The REGATTA: a European sailing race since 2008
When Flavio Nappi became a student at ESCP in 2007, he wondered how he could best contribute to raising the school’s profile and extending its influence. In 2008, the Neapolitan reconciled his love of water sports with his taste for management by organising the first ESCP Europe Regatta, with the support of the Turin Campus management.
2008 - First edition on the island of Capri
How to get sea legs while networking.
For its first edition, held on the island of Capri off the Neapolitan coast, alumni and students from all five campuses and all the courses came together for four days of competition.
But the programme did not end there, and the companies, who proved to be more than mere sponsors, joined the competition, making it possible to add a genuine recruitment forum, even if the setting was very unusual. Right from the beginning, in addition to the Regatta, the programme included a whole series of events: board games, “entrepreneur baptisms” during which participants could test their business ideas on managers, B2B aperitifs between partner companies, etc.
The goal is to facilitate the concept of “networking”. Students meet alumni who advise them, knowledge is transferred, and managers come to look for trainees or employees. Relationships are all the easier because people are meeting in a barrier-free environment: it is much easier to get to know someone on a boat than in a job interview.
The event met with immediate success.
Ongoing success for what has become an ESCP institution
500 participants for the fourteenth edition on the island of Ischia, in 2022.
Although the Regatta’s first edition attracted only 60 participants, three years later, there were 260 and in 2022, about 500.
Each boat’s crew consists of four students, two alumni and two partners. This diversity of profiles makes for an effective mix.
Today, the event has become an institution at ESCP: its faculty and administrative staff participate actively, although a team of students from many different countries is still in charge of the organisation.
The structure is flexible but nevertheless extremely professional, and nothing is left to chance in the management of the “village” used by all the teams and contributors to the event. The “village” functions like a small town, facilitating encounters between all concerned, but requiring serious logistical planning for which sustainability is the watchword. The ESCP Regatta seeks to be environmentally-friendly, offering sustainable, low-impact solutions.
2023 - The fifteenth edition of the Regatta will be held off the coast of Syracuse
Looking back… and forward.
Looking back, Flavio is extremely proud of what he has created, but recognises that the very structure of the school has helped.
“The school is European and multi-cultural, and the management team spurs us on. The Regatta format today is the result of the effort of the previous Regatta Teams (around 200 students in 15 years), and in particular of my classmates Lorenzo Boglione, Marco Righetti, and Renato Rolle, with whom I created the framework that develops year by year. I wish good luck to the Regatta team 2023 led by Anna Santino and Ilaria Pozzo (Class of 2023) for the Sicilian Edition.”
Fifteen years after the launch of the Regatta, he is still involved in the adventure, and although the late May 2023 edition will take place off Syracuse, in a few years, he plans for the boats to sail off differents shores. Perhaps Barcelona, perhaps Marseille, who knows?
As long as students have a taste for adventure and for sailing, there will be regattas.