This year, Trieste celebrates 50 years of the Barcolana Autumn Cup Regatta (La Barcolana), organized by the Società Velica di Barcola e Grignano. This is one of Trieste’s premiere events for locals and visitors alike. Organizers hope to beat last year’s record of 2101 boats! See footage of the start of last year’s race here.
This year’s event will kick off on Saturday October 6 with a benefit concert in Piazza Unita’ starring Bob Sinclair and run through Sunday the 14, the day of the big race, which will feature a flyover of the Frecce Tricolori before the starting gun. Check out Barcolana’s interactive calendar with dates, description and locations so you don’t miss a single minute!
In addition to the main race on Sunday – there are multiple races throughout the entire 9 day period. I’m especially looking forward to the Barcolana Fine Art Sail (Fri Oct 12 at noon) featuring hand painted sails, Barcolana Classic (Sat Oct 13 10:30) featuring the historic grand dames of sailboats and the magical Barcolana by Night (Sat Oct 13 at 19:30) but truly, there is something for everyone! And make sure you check out all the boats along the Rive – It’s a party all day (and night) long!
Barcolana Experience is the title for the special, exclusive events you can book through Musement. Everything from a meal featuring multiple Michelin-starred Chefs (sold out), to a birdseye view of the race in a helicopter , Tasty-Bus tours organized by Civado through the Collio wine country or Karst, a day onboard a motor yacht and even passage on some vessels participating in the race.
Barcolana50 was commemorated this Spring by the usual unveiling of the much anticipated poster, (always thanks to a collaboration of ILLY and a contemporary artist) this year’s (causing some controversy) featured Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović with a social message. Also, in honor of the 50th year, a commemorative postage stamp was issued.
Started in 1968, the Barcolana is one of the most crowded regattas in the world. The uniqueness of the race is that it pits amateurs against professional racing teams. Every year in October, sailing enthusiasts descend upon the city from all around the world. Circa 25,000 of them on approximately 2000 yachts and smaller vessels taking part in the 1.5-mile four-sided fixed course race on the second Sunday of October.
The starting line is just in front of the Faro della Vittoria lighthouse and the finish line is in front of Piazza Unita’.
The Gulf of Trieste is a naturally formed “sailing stadium” and each year more spectators enjoy the race from numerous vantage points — a front row seat on the Trieste seafront stretching from as far as Barcola, Grignano, to the “Rive” in the City or from on high on the Karst hillside. Over the 50 years, the race has morphed from a competition among local sailing clubs to a week-long festival featuring many different boat class races and water sporting demos lead up to the main event with the entire city participating with special events and attractions ranging from theater, music, shopping and the famous Barcola Village lining the waterfront.
So get out there, find your events and share photos of your Barcolana experiences with the hashtag #Ceroanchio.