Still on the water, still racing and making people talk about her achievements as well as the beauty of her lines. The Gemini, IOR first-class sloop designed for the Navy by Azzurra designer Andrea Vallicelli, launched in 1983, is back on the water, after a refit, for a new season of racing under the Navy flag.
A GLORIOUS PAST
The refit work was carried out by the Valdettaro Shipyard in Le Grazie, La Spezia. The interventions did not particularly affect the planking, the boat is built of laminated wood (and the wood was in good condition), but mainly the paint and Gemini lettering, which were restored to the original colors and graphics. The Gemini is 13.70 meters long, 3.48 meters wide, fishing 2.54 meters with a displacement of 12 tons. It was built by Cantiere Navale De Cesari, which also made other hulls for the Navy at the time, and is the sister boat of Pasquale Landolfi’s first Brava, which was instead made of aluminum, and has a glorious past behind it.
The roaring 1980s were running, a particularly fertile period for sailing in Italy in the wake of the first tricolor challenges in the America’s Cup. Gemini was employed in the main offshore races in the Mediterranean, setting in her debut season, under the command of Admiral Mario Di Giovanni, the record for sailing the Giraglia in just over 28 hours, breaking a record that had lasted since 1966.
His most famous achievements include winning the Mediterranean Championship and Copa del Rey, also achieved in 1983. In 1984 Gemini was also featured overseas at the SORC (Southern Ocean Racing Conference) regattas in Florida. Even against the American racing yachts, the Gemini did not disfigure: second in class and tenth overall out of 180 participants. In addition to its racing activity in its history it has been used as a school boat for Navy cadets. Today Gemini has Captain Angelo Bianchi as its skipper.