1954: the first Tre Golfi race

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Yesterday as today the international Tre Golfi Race doesn’t loose its appeal; Carlo de Zerbi – winner of the first edition in 1954, tells how he won the race:

“[…] The course takes competitors along Posillipo and Marechiaro coastline, across the Gulf of Pozzuoli and the Procida Channel, where the village gives the impression of a multicolored “nativity scene”. You tack below Ischia, which brings back memories of the exploits of the famous pirates and the more modern acrobatic feats of Burt Lancaste, and then you head for the island of Ponza, in the Gulf of Gaeta. Having gone around the solid rock of the Madonna della Guardia, the western coast awaits you, rocky, wild, spiked with jagged cliffs and stacks as far as the island of Zannone. Turing at Ponza, you have to go around the Island del Gallo, in the Gulf of Salerno, near Positano, and finally head out to Capri.
A course of this nature, even thoughnot orthodox, certainly offers a number of tourist attractions, light, sun, and wind unique in the world.

illustrazione Besana

If you bear in mind that to save precious time, you would need to find a passage between the sandbanks and the rocks that make navigation in the channels between Ponza and Palmarola Extremely difficult, and even more so between Ponza and Zannone, and that these passages have been rendered even more perilous by moonless nights, a rough sea and the sirocco wind, you will learn from several competitors that while the Tre Golfi race lacks the emotion of perfect sailing, compounded by the difficulty of taking coordinates from the position of the sun, there is certainly no shortage of risks nor difficulty. I believe that the risks and the difficulties of a navigation of this nature that requires extreme precision in taking coordinates and judging distances, couldn’t have a more enticing, backdrop of natural beauty. […]”.
Provided by Yachting Italiano (1954)

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