Three young Italians who sailed on board the Dutch vessel Oosterschelde
are convinced they are on the best ship in the fleet! Niccolo Raddicrastan, Giovanni Noto and Enrico Abate (left to right) had never met before they boarded Oosterschelde in Genoa but are now firm friends and united in their love of Oosterschelde
Niccolo Raddicrastan, who comes from Pisa, and Enrico Abate, who is from Marsala, both heard about the possibility of taking part in the regatta through their university and school respectively. STA Italia was offering young people the opportunity to sail and both boys immediately put their names down. Other friends also registered but ended up on either Far Barcelona or Astrid. "My friends think they were on the best ship but I think I had a better time on Oosterschelde," says Niccolo.
Giovanni Noto, who is from Trapani, first heard about the event on the television and so went to the event website and learnt that he could sail on one of the ships. "I was really excited when I heard that I could sail on the regatta and contacted STA Italia who arranged for me to sail on Oosterschelde," said Giovanni. "I told my friends what I was going to do but they didn't want to join me. But they will be coming down later today and tomorrow and then I can tell them what they missed!"
The three young Italians say that the crew and hospitality on board Oosterschelde was excellent and the ship was very comfortable. "We naturally wish the wind had been better as we would have liked to sail and race for longer," said Niccolo. "It was quite hard work but we got a lot of satisfaction from helping to crew the ship."
Giovanni is the only one of the three who had never sailed before and was pleasantly surprised at the experience. "It wasn't so good getting up in the middle of the night for my watch, but the reward was to see the clear sky with so many stars," said Giovanni.
Enrico said they saw dolphins and even monkfish swimming close by the ship and even tried to do a spot of fishing but didn't catch anything.
All three said they would definitely do another Tall Ship voyage and had no hesitation in saying that they would sail on Oosterschelde again. "It was a fantastic experience and something I would say has been an important part of my education so far," said Enrico. "I hope to come back on board again soon."
The three will take pride of place in the crew parade this afternoon and are very much looking forward to watching their ship accept the trophy for second place in Class A, something they know they played their part in achieving.