IBSA with FIV’s Para Sailing Academy at the 55th edition of the Barcolana
In Trieste, as part of the events organised on the occasion of the 55th edition of the Barcolana, inclusive sailing was the protagonist of three days of regattas and activities dedicated to disabled people, the Barcolana Para Sailing Academy (the latter being a disabled sailing school).
The Barcolana – a regatta that takes place in Trieste every second Sunday of October – has made inclusion one of its founding pillars. This year, thanks to the presence of World Sailing, the International Sailing Federation, and FIV (Federazione Italiana Vela),with its school Para Sailing Academy, also supported by IBSA, the historic event Barcolana per il Sociale (“Barcolana for Social Initiatives”) – which has been taking place for over twenty years – has been enriched with three days of activities for people with disabilities, both sailing experts and novices.
The first two days of the Barcolana Para Sailing Academy were dedicated to competitive challenges: the first saw local organisations pursuing the Fuorivento Trophy and the Calicanto Trophy, the two historic regattas of the Barcolana per il Sociale; on the second day, the Hansa Class 303 and the Class 2.4 boats of FIV’s Para Sailing Academy, supported by IBSA, got into the water, with several top Italian athletes, including Davide Di Maria and Antonio Squizzato – silver and bronze medals at the last world championship in the Netherlands – who raced against international sailors and able-bodied athletes, conveying the message of sailing as a sport suitable for all people.
“Bringing the Para Sailing Academy to the Barcolana”, stated Giorgio Pisani, Vice President IBSA Group, “means opening new inclusion pathways: the Barcolana is the world’s largest regatta, one in which everyone can participate, and this further amplifies the role of FIV’s Para Sailing Academy, supported by IBSA. In the Barcolana, IBSA’s project also acquired an international significance, and we are pleased to know that the Para Sailing FIV regattas have obtained the status of International Races, due to the presence of participants from more than three nations and to the central role in their organisation of World Sailing, the International Sailing Federation, also involved in a broad diversity & inclusion programme. The Hansa 303s sailed under IBSA’s logo in a spectacular regatta field, right in front of the city of Trieste, where only a few days later over 15,000 sailors would take part in the 55th edition of the Barcolana”.
The third day of the Barcolana Para Sailing Academy was instead an “open day” dedicated to local associations and organisations dealing with disabilities, which had the opportunity to interact with federal technicians and personally try the boats made available by the Italian Sailing Federation, thus emphasising the critical role of the Para Sailing Academy – together with IBSA – in opening sailing to a wider range of participants, showing how sporting spirit and inclusiveness can and must always be in synergy.