BUFEO BLANCO: FIVE SHIPOWN­ERS AND A BOAT

The in­de­fati­ga­ble and un­for­get­table Mediter­ranean sail­boat dreams of travers­ing the globe

All About Italy (USA) - - Editorial - Stefano Valen­tini

It was con­ceived as project No.138, now known as the “Bufeo Blanco”, one of the most fa­mous sail­boats in the Mediter­ranean. This rugged cut­ter, class of 1963, made of ma­hogany and oak from the his­toric Sanger­mani di Lav­agna yard and launched un­der the name of “Luima”, is 15.50 me­ters long and 3.82 me­ters wide. In the last decade it has trav­eled 50,000 miles at sea.

Since its cre­ation, the Bufeo Blanco has had a to­tal of five shipown­ers, all Ital­ians. The first was Ser­gio Rossi, owner of Co­mau Au­to­mo­tive Torino, now part of the FCA group, and who chris­tened the boat Luima af­ter the names of his two chil­dren, Luigi and Maria. Sub­se­quently the boat be­longed to Turin en­tre­pre­neur Luigi Botto Steglia, who changed the name to the Bufeo Blanco, a river dol­phin of the Ama­zon said to bring luck to those who see it. A leg­end of the sea was also suited to this liv­ing myth, which be­tween 1983 and 1992 was un­der the com­mand of the Mi­lanese de­signer Ido Mi­nola, who took the sail­ing boat to Greece. Be­tween 1992 and 2006, own­er­ship passed to the no­tary Luigi Oneto of Alessan­dria, who de­cided to give the boat a com­plete re­fit in 1992, re­plac­ing the Mar­coni cut­ter in or­der to take part in vin­tage sail­ing. So, be­tween 1994 and 2002, this queen of the seas achieved great re­sults, not least for the Prada Im­pe­rial Tro­phy.

In 2006, the boat was dis­cov­ered in Salina by cur­rent owner Giuseppe Marino, who en­trusted the Bufeo Blanco to the care of Del Caro’s Viareg­gio ship­yard in 2007, and later to the Neapoli­tan Palomba yard for ma­jor re­fit­ting in 2013. Today’s pro­pri­etor had al­ready fallen in love with the boat in the 1990s when it was in the hands of fam­ily friend Luigi Oneto. He duly made nu­mer­ous changes. Achille Bontà, among the crew of the Danae (a 1955 Sanger­mani), ex­pressed his con­cern to Marino: “Re­mem­ber, the boat is a com­plex sys­tem that lives in a hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment. Ev­ery­thing you put into it is des­tined to break. The less you put in, the less that will break.”

So for the shipowner, sav­ing the in­tegrity of the Bufeo Blanco has be­come a real mis­sion. This, in fact, is what al­lowed him to take part once more in the Ar­gen­tario re­gatta in 2008, to win “Le Vele d’epoca” in Naples, to go on a won­der­ful cruise in the Greek Io­nian is­lands, and to re­turn to Le Gra­zie for the Im­pe­rial Route race (aka Valdet­taro Clas­sic Boats).

In 2009, it headed for the Si­cil­ian ar­chi­pel­a­gos, from the Ae­o­lian to the Ae­ga­dian Is­lands. In 2011, it crossed the Gulf of Lion, par­tic­i­pated at the Puig Vela Clas­sica in Barcelona, then at the Copa del Ray Pan­erai at Mahón, be­fore win­ning the Viareg­gio His­toric Sail­ing re­gatta in Oc­to­ber. The fol­low­ing year, the Bufeo Blanco also won the Tro­feo Ac­cademia Navale di Livorno, kept head­ing south, and then back from Dubrovnik to Split, across the Adri­atic, to ar­rive in Tri­este where a strong wind al­lowed her to win the “Bar­colana Clas­sic” in Oc­to­ber. The in­de­fati­ga­ble boat won again in Naples in 2013 and, af­ter a jour­ney of two weeks from Rhodes to Monte Carlo, took part in and won at Monaco Clas­sic Week in the ‘Clas­sic’ cat­e­gory. There it be­came a mem­ber of ‘La Belle Classe’, an ex­clu­sive club in the Prin­ci­pal­ity that brings to­gether the most beau­ti­ful his­toric boats in the world. In 2014, she took part in all stages of the Pan­erai Clas­sic Yachts Chal­lenge: An­tibes, Ar­gen­tario, Naples, Mahón and Im­pe­ria. It is es­ti­mated that un­der the own­er­ship of Marino, the Bufeo Blanco has trav­eled an av­er­age of about 5,000 nau­ti­cal miles each year.

In 2016, with the help of a young and promis­ing Neapoli­tan sailor, Daniele Niglio, the Bufeo Blanco won the AIVA (Ital­ian His­toric Sail­ing) re­gatta race from La Spezia to Capraia Is­land, took part in the His­toric Sail­ing race in Gaeta, and claimed third place at the Naples His­toric Sail­ing. Af­ter 50 years of his­tory, this vig­or­ous sail­ing ship is still at sea, ready for new ad­ven­tures. The cur­rent owner dreams of one in par­tic­u­lar: to cross the Col­umns of Her­cules and tour the world.

In the wake of the purest Tus­can tra­di­tion, Agresti was born as a leather in­dus­try. Then they have been spe­cial­iz­ing in the man­u­fac­ture of fine woods’ chests, lined and in­ter­nally di­vided in or­der to store all types of jew­elry or valu­ables, thus be­com­ing a unique case in the mar­ket. Safety, el­e­gance, re­fine­ment: th­ese are the guide­lines in Agresti, that for over 60 years has been man­u­fac­tur­ing el­e­gant strong­boxes, chests, fine fur­ni­ture skill­fully hand­crafted, and much more.

A wide range of prod­ucts that in­cludes ex­clu­sive brass neck­laces holder, in­no­va­tive Swiss mech­a­nisms for au­to­matic watches’ charge, draw­ers to store jew­ellery of any kind, com­part­ments equipped to care­fully col­lect pens, watches and doc­u­ments, re­fined items for cigars and games, el­e­gant wine cel­lars for wine and spir­its.

In their Floren­tine lab­o­ra­to­ries they se­lect only the best ma­te­ri­als. From met­als to leather, from crys­tals to suede, from stones to brass, ev­ery­thing is strictly en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly hand­crafted. In the same lo­ca­tion they per­son­ally fol­low all pro­duc­tion process’ steps: raw wood is skill­fully carved by ex­pert man­power, which shapes it and con­verts it into what will be the ba­sis of a new cre­ation.

What makes Agresti truly unique is not only the Made in Italy ex­pe­ri­ence and work’s tra­di­tion, but also the de­sign, the func­tion­al­ity and the class of each cre­ation. Nowa­days, many com­pa­nies pro­duce fur­ni­ture in­ter­nally equipped with boxes and ro­tors for watches, but they are tied to a gross and heavy look, re­veal­ing them­selves in­com­pat­i­ble with lux­u­ri­ous fur­nish­ings. The mod­els that they pro­pose, ev­ery year re­newed for one-fifth of the col­lec­tion, are truly unique: in­te­ri­ors are de­signed to be cus­tom­iz­a­ble, in or­der to sat­isfy any re­quest and the creations are de­signed to be light­weight and grace­ful, in or­der to fit into any am­bi­ent. Draw­ers and in­serts are care­fully lined, in or­der to en­sure to jew­elry a truly op­ti­mal preser­va­tion. Each safe is equipped with a bio­met­ric recog­ni­tion open­ing or touch key­board, be­cause even de­tails have to be al­ways at the cut­ting edge. The fi­nal touch is the an­chor­ing on the walls, that com­pletes a se­cu­rity frame­work suit­able for homes where there is an alarm sys­tem. Ev­ery­thing is al­ways care­fully hid­den within beau­ti­ful fur­ni­ture, specif­i­cally pro­duced for pre­cious am­biances. Stor­ing jew­elry in a safe place is a founda­men­tal part of the life of any­one who wants them at fin­ger­tips ev­ery day. That’s the rea­son why Agresti man­u­fac­tures prod­ucts that give the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence and ap­pre­ci­ate jew­elry in daily life.

Agresti srl

VIA D.L. PEROSI 1 50018 SCANDICCI - Florence +39 055 750928 agresti@agresti.com www.agresti.com

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