV Sailor of the Year Award. On stage were Ambrogio Beccaria, Mattia Cesana, Marta Maggetti, Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi, Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti, and with them Saverio Cecchi, Fabio Planamente, president of the sailing sector of the Italian Marine Industry Association, Francesco Ettorre, and Marco Bucci.

The motivation for the award was read out by an emotional Marco Bucci: “In this second millennium of sailing, our champions no longer glide over water, but fly ever faster: Ruggero Tita and Caterina Banti win the 2023 FIV Sailor of the Year Award! That makes five!!!”

The celebration of the winners amidst applause, interviews, group photos on stage of the winners and finalists in the three categories alongside the various institutional guests was the setting that marked the conclusion of the event, together with the words of Mayor Bucci, who emphasised that the young Italian Federation athletes in the audience will be the future winners of the FIV Sailor of the Year Award.

During the event, the audience remembered and applauded the memory of Italian sailor Simone Bianchetti on the anniversary of his death 20 years ago, with the words of Giulio Guazzini and La Stampa journalist Fabio Pozzo.

The members of the Jury of the 29th edition of the FIV Sailor of the Year Award are: Francesco Ettorre, Saverio Cecchi, Carlo Mornati, Quanhai Li, Marco Bucci and Alberto Acciari, secretary of the award.

BPER Banca is the main sponsor of the 2023 FIV Sailor of the Year Award.

Maxi Dolphin and Bellavista are official partners of the FIV Sailor of the Year Award.

The media partners supporting the 2023 FIV Sailor of the Year Award are: Telesia (Class Editori Group), which for the tenth consecutive year broadcast images of the event on its digital television channels in airports and subways.  Media partners also included leading sailing magazines: Barche Magazine, Bolina, Fare Vela, Nautica, Nautica Report, Pressmare,,, The International Yachting Media, Vela e Motore, Vela ITALIA mare, and      #velistadellanno   #velistadellannofiv