5.50 am: my Barcolana starts here. The alarm clock goes off before dawn. The train arrives on time in Trieste. As soon as the doors open, I’m assailed by the unmistakable smell of old railroad tracks and sleepers, while the strong, cold Bora makes its presence felt.
I snuggle into my mechanical stretch fabric Winter Siffert jacket, with hands in pockets and the fluorescent hood pulled up (hi-viz is always safest). Thermo-taped seams protect me, in a wind-jacket that gives me all the protection necessary to tackle and enjoy this historic Barcolana regatta, followed by the evening air of Trieste. Am I more attracted by the regatta or the city? It doesn’t matter. Each reinforces the magic of the other, and I’m looking forward to both. With my Backpack A234 (an easy code to remember) on my back, I set off on foot to the heart of Trieste, towards the biggest pop regatta worldwide.
This year marks its 50th anniversary. I’ve been on at least ten trips like this, towards the Gulf that hosts more than 2000 boats in just one day. Countless spectators are in attendance. Each year’s event is unforgettable, but this particular edition is a one-off, legendary. Stuff to make you shout “I was there!”
I have a front row position, I open my hi-tech Slam backpack and take out my camera from the inside pocket, ready to capture the starting line, a moment which thrills me every single time. Sailing experts and simple enthusiasts like me, or more daring than me as they venture into the water while I watch from a fabulous viewpoint I managed to find for myself between a wall and a pillar. My backpack withstands water, salt, even scrapes, and so I can stay in my privileged place, as near as possible.
Slam is once again a Gold Sponsor at this 50th Barcolana regatta. And, seeing as my Winter Siffert jacket and Backpack are by Slam, I too feel like a sponsor. In other words: Slam. I am.
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