The Italian Almanac

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Mascalzone Latino

Sailing School

The Mascalzone Latino America's Cup team, in collaboration with the Italian Navy, is setting up a sailing school for socially and economically disadvantaged children in Naples. The project was presented by the chairman of the Mascalzone Latino syndicate, ferry baron Vicenzo Onorato, Capital Bruno Puzone, head of the Navy's Naples district office, and Captain Mario Bilaredello, responsible for the Navy's department for sport and sailing.

''The aim of our initiative is to bring these disadvantaged youths into contact with the sea and sailing. And I am truly grateful to the Navy for wanting to join us,'' Onorato said. ''Naples has always been a source of boating talent and with this sailing school we hope to discover new ones''. The school will be set up on Navy property, near the military's sailing school where athletes are training for the upcoming Beijing Olympics. The school will initially have eight small, Optimist sailing dinghys for beginners and two Blue Sail 24 sloops for the more advanced. In the future it will also have two 18ft FIV 555 sailboats.

The two-week courses will be totally free of charge and open to youths between eight and 12 for the beginner class and over 12 for the advanced lessons. Mascalzone Latino, which means 'Latin Rascal', is registered with Naples' Reale Yacht Club Savoia and owned by Onorato, a Neapolitan ferry and shipping who is an accomplished sailer in his own right. It has taken part in the last two editions of the America's Cup and has already announced its intention to compete in the next.