Riva Days Venice 2024

Aquarama Byblos wins Best in Show

The Aquarama Byblos wins the Best in Show.

The 1970 Riva Aquarama Byblos, owned by Belgian Jérôme Malavoy, clinched the prestigious “Best in Show” award in Venice at the “Riva Days – Marco Polo, ASI NAUTIC SHOW – Contest of Elegance Frederique Constant”, the most important event of 2024 in the Mediterranean dedicated to historic motorboats.

The Riva fleet along the canals of the Venice lagoon

From June 28th to July 3rd, a fleet of approximately 50 boats from over 10 nations gathered at Marina Santelena in Venice to celebrate the legend of motorboats born on Lake Iseo, which have become renowned in the history of recreational boating.

Another successful event organized by the Riva Historical Society, founded in 1998, the international federation chaired by the Milanese architect Piero Maria Gibellini, uniting 13 departments and 700 members from over 30 countries on five continents. The event was sponsored by Bavaria Assicurazioni, Frederique Constant, and ASI, the Italian Historic Automotoclub, which awarded the ASI Cup in Venice. Technical sponsors included Vitale Barberis Canonico, Yacht Club Venezia, and Marina Santelena. Special thanks were extended to the Auxiliary Coast Guard for their support and escort activities in the lagoon with their amphibious vehicles.

VITTORIA III, Riva Ariston 1961
VITTORIA III, Riva Ariston 1961

After the grand parade in Bacino San Marco on Sunday, June 30th, alongside vintage sails participating in the 11th edition of the “Principato di Monaco Trophy in Venice”, the winners of the Frederique Constant Elegance Competition were announced. The theme of this Riva Days was “Marco Polo”, dedicated to the 700th anniversary of the death of the Venetian explorer and author of “Il Milione”.

Milanese Mattia Martinelli‘s 1961 Riva Ariston number 363, named Vittoria III, took first place in the competition for best period costume reenactment. Martinelli expressed, “Riva boats are a passion that transcends boating and reaches into art, the entrepreneurial sector in which I operate,” he continued, “It was almost an obligatory choice towards boats that, while not devoid of flaws, are like the loves that bind man to woman, where one becomes oblivious to imperfections.” Second place went to the 1965 Ariston Typ One, followed by the 1968 Super Florida Ksar. Other notable boats in the Elegance Competition included Giolisan (1961), Sineche (1972), Arriva (1966), Cocoa (1974), La bella vita (1974), Skylark III (1960), Tempest II (1972), Holly (1964), Gordon (1965), and Manicla (1963).

RUBIA, Riva Florida 1958
RUBIA, Riva Florida 1958

Here are the award rankings from the ceremony held at the 15th-century Hotel Ca’ Sagredo overlooking the Grand Canal, beginning with the Carlo Riva Cup, which considered parameters such as originality, aesthetics, and the boat’s significance.

Carlo Riva Cup single-engine category: 1st Rubia (1958) – 2nd Softly II (1968) – 3rd Ksar (1968)
Carlo Riva Cup twin-engine category: 1st Legend (1990) – 2nd Skylark III (1960) – 3rd Maud II (1974)
ASI Cup – Maneuverability test: 1st Tempest II (1972) – 2nd Rudy no name (1973) – 3rd Vittoria III (1961)

Awarding of the Riva Aquarama Byblos by Piero Maria Gibellini, RHS president.
Awarding of the Riva Aquarama Byblos by Piero Maria Gibellini, RHS President.

Ugo Gambardella, ASI Vice President, attended the event in Venice alongside Claudio Tovaglieri, President of ASI’s Nautical and Aeronautical Commission. Gambardella highlighted the event’s significance and underscored future commitments to both historic motorsports and boating. The 1968 Riva Ariston number 862 Tiffa My from Finland received recognition for traveling the farthest distance, while a special award was presented to the German owner who showcased two Rudy Riva boats launched in 1973 and 1975, respectively. The evening’s featured guest was Valerio Venturelli, the new youthful director of Riva Classiche.

The volume “I Celli da Viareggio a Venezia”, authored by RHS President Piero Maria Gibellini, comprises 1,150 image and photograph scans. This latest literary work commemorates the renowned shipyard that ceased operations over half a century ago. The book was unveiled during an evening at Marina Santelena. Joining RHS President Piero Maria Gibellini on stage were Stefano Costantini, CEO of the revived Cantiere Celli and President of Marina Santelena, and lawyer Federico Serafini, nephew of Marco Celli. Marco, together with his brothers Dino and Ugo, founded the most prominent and productive shipyard in the Adriatic.

Photos: Paolo Maccione

Luxury Villa on Lake Como
Luxury Villa on Lake Como

Luxury Villa on Lake Como

Classic Baroque style for an emotionally evocative Interior

Cecilia Paredes: the artist that fades inside her works
Cecilia Paredes

Cecilia Paredes: the artist that fades inside her works

Her identity camouflaged in the backdrop

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