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With the SIAD Trophy, the Dinghy regatta Portofino is ready for the summer

16 Apr 2019

Trofeo_siad_portofino_dinghyIt’s just a little over a month until the SIAD Trophy, the Dinghy regatta that has now become a classic for the sailing season, scheduled from 17 to 19 May in the stunning Portofino Gulf. The event – organized by the SIAD Group and Yacht Club Italiano – is now in its 23rd year, and once again takes on symbolic significance as a return to normality for the picturesque Ligurian village, and accessibility to the population after the reopening of the road, partly destroyed following the storm surges this past autumn that in fact isolated Portofino from the other towns in the Tigullio.

With the SIAD Trophy, aimed mainly at 12-foot Dinghy enthusiasts, yet involving all sailing fans and Portofino guests, the town itself is leaving a harsh winter behind and is getting ready for the summer season. With about 500 guests involved for the Trophy, SIAD itself is also contributing to relaunching this particular season. 

With the SIAD Trophy, also called “Bombola d’Oro” Trophy, or even “Bombolino” by friends, the Dinghy is back again as the star of the Portofino sea, a fascinating singlehanded boat with over a century of history, successes and passion. With its simplicity, basic features and absolute sustainability, the Dinghy perfectly meets the spirit of the SIAD Trophy. Created thanks to a passion for the sea by a group of friends led by Roberto Sestini, Chairman of the SIAD Group, one of the leading chemical groups in Italy, the Bombolino awards sailors with technique, sail sensitivity and ability to regulate the boat. Easy to manage – requiring just a cart for transportation – and with low costs, the Dinghy was a revolutionary sailboat that changed sports sailing practice, making it more popular and accessible, at a time when it was reserved to big yachts.


“It fills me with joy to see that, over the years, the SIAD Bombola d’Oro Trophy has become one of the most beloved regattas in the international Dinghy sailing landscape, with over a hundred boats registered every year, representing seven countries: Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Turkey, Spain, Austria and Italy. It’s precisely the appreciation displayed by foreign sailors that makes me especially happy”, explains Sestini.

The SIAD Trophy is a lively blend of competition and the pleasure of hanging out together, a challenging regatta that requires technical skills and preparation, but also combines sports and friendship. This is also thanks to the collaboration with a prestigious Club, Yacht Club Italiano, the beautiful natural setting, and the Dinghy, which has maintained its charm intact over the course of its centenary history.


This year, once again the race will take place over three days, in order to indulge the fickle “mood” of the Tigullio Gulf, and is a valid test for the George Cockshott International Trophy.

Cockshott was an English lawyer, as well as a sea dog who, in 1913, invented the 12’ Dinghy, a boat that in 1919 was granted International Class, and was admitted for the first time at the Antwerp Olympics in 1920.

At the 1928 Games in the Netherlands, Italy participated for the first time, finishing sixth out of twenty registered nations. News reports say the first gathering in Italy of the 12’ Dinghy was in Riccione in 1934. This boat’s record smallness, having been the smallest international class monotype, revolutionized the practice of sports sailing making it more popular.

In addition to the Bombola d’Oro and Bombola d’Argento (for first place among wooden hulls), even for this XXIII year, there will be an award assigned to charity: in fact, among registered members, the formal donor of a contribution to be assigned to the Tender To Nave Italia Non-Profit Foundation will be drawn to fund one of the three projects already selected by the Foundation for 2019. The Foundation, whose members are the Italian Navy and Yacht Club Italiano, is a charitable organization that promotes navigation as a training and therapeutic tool for disabled and disadvantaged people.

The Dinghy

The Dinghy is a boat three and a half meters long and a little more than a meter wide, that was created in 1913 from a design by the Englishman George Cockshott. Cockshott was a lawyer who had a passion for design, a passion that led him to participate and win the competition organized by the Boat Racing Association, which had as its objective the creation of a small center board that could disseminate the practice of sailing as a sport, as it was more economically accessible than the great racing boats popular at the time. Since then, the history of the Dinghy is one of success and passion, inaugurated by taking part in the Olympics in Belgium in 1920 and then in the Netherlands in 1928, following which the first 12’ Dinghy shipyard was created in Italy.

Today the Dinghy, after more than a hundred years, has managed to keep its charm intact over time, becoming an icon of maritime sports culture. This center board, which has evolved over the years from classic wooden construction to more elaborate materials, allows a sailing practice with zero environmental impact, which, combined with cost-effectiveness and ease of maintenance, can meet the search for unsullied and direct contact with the sea, thus becoming a symbol of a clean, back-to-basics lifestyle.

Press information:

Luca Vitale e Associati

Luca Vitale,, 335.6010843

Margherita Saldi,, 328.9675035