Born in 2005 from the minds of the Italian yacht designers Massimo Paperini and Paolo Processi, the 1001VELAcup was brought to the university departments of Naval Architecture, Architecture and Engineering of all Europe. It is a CDIO (Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate) project similar to the world famous Formula Student competition.

The idea was immediately adopted by several Italian Universities, and since then the races have been held annually. Around 10 Universities have participated every year. In December 2016 Chalmers was invited, and a new boat was designed and built during 2017/18. This participated in September 2018 and scored first among 13 boats from 8 universities.

The foundation of the project is the Class Rule R3, kept simple in its interpretation and minimalistic in order to leave wide margins to the design process. Such rules are mainly aimed to limit the dimensions of the hulls and the total sail area. The strength of the class rule lays however in the limitations that concern the materials used for the building process. It is indeed required that a large portion of the materials used for the hull are of sustainable, either animal or vegetable, derivation, while the mast, or at least its matrix, is expected to be realized in extruded aluminum.

The trophy 1001VELAcup is held every year in Italy during the last week of September. Historically, the trophy consisted of an open sea regatta distributed in nine races, each consisting of four legs, over three days of total competition.

Since the 2017 edition, a Midwinter Indoor Race (italian source) has been introduced with the aim of evaluating the hulls only on their technical features. The skiff named LED, realised by the students of the Universita’ degli Studi di Palermo, graduated as champion of the first edition of the Midwinter Indoor Race. Hosted by the Universita’ di Napoli Federico II, the indoor competition sees the participant hulls towed at the speeds of 2, 4 and 6 kn and judged based on the total resistance, with and without appendages, wave generation pattern in calm water, and the seakeeping properties in head waves