Behind the Scenes, November 2020

Published on November 5th, 2020

Sharon Green

The walls of Scuttlebutt HQ include the Ultimate Sailing calendar, and in this report Sharon Green shares the behind-the-scenes story regarding the November 2020 images.


Our November 2020 Ultimate Sailing Calendar shot is the perfect image to bring in the holiday season. The sailors are bundled against the chill in a frothy sea, but warmed by the golden glow of the sun, which reflects against Nyala’s hull.

This stunning piece of artistry comes from my dear colleague Carlo Borlenghi, whose work we have been proud to feature in the calendar several times.

Carlo is known at the ‘godfather of yachting photography’ not for his age (he’s just 64) but for his mastery of this medium. And it’s no surprise he has an eye for beauty!

Carlo Borlenghi

He grew up on Lake Como, Italy, where lush mountains tumble down to crystalline waters, edged with storybook villages. Immersed in such dramatic scenery from such a young age set the bar high, and Carlo has dedicated his life to capturing magnificent images around the globe.

In creating this shot he explained he was purposely looking for the juxtaposition of two yachts, as he trailed Nyala in a RIB off Porto Santo Stefano, Italy. Nyala is a 12 Metre originally launched in 1938, and restored in 1996 by Patrizio Bertelli, CEO of the Prada Group, and an America’s Cup Hall of Famer.

Carlo admitted this photo was taken during team training: so it was easier to stay close to the boats than it would have been during a live race. But still it was intense competition as the boats tuned up for the 12 Metre World Championships in Newport, RI.

November 2020

It was, Carlo reflected, “a really beautiful day with 15 to 20 knots of wind and a perfect cutting light, and I followed Nyala, waiting the crossing with Kookaburra,” finally capturing this image with his Canon 1DX Mark II camera and 100-400m lens.

“It’s always great to have at your disposal a pair of historic boats, with the two crews sailing at the highest level,” he quipped, saying it gave the day an authentic feeling of an America’s Cup Race from years gone by.

And as for Nyala: in Rhode Island Patrizio Bertelli, with Mauro Pelaschier at the helm and 15 other crew jammed onboard the 70-foot classic, led Nyala on to win the World Title in the prestigious Vintage Division: their third World Championship (2008, 2014).

Top level yacht racing, at the most spectacular venues, aboard the most stunning boats in the world: that’s what we endeavor to deliver at Ultimate Sailing.

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