Name: Niccolò Bianchi
SB20 fleet: Italian
Boat name (if applicable): Mary Vicky
Sail number (if applicable): ITA 3620
Crew Names: Niccolò Bianchi (helmsmen & tactician), Pietro Negri (Gennaker trimmer), Massimo Dainese (Jib trimmer)
Why did you choose to sail in the SB20 fleet?
The SB20 is a fantastic Class! Moreover it is a class that have a great potential especially for youngest sailors.
What is your and your crew’s experience in one design racing?
I love to sail in one design class! I started with the Melges 24 in 2008 and with my team mate Chicco Fonda we won the National Championship and we finished in the top ten at the World Championship twice. In 2009 I finished second at the European Championship. Now I’m a pro-sailor and I sail also with Melges 20 and Melges 32 Classes. Thanks to Pietro Negri I meet the SB20 Class one years ago. He knows all the boat’s secrets and he teaches me a lot. Massimo Dainese started sailing in one design class now, with SB20 while before he sailed in ORC system. I’m sure he is very happy and excited to compete in this kind of class!
Which events are you planning to compete at during 2013?
Our program includes all the Italian circuit events, Grand Slam regatta in Lake Garda and we will end with the Worlds in Hyeres in September. I wish to invite all of you in our beautiful Italian circuit that is achieving a higher level of competitors every year! Since 2011, we started to race twice in the same place to simplify the logistics and to reduce the budget. I think it is a good idea and locations are always windy and very nice.
Do you have a favourite SB20 sailing memory?
Sure! Just few weeks ago we had the second regatta of the season in Scarlino (Tuscany) and during this second race day we’ve had 25-30 knots of wind. It was magic and we enjoyed a lot the boat performance with strong wind and big waves!
Where is your favourite sailing location? Have you sailed your SB20 there?
Wow, in Italy we have a lot of special locations. I like Lake Garda for windy conditions and beautiful landscapes. But I think Cagliari in Sardinia is the best location ever. I never sailed there with SB20 but I hope the class will organize an event there soon.
If you could change one thing about the SB20, what would it be?
Uhm…a very difficult question… I like very much the boat, maybe I would change the side rails with a lifeline system.
What is your and your crew’s sailing background? (Which classes/boats and where?)
I started to sail with Optimist Class when I was 9 years old. After that I moved to “L’Equipe” Class with my brother. It was like a small FD Class for children. At 16 years old I moved to 470 Class always paired with my brother. In that Class we won the juniors National Championship and we gained the top ten at juniors Worlds. At the end of the experience in the Olympic class I became a pro-sailor and I started to sail in One design Class like Melges, but also X-yachts and Maxi boats. Pietro started to sail when he was young. He sailed a lot in Olympic Classes such as the “Star” and other different boats. Massimo discovered sailing later, but he is trying to make up for lost time sailing much as he can, having exceptional goals!
What do you never go sailing without?
I cannot get on a boat without …my dog picture!! I’m joking, of course!! I’m not a superstitious sailor.
What was your best ever days sailing? Why was it so special?
When I was 14, I won an important regatta in Marsala on L’Equipe and in that moment I thought for the first time the sailing could have been my future.
Why did you choose to sail the SB20?
It is an interesting class with a high human and technical potential of improvement without a great investment or budget so that it could be popular in this period of financial difficulties.