Competition and collaboration: I think these words come pretty close to describing the Rolex MBA Conference and Regatta organized by Bocconi. Every year students and alumni from the most prestigious business schools come together in the picturesque Santa Margherita de Ligure. There we competing in two different divisions. The A division is mostly filled with current students and is sailed with more competitive yachts, the Beneteau First 36.7 and Jeanneau Sunfast 37. The B division boats vary from Bavaria to Benetau and are a bit bigger. However space will always be scarce on a boat. And that’s one of the things that make the Regatta so different than any other sports competition. Sailing on a boat requires teamwork, very clear communication, and very neat planning, competencies that in business are very well needed too. Secondly sleeping on a boat requires some flexibility, we like to call it camping 2.0 and you get to know things about your crew you’d otherwise never find out. Every crew has its peculiarities, and this years’ B division crew was one of kind.
Our captain called One-leg Santi is alumni who graduated in 2010 and now lives in London, has really taken good care of us. He is an amazing charmer, and has leaded our team to the 9th position in the B league out of more than 20 boats.
The next man on the boat, Nazza abs-cruncher Ciccarello, graduated in 2008 and now lives in Italy. As a former professional diver he knows how to look good in shorts, but just as well in the evening he dresses amazingly well. I think it works, because he is the best networker I have met until now at IE. He is now an entrepreneur and is spreading revolutionizing the world of caffeine with his Driving Gum (hyperlinkàhttp://www.businessbecause.com/news/mba-entrepreneurs/2821/italian-mbas-startup-takes-on-red-bull ).
Paloma the Dove graduated in 2012, and lives in Madrid. Paloma knows very well to sail and therefore has contributed a great deal to our results. At night she turns into a beautiful dove, no matter how hard that is on a boat, she looks like a lady.
Estibaliz the Pink Boucanier is from Mexico, but is also a bit Spanish and she graduated in 2012 as well, so was already befriended with Paloma. Estibaliz is always in for a joke and has a big smile making sure that the mood in the boat was always a positive one.
Another alumni who is a repeated participant of the regatta is One-eye Alessandra. She graduated in 2010 from the Master in Management after which she  entered the Burger King graduate program and today she is about to receive yet another promotion. She also plays football and you can tell that she knows what team sport is.
Like Alessandra Christian el Melenas is a MIM student, but he has only just started. As he just moved from Ecuador to Madrid, he’s freshman in IE, but like a fish in the sea with our team. He adapted so fast, that you wouldn’t even tell he never sailed before. He surely knows how to have a good time and was always the latest to arrive to the boat.
The man of the music was our DJ Luiggi Barbarossa. Luis is a current student from the April 2014 intake from Mexico. Every day he provided us with the right beats to make us go extra fast. But as if that wasn’t enough he also contributed his attention to the sails, especially dedicating himself to the mainsail. Although he only started sailing this summer, he learned rapidly and by Sunday was one of our best sailors.
Our figurehead of the boat was Elina the Parrot Charmer. This Ukrainian blond beauty graduated in 2010 and now lives and works in Gent. She actually has her office in a boat, so she’s completely comfortable on the water and has showed that by dancing smoothly on deck with the songs of Enrique Iglesias. With her stunning looks in bikini she’d distract all the boys from the other boats.
Agnes the Carioca sambamoves is a real pirate. She cannot get enough of the sailing. She was there last year, and also has spent the summer sailing in Greece. Our experience there together made us a very well-tuned duo, handling the genoa. She graduated last year November 2013 and now is back in Brazil, but that didn’t prevent her to come to Europe and join us once more.
So far the B boat, the IE A division ended up on the 8th position and although it’s a different experience if you’re not on the same boat, I cannot neglect to mention this incredible crew as well. Skipper Ana is alumni from 2006 and a real regatta pro. From the MIM there is Angelyn, who just like Christian only started classes just a week before. The rest of the A crew are current IMBA students. Daniela, one of the coordinators of the IE sailing club and Alfredo, also called the el Panameño, are two very experienced sailors. Gabriela and Pier had already gained some sailing experienced this summer, but now participated on their first regatta. Alfredo normally sails with a Patin Catalan, which looks a bit like a hobbie cat, but this time has chosen the bigger sails. A special mention for Carlos, who although had never sailed before, had educated himself before coming to Italy.
The Rolex MBA Conference and Regatta is a friendly competitive event. Sailors are a certain type of people, just as Business School students are a certain type of students, not comparable in any way with from example Law School. So this combination of MBA students and alumni, who go sailing, creates a very special group of people. From Thursday evening until Sunday the Bocconi organization provides us with several evening programs where meeting new people is facilitated in the best way possible. And this weekend again, just like last year, I have met with incredibly amazing people. Not only the strong bond we build between our crew from IE, where alumni meet current students, but also the friendships made with other Business Schools are priceless. I want to thank Rolex for the huge sponsoring they make, the Bocconi sailing club for the enormous effort and all the students who came out from each and every corner of the world.
Feeling sorry you missed out? Don’t worry; we sail a lot more often. Join the IE sailing club for the next sailing events, or become a coordinator yourself for the next regatta!