Regattas > The Simone Trophy, a celebration open to all

The Simone Trophy, a celebration open to all

by Sandro Lombardi

Trofeo Simone Lombardi 2018 Fraglia Vela Malcesine

In the summer of 1995 there was a zonal regatta in the calendar for Optimists. Simone had recently died and we wanted to organise a trophy in his memory. That year 70 youngsters participated in the first edition of the Simone Trophy.

The Simone Trophy replaced the Silver Sail regatta, a historic regatta which had been absent from the calendar for a good few years. The Trophy grew very quickly, known all around Europe, it became an international event. Today’s format is for three days of racing with three races per day. A total of nine races open to cadets and juniors.

Flotta Trofeo Simone Lombardi 2018 Fraglia Vela Malcesine

During the Simone Trophy there is also the prize for the winning team for the Meeting Internazionale degli Olivi. This prize is based on the results over two regattas: the Simone Trophy and the Ora Cup Ora of Arco.

From the 70 sailors in the first regatta we went to 250 then 300 and in 2017 the record of 395 youngsters all jockeying for position in the waters of Malcesine whilst their parents sought out the best viewing position on the shore. The beach at the Fraglia during this regatta becomes a grandstand full of fans and spectators armed with binoculars.

Optimist in linea di partenza al Trofeo Simone 2019

The team with the least points from their three boats highest in the final ranking take home our perpetual trophy to be redeemed for the following year. A plaque on the plinth records the teams who have won the trophy going back to the year 1995.

The trophy is a sculpture in bronze by the artist Pino Castagna and represents an Optimist that navigates amongst the waves. The hull is there but you don’t see it. It is a lasting memory of Simone which is always with us.

Il Trofeo Simone Lombardi - Fraglia Vela Malcesine

On the return to the beach there is the usual frenetic activity which characterises such events, boats to de-rig, vans to load up, comments regrets and accusations, the wait for the prizegiving and the enthusiasm from all the participants who celebrate or console each other whilst tucking in to bread and Nutella, chips, water melon and water distributed by the tireless volunteers of the Fraglia Vela Malcesine.

On this occasion everybody pulls together and will be found in the kitchen helping to serve plates of pasta to all the combatants.

Premiazione Trofeo Simone Lombardi 2018 Fraglia Vela Malcesine

This is followed by a lottery in which prizes were first donated by ourselves but latterly by sponsors. One lucky person will take home a brand-new Optimist.

The Simone Trophy is a festival open to everybody.
In this period the Fraglia Vela Malcesine is overflowing with energy thanks to the vitality of all the young helmsmen who invade our club for three consecutive days.

These youngsters fill me with pride.