Tonino was built in 1911 for the King of Spain, HRH Don Alfonso, Son of Alfonso XII. The Spanish King commissioned William Fife III to design a smaller racer which he could enjoy directly as helmsman with a smaller crew, while his other yacht, Hispania, would follow as consort with his family aboard.

Tonino was the first civilian vessel built by the military Astilleros del Nervion Boatyard in Bilbao. Right after the launch, Tonino started an intense activity of regattas crowned by many victories and successes in England, Spain, France and Italy. On board, Tonino hosted the royal family and many other aristocrats.

Tonino raced up to the beginning of the first world war and remained in the King of Spain’s ownership until the Spanish revolution of 1931, when she was sold to Italy.

With the name of Vega 1 she became a Marconi sloop, then transformed into a cruising yacht, without altering its elegance and purity.

She passed hands again in the sixties and underwent a large restoration another twenty years later, which put her in great shape to attend the 1986 Vintage Sails of Imperia and the Porto Cervo regattas after that.

Built of oak and cedar, she was again restored at the Canaletti yard of La Spezia and brought back to her original rig as well as to her old name. Carlo Sciarell oversaw the restoration at the time.

After passing through yet another ownership and falling into neglect, she was found and rescued from an uncertain future by the current owners.

Tonino will undergo a full restoration and will compete against Marga in the 10 M I.R. Class.

Naval Architect
William Fife
1857 – 1944 Scotland

William Fife, also known as William Fife III, was the third generation of a family of Scottish yacht designers and builders. In his time, William Fife designed around 600 yachts and was known as one of the premier yacht designers of that time.

Fife was born in Scotland in 1857 and began building yachts in 1890. His father and grandfather had also been designers and boat builders in Scotland. As the third generation of a venerable Scottish boat building family, William Fife inherited a rich legacy but was quick to establish his own reputation as one of the top designers in the yachting world.

Wiliam Fife
Tonino’s Original Design Plans
Tonino’s Launch in 1911
Tonino competing at the 1993 Nioulargue Regatta
Tonino Restoration works in 2017 and 2018