The Italian Almanac

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Antarctica

Italian News - November 25

A group of Italian researchers will leave Saturday to sail around Antarctica in a three-year project which will have sports and humanitarian goals as well as scientific ones. The Antarctica Sailing Project will use a 15-meter vessel designed by Alex Carozzio, Il Gindungo, with Davide Freschi aboard as skipper.

The plan is to arrive at Tierra del Fuego by the end of January. The following October, early summer in the southern hemisphere, Il Gindungo will make tis first attempt to circumnavigate the continent of Antarctica. Navigation around the Antarctica is only permitted for scientific research and, despite the many perils involved, it remains a dream for many sailors.

One of the greatest problems Freschi will have will be navigating in vast areas for which no maps exist, according to University of Naples Professor Mario Vultaggio. For this reason, Il Gindungo will be equipped with the latest navigation and charting systems available, including the state-of-the-art Netnav software developed by the University of Naples Department of Navigation.

The university is one of the project's chief sponsors along with the Department of Marine Biology at the Tuscia University north of Rome and the International Center for Radio Medicine. The project's humanitarian program involves for delivering medicines to isolated communities along Argentina's extreme southern coasts.