History > The history of Fraglia

La storia della Fraglia

Seguiteci alla scoperta della storia che ha portato alla nascita e allo sviluppo della Fraglia Vela Malcesine!

sede storica fraglia vela malcesine lago garda

The first years

On September 8, 1947, Fraglia Vela Malcesine was founded, the first sailing club in Verona and the second fraglia on Lake Garda, after that of Riva.

In the same year, it was officially recognized by the U.S.V.I.(Union of Italian Sailing Societies) and thus became part of the restricted group of Societies united in the National Federation.

Fishermen’s boats were used for the first regattas, some of the most diverse and with colorful patched sails. Everyone used what they had but the desire to get together and have fun was never lacking.

In 1948 each member put in a share to buy a dinghy-the first social boat while the following year a full-fledged Class boat, the Star.

Martino Martino, among the Founding Members recounts that period this way, “The new headquarters would be built on the beach at the beginning of the Malcesine lakefront. The civil engineer would not let us build but the shoreline up to five meters is municipal and we got the permits.”

In 1951 the Social Headquarters with the pier and crane were built, and that summer also marked the registration of the sailing association with the Italian Sailing Federation, precisely on June 8, 1951.

The first official regatta was the Vela d’Argento, a multiclass regatta for dinghies, established in August 1954 on the model of Riva Sailing Week.

For the first editions the Star, Snipe and Dinghy classes competed on the water in two days of racing. It grew so fast that by 1963 it already had 80 crews and by 1966 it was already an international regatta bringing more than 100 boats to Malcesine.

Vela d’Argento’s classic August holiday event has been replaced with the Simone Trophy, which has been held every year in midsummer since its third edition in 1998.

In the years that followed, sporting activity increased, resulting in a fleet of as many as seven Stars with which Fragliotti athletes achieved excellent placings at the 100 miles of Garda.

A very important regatta in those early years was in July 1955 the first Italian Championship for the Dinghy class, then returned to Malcesine in 1958 and 1962 respectively.

And no less in 1965 the Italian Finn class championship.

They showcase brothers Dino and Carlo Benamati who finished second in the 1962 Italian Championship at home and Guerrino Pifferi who would win the Italian Dinghy 12 p title in 1973 in S. Margherita Ligure.

The year 1967 marked the establishment for the first time in Malcesine of a Sailing School.

Recounting those years of the glorious Star class a piece of Italian sailing history is represented by the victory of the Croce brothers at the 1970 Italian Championship, repeated later in 1982. While for the Fraglia and for the time truly exceptional event was the 1973 Star Class Spring European Championship.

In 1975 the Finn European Championship,

In 1977 the Italian Strale;

in 1979 the Finn European and the Italian Snipe

In 1984 again the Italian Finn

in 1986 the Italian Contender

In 1971, 1974, 1975 and 1982 the Italian Dinghy 12 p. Championship.

In the 1982 edition that, the young Fraglia Member, Gianni Pifferi, won the rainbow title by a considerable margin over the second place finisher.In the

The season of the great sailors

Twenty-five years after its founding, Fraglia Vela Malcesine landed an experience unthinkable until then; participating in the 1972 Munich Olympics (in Kiel for sailing) with two of its athletes, Flavio Scala and Mauro Testa, on the Star.

The “Scala team” is a protagonist not only in the Olympic classes, but also in offshore sailing, at the helm of “Italy” in 1983, in fact, it participates in the America’s Cup.

In 1991 in Cannes, another FVM Member wins the World Championship par excellence, it is the Star World Championship, Roberto Benamati gets to hit this goal that rightfully leads him to represent Italy at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

In the following years he became European Champion and Italian Champion repeatedly, not only on the Star, but also on Asso99 and Libera.

2001 was Andrea Cucchi’s year: the new Fraglia member won the title of Italian Champion of the Formula Windsurfing class.

Andrea Cucchi Formula Windsurfing Fraglia Vela Malcesine

Only a year passes and the young boy from Milan, a gardesano by adoption, with grit and willpower to spare, becomes Isaf World Champion in Marseille.

It’s July 2002, and that summer Michele Marchesini’s gold medal at the Italian Finn Class Championship in Cervia again brings Fraglia to the front pages.

The year ends in the best way, for the Roll of Honor, thanks to the success at the Ufo o.d. National Championship of Marco Carletto with his “Calzedonia.”

Michele Marchesini will be one of the Italian National Team Athletes selected for the 2004 Athens Olympics who will carry the Fraglia Vela Malcesine banner aloft.

In 2008 the satisfaction is great for another Gold medal; the up-and-coming Vittorio Bissaro and Lamberto Cesari, win the rainbow ranking of the European Hobie Tiger Championship in Copenhagen and, given their determination and passion, the hope of a place at the next Olympics, is concrete.

The Olympic Games featuring him are in Rio 2016 in the Nacra 17 Class. In fact, paired with Silvia Sicouri, Vittorio Bissaro ends the exciting Olympic adventure in 5th place, seeing his medal slipped away in the last race.

How it became the ultimate sailing center

Since 1993 President of Fraglia Vela Malcesine has become Gianni Testa

“We rolled up our sleeves to change the soul of the Fraglia. It had to be open to everyone, by everyone. Structuring the sailing school and organizing the regattas were the excuse to meet, challenge each other and organize dinners or barbecues in the company.”

Gianni comes from a high-level competitive background and is familiar with the demands and dynamics of the sport of sailing.

“We wanted to move the headquarters to the Retelino location. Back then there was no marina yet, and we would have been fine there. But we missed the opportunity and moved to Navene, to a former landfill site.”

Construction work on the new headquarters began in 2003, following the design created by architect Lucio Donatini.

Sandro Lombardi, in the Executive since the 1970s with the last term of President Mario Bertuzzi until 2016 is the operational soul during the work:

“My task was to organize the circle while spending as little as possible.

The yard was battered and uneven, and we leveled it with scraps from construction companies. I remember that more than 100 trucks of material arrived from the Hotel Panorama construction site for some work, which was hard work.”

“What adventures! Everything was temporary and we were scrambling as best we could but we were inventive: I was the arm and Gianni was the brains.” recalls Sandro. “On that yard we organized European and world championships, we had the best sailors in the world, we were growing fast and we needed a venue that was up to the task.”

The excitement and enthusiasm of that early July day is still present in the eyes of the participants; it is the long-awaited moment of the official inauguration in the presence of dignitaries, members and sympathizers on July 9, 2006.

It is in 2007 that the venue will come to completion, adding the services of a bar restaurant and gymnasium.

In the very same year, being able to have a sports facility of excellence, equipped with all the necessary services, the European Championship of the Star class, the World Championship of the Topper class, the World Championship of the Mustoskiff class, the National Championship of the Protagonist and H22 classes, and the stage of the international circuit of the RC44 class, which will bring to Malcesine illustrious names of international sailing, is organized.

he excellent organization and hospitality received meant that in 2008 RC44 returned with Russell Coutts, Sebastien Col, James Spithill, Larry Ellison, Dean Barker and Cameron Appleton.

russel coutts fraglia vela malcesine
rc44 russel coutts 2008 fraglia vela malcesine lago garda

With such protagonists of our regattas, Malcesine gains media visibility as few times a sailing regatta can.

Sailing into the future

Agreements with … foster the birth of what will be in years to come one of the most anticipated events of the Garda sailing season, Foiling Week.

Boats and prototypes with foils, dinghies and rudders with appendages designed to lift and sail boats suspended above the water, are the stars of the week, which becomes an attraction for conferences, test runs, related events, and attracts enthusiasts of all kinds.

Prestigious home regattas continue, and among them the Moth Worlds in the year 2017 confirms the organizational skills of Fraglia Vela Malcesine.

Nine-day event–with participants from around the world. Seal the victory of Australian Paul Goodison.

Testa’s presidency leads to the achievement of another major goal; the southern harbor with floating docks fully available to racing boats is built.

The 2019 European J/70 Championship with be 62 crews represents the first major event to take advantage of the new port’s capacity.

Logistically complex