Matteo Miceli, an adventurer with the Ocean in his blood


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In 2008 the Sailor of the Year award fell to Matteo Miceli. The Roman sailor (who now, after being shipwrecked off the coast of Brazil during his 2015 “green” round-the-world trip, has salvaged his zero-impact boat Eco 40) class of 1970, in 2007, aboard the uninhabitable cat Biondina Nera achieves a new crossing record, solo: from the Canary Islands to Guadeloupe in 14 days, 17 hours and 52 minutes.

Matteo was no stranger to such endeavors; Matteo quickly demonstrated that he had two deep passions: sailing and the sea. Still not walking, he already has his seat aboard the Flying Junior. Boating outings followed, first following the patient teachings of his father Enrico, then attending sailing courses at the Naval League, in Ostia in summer, on Lake Bracciano in winter. When he was nine years old, he discovered windsurfing and received his first board from his uncle, an 18-pound Ten Cate over 10 feet long. This discipline gives him an unspeakable thrill that will accompany him throughout his adolescence, but it also has the merit of introducing him to his great manual dexterity. He began by making small repairs and gradually tried his hand at the basics of boat building.

From surfboards and dinghies Matteo took his first steps as a skilled laborer, moving from experimenting with fiberglass and carbon to his first entrepreneurial adventure as a very young builder, from teaching to acting as a broker, and finally to achieving real sporting feats and great navigations. A path that, then as now, is always studded with achievements. In his work, he was first an apprentice, then an employee, and finally a partner-owner of Cantieri d’Este, in Fiumicino, where in addition to building, he continues to experiment with new materials and techniques all the time. On the sporting front, in 2005, he tackled a feat with Andrea Gancia that made him stand out among modern sailors: with Biondina Nera, a 20-foot nonhabitable catamaran he built, he completed the Atlantic crossing, setting a world record.

Taken from The Journal of Sailing February 2008. Few words, but immense emotion could be seen on his face. In front of the Sailor of the Year jury, ocean sailor Matteo Miceli accepted from the hands of Carlo Rolandi, honorary president of the FIV, the Golden Helm that Il Giornale della Vela has awarded to the best sailor of the season since 1991. In addition to Rolandi representing the FIV, the winner of the 2007 edition of the award promoted by our magazine was decreed by the most renowned sports journalists from newspapers, news agencies and trade magazines, representatives from the world of sailing sports such as Vincenzo Onorato and Francesco De Angelis – the latter present at the award ceremony – who led the Roman sailor to win the title with 40 percent of the votes ahead of Farr 40 World Title winner Vincenzo Onorato, with 30 percent of the vote, and Ernesto Bertarelli and Cico Rapetti, each with 15 percent of the vote, both of whom entered the shortlist as winners of the America’s Cup for the second consecutive time with the Alinghi team.

“You have made me a hero,” were the words spoken by Matteo during the award ceremony introduced by Mario Oriani, founder of Il Giornale della Vela, who recalled how it was precisely together with Rolandi that they thought in the early 1990s to start an Oscar della Vela. Scrolling down the roll of honor of The Sailor of the Year, Miceli is the first recordman to appear alongside the names of sailors such as Giorgio Zuccoli, Paul Cayard, Roberto Ferrarese, Francesco De Angelis, Alessandra Sensini, Tommaso Chieffi, Lorenzo Bressani, Gabrio Zandonà, Vasco Vascotto, Vincenzo Onorato or Giovanni Soldini himself, who over the years have been awarded the oscar for successes in international competitions.

For the 37-year-old from Rome, the next adventure will be at the helm of a monohull: the owner of Cantieri Navali D’Este will already take to the water this year with a Class 40 to take part in the Transat and prepare for a new challenge: the Round the World, nonstop and unassisted, with Rome as the port of departure and arrival.




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