During the days of the recent VELAFestival, the question that resounded in the air every hour was one: “Excuse me, but is it true that there is a Moor? Can you tell me where it is moored?“ Well, yes. Il Moro di Venezia I was our guest star on the dock for four days and managed to reawaken that passion that had infected all Italians in the 1990s (Il Moro di Venezia was the Italian challenger boat for the 1992 edition of the America’s Cup).
“Moor Fever” has still not subsided after decades, confirming that this boat, whether white or red, is a symbol of Italian love for the sport of sailing.
THAT DAY WHEN GARDINI AND FERRUZZI ARRIVED IN NEW YORK
The design of the Moro di Venezia I, built by the Carlini Shipyard in Rimini from seven-ply glued laminated timber on acacia laminated frames, is dated 1975. Launched in February 1976, the progenitor of the Italian Maxi Yacht IOR class, she was commissioned by Serafino Ferruzzi as a gift for his son Arturo and son-in-law Raul Gardini, with the agreement that they would divide their weekends between sailing and working in the company.
The initial idea was to entrust the project to the New York firm of Sparkman&Stephens, but once they arrived in the Big Apple, the two young men were picked up at the airport by an Argentine boy, then an assistant at the famous firm: his name was German Frers. And this is where the fairy tale begins.
The Moro I is the first hull with the name of one of the world’s most prestigious yacht dynasties engraved on the stern.
Nine yachts of absolute beauty and performance will be identified with this name, down to the five legendary America’s cuppers. Very elegant boats, all inextricably united by an almost maniacal idea of perfectionism and proportion. All strictly drawn by a single historic pencil, the one guided by the expert hand of German Frers. The Moro I was armed with a twenty-seven-meter tall mast: it was the first time in history that a maxi of more than twenty meters was made armed with a sloop. The design of this futuristic armament was studied and perfected by Ted Hood, materializing the specific demands for innovation desired by Raul Gardini.
A CHAMPION’S PALMARES
Moro di Venezia I is the progenitor of the Italian Maxi Yacht IOR class. In 1977 he won the Channel Race in England and the following year crossed the Atlantic to compete in the SORC races and dominate the classic Miami-Nassau. He participated in the dramatic 1979 Fastnet and held the Barcolana record from 1987 to 2005. Today the boat, moored in Portofino, still charms everyone with its stunning elegance.