The 2016 Italian Sculling Challenge – Memorial don Angelo Villa

The tenth edition of the Italian Sculling Challenge, which took place in March 2015, was won by Romano Battisti and Emma Twigg, and effectively sanctioned the closure of a cycle for the Memorial don Angelo Villa. In 2016, whilst maintaining their firm roots in tradition, the event will offer a wide range of new ideas for the eleventh edition, scheduled for the 19, 20 and 21 February.

The first novelty is the date; before this year, the Italian Sculling Challenge has never taken place so early.

The most important new feature of 2016 will be the first edition of the Lake Orta Eights Challenge – Trofeo Franco Fornara, a competition dedicated to the majesty of the eight. With crews leaving the start line every 30 seconds, the boats will race on the same six kilometre path traditionally used for the Italian Sculling Challenge. Starting in Orta San Giulio (region Bagnera), they will move down past the halfway point at Pettenasco, circumnavigating the island of San Giulio before returning back to the Bagnera region.

The Sunday will play host to athletes such as Imogen Walsh (Great Britain, European Champion and silver medallist at the 2015 world rowing championships), Jost Schomann-Fink (Germany, seven silver medals in several European and world championships), Giorgio Tuccinardi, (Italy, one gold, three silvers and one bronze at various world championships), Stefano Basalini (seven gold medals at world championship level) and many others.

The race will be dedicated to Franco Fornara, who died in October last year. Fornara was very well known amongst the local community and was one of the creators of Memorial don Angelo Villa.

For more information on the racing, contact Ivo Casorati at

Tom Morgan

Previous editor of Row360, publisher of Junior Rowing News, freelance writer for the Daily Telegraph, the Huffington Post, Vital Football and others. Student at the University of Southampton.

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