Venice Hospitality Challenge

Arca SGR – Ca’ Sagredo, helmed by Furio Benussi, claimed the top spot on the podium by securing the overall victory in the tenth edition of the Venice Hospitality Challenge, a feat that follows their recent triumph at the Barcolana. The regatta, which followed its traditional course through the Venetian cityscape from Riva of San Marco to the Giudecca Canal, set a new record with eighteen maxi yachts participating.

The racing action commenced with a bang as Arca SGR – Ca’ Sagredo, Prosecco DOC Shockwave 3 – Hotel Excelsior, and Way of Life – The Gritti Palace incurred penalties for jumping the start, while Adriatic Europa – Hotel Danieli was left grounded a few meters from the island of San Giorgio. Right from the first buoy, Arca SGR - Ca’ Sagredo took the lead, maintaining their advantage throughout and securing victory.

Final results:

Maxi A Regata                                                                                                 Skipper

  1. Arca SGR - Ca’ Sagredo Hotel                                                        Furio Benussi
    2 .Way of Life - The Gritti Palace                                                    Vincec Gaspar
    3. Prosecco DOC Shockwave 3 – Hotel Excelsior                              Mitja Kosmina

    Maxi B Regata
    1. Pegaso - Alajmo Ristorante Quadri                                                  Roberto Zambelli
    2. Clean Sport One - Violino d’Oro                                                      Jure Orel
    3. -Anywave- The St. Regis Venice                                                      Alberto Leghissa

    Maxi Crociera
    1. Idrusa - Palazzina                                                                           Paolo Montefusco
    2. Kiwi - Ca’ di Dio VRetreats/LILT                                                        Paolo Pesaresi
    3. Anemos II - JW Marriott                                                                  Gughi Danelon


Simone Venturini, the Tourism Assessor of Venice; Francesco Ettorre, the President of the Italian Sailing Federation (FIV); and Benoît de Froidmont, the President of the International Maxi Yacht Association (IMA), joined Mirko Sguario on stage to present the winners with the Doge's Hat, specially crafted for this tenth edition by the Murano glassware Studio Berengo. Furio Benussi's boat also claimed the special prize offered by Generali Italia to mark this anniversary.

Mirko Sguario, the President of Yacht Venezia and the event's patron, expressed his satisfaction, saying, "It is with particular pride that this year I thank all those who contributed to bringing the world of sailing to the heart of Venice, making the Venice Hospitality Challenge a unique global event. The success of the exhibition 'Venice Hospitality Challenge: the Tenth Anniversary' testifies that the legacy of a major sports event associated with the maritime world and hospitality can rekindle the emotions that only the extraordinary backdrop of Venice can make unforgettable."

For the first time, the public had the opportunity to closely admire the boats at the docks thanks to a floating pier over 75 meters long placed in the Giudecca Canal, near the Zattere Palace. This pier was dedicated to the memory of the late Renzo Rossi, considered one of the foremost experts in the field of maintenance and preservation of the lagoon.

Fabrizio D'Oria, the Operating Director of Vela Spa, remarked, "The mooring of boats in the city was a much-appreciated surprise for the Venetians and the city's guests and is undoubtedly a project that can be worked on in the future."

Simone Venturini, the Tourism Assessor, emphasized the importance of the regatta for Venice: "For the tenth anniversary of the Venice Hospitality Challenge, there could be no more beautiful celebration: a grand maritime festival, the best yachts, and the finest Venetian hospitality were the stars of the day."

Thanks were extended for the patronage and support to the Municipality of Venice, the Veneto Region, the Northern Adriatic Sea Port Authority, and the Italian Sailing Federation. The event also benefited from the support of Vela S.p.A., Venice Nautical Show, Marina Militare, Venice Le Città in Festa, and the gold sponsors Generali Italia, Visa, Acqua Dolomia, as well as sponsors Comte de Montaigne, Studio Berengo, and MureaDritta.

Collaboration acknowledgments were given to the Harbour Master's Office, CMV Panfido, Bubola & Naibo, Assonautica, VYP Venice Yacht Pier, Portodimare, Marina Santelena, Venezia Certosa Marina, Alilaguna, Bellini Canella, and Rossi Renzo Costruzioni. Media Partners included Barche, Excellence Magazine, Venezia Made in Veneto, Venezia Unica, Lagunamare, and Wonder Cortina.

Text: Venice Hospitality Challenge
Photo: Venice Hospitality Challenge
Video: ICARUS Sports