Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT /


A chat with Diego Negri after winning the Bacardi Cup

Human Interest Championship - Author: Rachele Vitello - March 16, 2018

Diego Negri is an Italian sailor who’s been to three Olympic Games, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 in the Laser class and Beijing 2008 in the Star class. Since then he’s never stepped off a Star boat continuing his improvement curve with different crews. He’s gone so close to winning the World Championship for so many times in the recent years. In Miami in 2016 he was second for just two points after local Augie Diaz (USA) and Bruno Prada (BRA); a few months before he was leading the World Championship in Buenos Aires, when Lars Grael and Samuel Goncalves (BRA) won it after a very consistent week. Similar story happened at the Bacardi Cup 2016. Diego and Sergio Lambertenghi had a fantastic week winning three races and closing at 15 points, but Robert Stanjek and Frithjof Kleen (GER) had a better week by just one point and took home the trophy. 2018 was the year that Diego and Sergio could write history and become the first Italian team to win the Bacardi Cup, one of the oldest trophies in sport. “It’s such an honor and a joy to be the first Italian to win the Bacardi Cup, it is almost unbelievable.. only when I look at the price giving pictures I realize it’s true! We had great time, both on and off water, everything just fell into place and even on the last day, where we were going on the racecourse with three teams behind us by only four points, we were calm and sailed our race. At prize giving then, we were just rocking it with everybody cheering for us, it’s been amazing and we so much needed this after the past few years… We have always been there among the best, on the podium or just down one step, but for some reason we were never able to grab the victory and the gold star isn’t still on our mainsail. We will try and win it at this coming World Championship next October in Oxford USA, but at the moment we’re still working on the logistic, while we’ll more likely attend Eastern Hemisphere and might participate to the Western in Miami too. Winning 3,000 points and going back to the leadership of the SSL Ranking it is also great, I can’t deny I came to Bacardi also for that, I didn’t want to risk the possibility to go again to Bahamas and give it a go to winning that big prize pot..but I am afraid I am not cut for the knock-out system, it has always somehow penalized me. I am happy sailing with Sergio, we achieved a lot together and I am looking forward to winning more regattas with him at my side. Certainly for him it was easier here with the NO pumping (and weight) rule.. that rule it’s written for the youngster, more powerful sailors - particularly the ones coming from Finn.”