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15 September 2016

September on Lake Garda: between autumn flavours and the famous "Centomiglia".

Thousands of people choose this month to come to Lake Garda to compete, or simply admire, the renowned international sailing regatta calendar.

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The Centomiglia is Europe’s longest boat race in non-marine waters. It began in 1951, and now it draws over 350 crews representing about a dozen nations.

At the beginning, just 17 boats took part, but in following years began to take part more and more unique and fast boats: Olympic boats such as the 5.50 Metre, fast boats such as the Renjollen, and ocean-going boats such as Giorgio Falck’s first class IOR Guia which won in 1971 In the history of the Centomiglia there have been Italian winners skippered by Italian crews, a German boat skippered by a Flying Dutchman world champion, yachts skippered by British, Germans, royalty, Olympic sailing teams and locals.

Everybody who’s anybody is there – sailors, chefs, local people, local councilors, the Mayor, musicians, intellectuals, workers, mothers and fathers, families.

As everyone who owns a villa with lake view or an apartment with private Pier enjoyed the long tradition of great sailing on Lake Garda.

The race, as usual, takes place the second Sunday of September. It starts between 8 and 9 a.m., the departure and the return are in front of the small port of Bogliaco of Gargnano (Bs) and is held on a windward-leeward course of about 100 miles.

Why is it so special?

A lot has to do with the winds, which vary along the long lake. There are light ones on the lower part, and fresher air currents blowing north from Gargnano toward Malcesine and Riva. The winners cover a hundred miles in just over eight hours, but many return to port only at night. The maximum time taken was 24 hours.

A big party with an open bar helps while away time, ‘till crews and spectators can toast the finish.