il più antico club velico del Mediterraneo

il più antico club velico del Mediterraneo History


Yacht Club Italiano, founded in Genoa in 1879, is the oldest sailing club in Italy and one of the oldest in the Mediterranean, with a membership base of about 1100.

The club began its life as Regio (“Royal”) Yacht Club Italiano through the initiative of Vittorio Augusto Vecchi (“Jack La Bolina”) and his enthusiastic sailing companions, and enjoyed the support of His Majesty King Umberto I.

Since its inaugural race on 8th August 1880 (177 yachts racing in the Gulf of La Spezia), YCI has made sailing a popular sport through national and international events as well as training the younger generations.  YCI inspired the establishment of other clubs (Naples, Palermo, Trieste and Venice) which led, after WWII, to the foundation of the Italian Sailing Federation.

Since the early 20th century the history of YCI has been marked by memorable events, such as the victory in 1902 of the French Cup by the 10-Ton Artica owned by HRH the Duke of Abruzzi, thus marking the club’s entry into the international racing arena; the gold medal won by the 8-Metre Italia at the XI Olympics (Kiel 1936); the lighting of Sydney City Hall by the club member Guglielmo Marconi on his yacht Elettra moored in the Duke of the Abruzzi Harbour; racing the ‘87 America’s Cup with another yacht called “Italia”.
High-profile club members from the past are Luigi Durand de la Penne (who was awarded a Military Gold Medal) and Beppe Croce, beloved President of the club for 28 years and the only non-Anglo Saxon to head ISAF (the International Sailing Federation).  More recently Luca Devoti and Alessandra Sensini with their rich collection of prestigious awards and Olympic medals.

Throughout the decades several projects were launched, such as the foundation of STA-I in 1996, jointly with the Italian Navy, to enable the younger generations to experience life at sea on civil and military boats.
Again with the Italian Navy, in 2007 YCI launched the Tender to Nave Italia Foundation aimed at improving the quality of life for disabled people by means of sailing courses on board of the 61-m brig Nave Italia.
In 2000 the Beppe Croce Sail Academy was founded, open to members and non-members, to teach sailing at beginner and advanced level, offshore sailing, and preparation to qualify for a Nautical License.

More recently, in March 2017 Nicolò Reggio replaced Carlo Croce, a 20-year President.  At the end of 2019 Gerolamo Bianchi followed, supported by a broadly-unchanged Board of Directors, with an agenda of openness to Genova, its institutions and its citizens, and international relevance.


In December 2023, at the end of Bianchi’s term, the Genoese Carlo Cameli was elected, joined in the vice presidency by Nicolò Caffarena and Gregorio Gavarone, with Raffaello Corradi as Secretary General. Once again, there is a passing of the torch and a succession of the leadership of the club with a highly motivated Executive Board committed to cherish the values of sailing and the sea.


The oldest Club of the country is thus capable of keeping pace with the inevitably changing times and demonstrates all its commitment in successfully organizing events such as the Giraglia, Regate di Portofino, Genova Sailing Week, the SIAD Bombola d’Oro, the Millevele, and Coppa Alberti. Annually, it commits to hosting internationally renowned events such as the Melges European Championship in 2022 and the 8 Metri World Championship in 2023.


There is also a new focus for the Olympic Classes, which have always been in the Club’s DNA, with the organization of the Italian Championship of Olympic Classes, which landed in Genoa in 2018, followed by the World Cup Series in 2019 and 2020, positioning Genoa at the center of the world Olympic sailing scene. In terms of youth, the Beppe Croce Sailing School and the racing team increasingly become a training ground for young sailors who are trained and prepared for the world of competitive sailing from Optimists to offshore races aboard various social boats.


On these foundations and international events, the future of the Club is built, ready to face new and exciting challenges.


The club is currently carried by 252 yachts.


Yacht Club Italiano can also count on the support of Rolex, Official Timepiece; institutional sponsors SIAD and Banca Passadore, and technical partners Gruppo Boero, Gruppo Navico, and North Sails.