EIGHT BELLS: Gianfranco Alberini

Published on June 9th, 2013

Admiral Gianfranco Alberini, 82, passed away on the 6th of June in Rome (Italy). He was Commodore of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda from 1982 to 2007 and Secretary General of the Maxi Yacht Association from 1981 and contributed greatly to the development of the international yachting.

One of the most influential figures in modern offshore sailing has suddenly left us, stricken by a stroke, returning from a Maxi class meeting in Paris. Alberini will no longer call in as “Alpha” on VHF radio as he did for so many years, and his passing leaves a large void in the Grand Prix yachting scene, as well as in his family.

Over his long life Alberini had been at the forefront of many big changes in the sport, where he has used them to increase and expand his long-range vision of excellence and innovation in offshore sailing.

When he retired from the Italian Navy, Alberini landed in Porto Cervo, and there developed a world-renowned regatta venue that before him was only known by a handful of passionate Italian sailors. And when the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda decided to carry the flag for the first Italian America’s Cup challenge, he managed an effective leadership role amongst a large group of sponsors, sailors and technicians, and created a unique image for the Azzurra challenge in 1983.

In the following America’s Cup in Perth, he cleverly managed the role of Challenger of Record, and provided a structure for the Race Management to remain effective despite difficult conditions, earning widespread respect from all involved. – Read on

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