Azzurra arrived in 1983 and, alongside the country’s first loves of football and Formula 1, a sky blue boat made its way into the nation’s hearts and captured that sense of unity that has always made sport great in Italy.
The challenge was promoted by H.H. the Aga Khan and Gianni Agnelli and achieved outstanding results. The team, headed by skipper Cino Ricci and helmsman Mauro Pelaschier - with an organizational structure headed by Gianfranco Alberini, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo and Riccardo Bonadeo and supported by 17 Italian companies - came close to claiming the America’s Cup.
Azzurra, a 12 Metre class craft designed by the Andrea Valicelli Studio, was launched on 19th July 1982 in Pesaro and began her adventure on 18th June 1983 in Newport, Rhode Island (USA). The first Italian challenger for the Cup, Azzurra won 24 of her 49 races and placed third in the Louis Vuitton Cup. Azzurra’s hopes were dashed in the semifinals (11th-22nd August) by England’s Victory ’83 which, thanks to greater experience and a bit of luck, beat the boat which, by then, belonged to the entire Italian nation. Australia II, skippered by John Bertrand, won that edition of the America’s Cup, bringing to an end 132 years of domination by the New York Yacht Club.
Azzurra ’83 Technical Specifications
Dimensions - LOA: 19.98m - LWL: 13.87m - Beam: 3.81m - Draft: 2.71m – Sail area: 166.85m2 - Spinnaker: 280m2 - Mast: 25.18m - Displacement: 25.650 tons.
Rating - International 12 Metre Class.