Sails unfolded in the lagoon for the fifth edition of the Venice Hospitality Challenge, the Grand Prix of the City of Venice
Enchanting sailing boats and world-renowned luxury hotels have gathered once again for this year’s edition of the Venice Hospitality Challenge, a real Grand Prix for the City of Venice, the only regatta that takes place in the internal waters of a city – almost an equivalent to the Monaco Grand Prix, dedicated to Formula 1.
A winning formula that brings together sport, lifestyle and luxury for an extraordinary event that has seen the participation of twelve Maxi Yachts, each of whom has made its mark on the history of sailing, paired with as many famous high class Venetian hotels.
The Teams, led by internationally renowned skippers, competed on the regatta course to conquer the Doge’s hat, created specifically for the Venice Hospitality Challenge 2018 by the traditional Murano glassmaker F. B. Signoretti.
The 2018 edition has been particularly evocative: after the official opening by the President of the Regatta Committee Gianfranco Frizzarin, in front of Punta della Salute, which was punctuated by a tugboat’s water jets that lasted four minutes, the last sixty seconds before the start of the race were highlighted by the striking “up oars” ceremony of the Royal Bucintoro Company.
The boats, moored at Marina Santelena, raced towards the Lido and then turned around the Saint Elena buoy to return to the San Marco basin, where a very unusual buoy was waiting for them: for the first time ever in the history of yachting, the buoy consisted of a car, an Audi Q8 Mild Hybrid, moored on a floating pontoon that the boats had to round before reaching the finish line.
The hotels who participated in this fifth edition are: The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice; Ca ‘Sagredo Hotel; Hotel Danieli, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice; SINA Centurion Palace; Hilton Molino Stucky Venice; Belmond Hotel Cipriani; Hotel Excelsior Venice Lido Resort; Apartment house; The St. Regis Venice, the JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa and the Hotel Almar Jesolo Resort and Spa.
The V edition of the Venice Hospitality Challenge ended with the Overall and Class 1 of Spirit of Portopiccolo – Ca ‘Sagredo.
The boat, steered by Furio Benussi assisted by his brother Gabriele, took control of the fleet from the start, dominating the final stretch along the Giudecca canal all the way to the finish line.
The second to cross the finish line was Way of Life – The Gritti Hotel, with Gaspar Vincec at the helm; the third overall and first in Class 2 was Pendragon VI – Hilton Molino Stucky, steered by Lorenzo Bodini
This year’s edition of the Venice Hospitality Challenge has seen the promoter of the regatta, the Venice Yacht Club, join forces with the One Ocean Foundation, an international project developed by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) aiming at protecting the seas and at spreading awareness on the urgent issues related to the marine ecosystem. The Viriella Maxi Yacht, chosen as a symbol of the Foundation’s values, was steered by One Ocean Foundation Ambassador, Mauro Pelaschier, who invited everyone in attendance to make a small, concrete gesture for the sea: signing the Charta
Smeralda code of conduct, available online on the website www.1ocean.org.
The Venetian hotels that participated to the regatta have been already engaged for some time in various activities promoting sustainability, such as eliminating disposable plastics, and are particularly sensitive to the urgent need for a greater protection of the sea – that is why they all have offered their support to the Charta Smeralda by signing and promoting it, informing their guests and committing themselves to following the best management practices.