our history

The didactic-sport initiative, which took the name 1001VELAcup, was born in 2005 from an idea of architects Paolo Procesi and Massimo Paperini, who proposed to the Roma Tre University to have students design and build a sailing boat with which to challenge other universities in an annual regatta.
This initiative would compare the different educational systems of the different universities and their ability to transmit to students not only theoretical knowledge but also practical/applicational knowledge and a sense of responsibility that professionals must have toward their own choices.
Also in 2005, the class regulations were finalized, which would be named R3 in honor of the university that first grasped the importance of the initiative.

In 2006 the first boat design course led by Massimo Paperini starts and in the second semester the construction course led by Paolo Procesi starts.
In September 2006 the first boat of the 1001VELA circuit is launched; it is named Athena with obvious reference to the universities.
In that year a provisional name is given to the initiative that evokes the fairytale tales of those who dream of journeys and exploits and above all is an omen for a very large number of adherents to the initiative : A THOUSAND AND ONE SAILS FOR UNIVERSITY.

In 2007, the first inter-university regatta is held with boats designed and built by students. In Porto Santo Stefano, under the auspices of the Santo Stefano Yacht Club, which sees the first salad prototypes directly in the center of town in Piazza dei Rioni; right in front of the Town Hall. It is a success: against 5 universities present (Polytechnic of Milan, University of Bologna, University of Florence, University of Roma Tre, University of Venice) 8 boats have already been made in 10 months.

In 2008 three more boats were added two from the then school of nautical design of the “G. Marconi University Pole of La Spezia” and the French University of Lille.
In 2009 the event was moved to the Tombolo di Giannella to avoid problems with the navigation of ferries in front of the port of S.Stefano, again with the collaboration of the Y.C.S.S. There are already 11 boats and 7 universities involved
In 2010, the support of Roma Tre University was lacking, so the creators Paperini and Procesi promoted the event, changing the name to “REGATATENEI 2010” in the hope that the university would confirm its sponsorship. A couple of weeks before the event, the Faculty of Architecture of Roma Tre gives its patronage, and banners, gadgets, T-shirts, and flags will be printed with the name THOUSAND AND ONE SAILS FOR THE UNIVERSITY. We are at 13 Boats and 8 Universities.

2011 is a crucial year: the possibility of holding the regattas at the Circolo della Vela Sicilia in Mondello under the patronage of the University of Palermo comes up.
It is at that time that, to give a more solid structure to the initiative and to better relate with public institutions, the creators found the 1001VELAcup association.

Meanwhile, the project of having students design, build and steer racing boats interests the ADI (Association for Industrial Design), which presides over the coveted design award the “Compasso d’oro,” which contacts the founders.
The latter seized the opportunity to give importance to the work of the students (the real driving force and goal of the initiative) and decided to compete for the “Targa Giovani” award of the Compasso d’oro, winning it.


One of the most important consequences has been the opportunity for universities to engage external manufacturing entities to ”address the needs of such an educational and sporting endeavor.”
The ability to ”develop intelligence,” of the educational and research institutes, together with the productive capabilities and know-how of the enterprises, have allowed such synergies as to foster technology transfer between the two parties.To give an example: suppliers of materials, sails, software, electronics, components, etc., can find in the universities a prolific referent for the development of their products, and at the same time the universities can find in the enterprises a valuable support for the verification of their applied research.

To date, thanks in part to our initiative, synergies such as those described have already been realized: from the use of natural fibers, such as flax and hemp for the construction of sandwiches for hulls and components, to the use and experimentation of bio-resins in the nautical field, passing through the prototyping of foils and sails to components made with additive techniques (3D printing), the exchange between universities and businesses to make boats destined for the 1001VELAcup Trophy has become increasingly consolidated. It should also be noted that these technologies and the innovative use of natural materials were developed in our universities a few years ahead of similar European experiences.

do you want to support us?

The 1001VELAcupĀ® Association is a nonprofit, so it is only able to organize its events thanks to membership fees and sponsorships.


The week of Regattas for the “1001VELAcup Trophy” is the main event on which most of the Association’s activity is focused.
The format of the 1001VELAcup Trophy includes standards that have been refined over the years.

the universities

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