The 51’ Sparkman & Stephens design is one of the smaller yachts taking part in the Legends event. Built in 1975 at Royal Huisman Shipyard as an Admiral’s Cup yacht for German industrialist, Willie Illbruck, she was originally named Pinta III. Following in his father’s footsteps, Illbruck’s son Michael won the Volvo Ocean Race in 2001-02 with American skipper John Kostecki.
She was renamed Traité de Rome in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the founding document for the European Union in 1957 and was lent to the Sail for Europe Association to take part in the second Whitbread in 1977-78.
The non-profit association was formed by French journalist Patricia Colmant, Belgian Guy Vanhaeverbeke – a information official at the European Parliament, and experienced Belgian skipper Philippe Hanin. Under Sail for Europe, they planned to send Traité de Rome around the world as a kind of goodwill ambassador, with one crewmember from each of the then nine European countries.
The audacious idea of entering the Whitbread quickly found backing among leading European figures and funding came in from private companies to support the project.
Traité de Rome was registered with the special sail number of EUR 1 and flew the European flag with nine gold stars, one for each country. Philippe Hanin led the first-ever European sports team in history to a highly commendable third place overall.
Once back in Europe, Traité de Rome embarked on a two-year tour of major European harbours, finishing in Athens to celebrate the conclusion of negotiations for Greece to join the E.U. She raced again in 1981-82 Whitbread, this time skippered by Italian Antonio Chioatto and finished in 14th place.
Nowadays, Traité de Rome is still sailed by the volunteers of Sail for Europe, following a programme of events organised around the rotating Presidencies of the European Union.
Once again skippered by Philippe Hanin, she will proudly fly the European flag at the Legends Regatta in Alicante this November.
About Traité de Rome
Rig: Masthead Sloop
Designer: Sparkman and Stephens
LOA 51’ (15.60m)
Finished 3rd WRTWR 1977-78
Elapsed time 22.214.171.124
Skipper Philippe Hanin (BEL)
Finished 14th WRTWR 1981-82
Elapsed time 166.10.40.09
Skipper Antonio Chioatto (ITA)