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Marco, who was born and raised here (he actually claims his mother went into labor on these very waters, in a boat), points out the houses we sail past: There is the villa of the oil minister of Saudi Arabia, who has three small houses for his wives; that is the villa of the Agnelli family, the famed owners of Fiat; that one belongs to the Pirellis, the tire people; that is the villa of the owner of Volkswagen; this villa is my favorite because it’s not too big, but the location is very special, the stone one there, which belongs to the owner of Coca-Cola.In the afternoon we leave the shadow of the great ships gathered near Cala di Volpe like they’re about to unleash an amphibious assault—and the star maps tour of the wealthy Euros of the Costa Smeralda—and head out for the Maddalena Archipelago National Park.The park consists of seven mostly uninhabited islands, and is destination No. Caprera Island, a sliver of granite and green scrub, is our introduction to the Sardinian beach: a crescent of sand, turquoise water, tanned beautiful children screaming in Romance languages.The club's rear commodore, Dave Atkinson, said: "Given the importance of both the festival and race to the Island's economy, the ISC and our partners have committed to ensuring the Isle of Wight can cope with the number of visitors attending both these world-class events, without placing undue pressure on our stakeholders and the Island's infrastructure."It was a complex decision to make but, ultimately, we feel it was the right one for both visitors and residents." Race entries open in January 2018.There was a constant flow of society princesses through Rome, as if there were a society princess conveyer belt that passed through the Spanish Steps. This was a common experience in Rome, especially among the chillingly friendly class of decaying Roman aristocracy: I was constantly being invited to summer homes and Alpine redoubts by people who actually just wanted to end our conversation at a cocktail party. But the place a lot of these people were (not really) inviting me to was Sardinia, which, they explained, was not like I thought it was, not all glossy telephoto pictures of Gisele Bündchen’s ass in the pages of magazine, but in fact the most beautiful place on earth. If you don’t believe this about the Italians, go to Rome in August, when everyone disappears. You can’t buy a newspaper because the vendor is at the beach.

Somehow my wife and I ended up having drinks with her, among a group of self-styled Roman aristocrats and American Europhiles at a small wine bar in Trastevere. Not that I always hung out with decaying aristocrats. You can’t get an espresso because the barista who makes it is at the beach.

We woke up feeling pretty snazzy in the harbor at Portisco, where we went grocery shopping, drank coffee at the little espresso bar, and waved knowing waves at other people on boats.

It’s an invisible community, the yachtsmen of Europe, that I’ve never really known existed, a seafaring tribe who look at things from literally a different angle (like, you can see things from the water that you can’t from the road) and wear deck shoes.

CWL chairman Peter Taylor said: "Finding the right regatta director is crucial to continue evolving the event on the water.

"This is a great opportunity for someone to really make their mark at one of the world's premier regattas." Kate Johnson, commercial and marketing director at CWL, added: "It's an exciting time for Cowes and for the event, with our new title sponsor, Lendy, and great family of supporting sponsors in place to support the next stage of the regatta's development." The new regatta director will work as part of a small executive team and also with members of Cowes Combined Clubs .

And that other one must be a very new, very white, very fast Italian Coast Guard cutter. The waters around the Costa Smeralda are to boats what the driveway parking at the Hôtel du Cap is to cars: a showplace for all the exotic, shiny, astronomically expensive vehicles you rarely see in person.