Paolo Bordogna, President of Centro Velico Caprera
Review of the arrival of a fleet of 5 First 27 at the highly-regarded Italian sailing school, located in the Maddalena archipelago, between Corsica and Sardinia, on an old military base. The sailing centre is a national institution in Italy and its goal is to introduce as many people as possible to sustainable eco-responsible sailing.
Can you tell us a little about the Centro Velico Caprera?
Our school is over 50 years old, and has a great legacy that began with the Italian Navy. So our distinguishing features are our high-performance training courses and our stringent rules. We are fortunate to be based in an ideal location for sailing. Our primary strength is our approach to instructor training. All our instructors are former students of the sailing school. We have trained 2,000 since it was founded! We are also backed by a large number of voluntary workers, who help with the smooth running of the school. We are a non-profit organization and their support is essential.
Why did you choose the First 27 for teaching purposes?
We go out in nearly all types of weather conditions, excluding the worst, of course, but all we want to do is sail! So we were looking for an all-weather boat, allowing instructive well-organized teaching methods, and yet remaining fun and educational. We also needed a reliable boat. We cater to around 3,500 students every year, so naturally we are very careful about this. What is more, any maintenance required must be carried out at night so that the boats can sail the next morning. So we need a boat that is easy to maintain. The First 27 fulfils all these conditions. It is a real plus for a school to be associated with a trusted brand such as BENETEAU, since we can count on a high standard of service and our needs always being met. As far as we are concerned, we will be giving BENETEAU authentic feedback on all aspects of our collaboration and uses. It’s a way to build a win-win relationship and envisage a successful long-term partnership for both of us.
« So we need a boat that is easy to maintain. The First 27 fulfils all these conditions. It is a real plus for a school to be associated with a trusted brand such as BENETEAU, since we can count on a high standard of service and our needs always being met»
In what learning environment are you using the First 27?
Our First 27s are being used for the “C3” training level (the school offers 5 different training levels). These courses are for students who already have the theoretical and technical basics, who know how to manoeuvre and who wish to improve and get ready for long-distance cruising. Since we received the First 27 fleet, the number of C3 training requests has grown exponentially. We already trained more than 150 students before the boats were delivered in 2019 and we are delighted with their enthusiasm for this new boat. They find it simple, fast and good fun, which is an essential condition to learning.
« We already trained more than 150 students before the boats were delivered in 2019 and we are delighted with their enthusiasm for this new boat.»
What are the next steps in you collaboration with BENETEAU?
We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the 5th sailing yacht, which will help meet growing demands and get us ready for the start of the season!
Paolo Bordogna is President of Centro Velico Caprera. An experienced instructor and himself a former student, he also competes in top-level sailing events, often with Persico Marine.