Trieste has a long sporting tradition. Athletes from Trieste and the coast have taken part in major international sailing, swimming and rowing competitions. However, competitions are only one aspect of a widespread sporting spirit and healthy outlook.
Sports associations were being created along the Austrian coastline from the middle of the 19th century, often as a result of political and social issues. Among the earliest were the Società Ginnastica Triestina, founded in 1863, followed a year later by the “Ruderklub Hansa”, which later became Canottieri Saturnia. Canottieri Trieste (alias Rowing Club Triestino) and Canottieri Nettuno were formed in 1896 and 1897 respectively. Many other clubs still active in Trieste sport arose, among them Pullino, whose sculler “Muggia”, a single-seater canoe used to introduce people to rowing rather than for competition, is on display.
Carlo Sciarrelli, the sailing boat designer and researcher on seafaring, was a leading figure in the world of leisure boats and regattas. The Aspasia project, involving restoration of a 1930s passera boat, was his first design job, but his first construction project was the Amphitrite. During his lifetime Sciarrelli completed about 140 projects, leading to the building of over four hundred boats that still sail the seas.