The yachting loses one of its strongest players, Paolo Massarini

ORC mourns for the loss of Paolo Massarini, who passed away on February 16th after a harsh 2-year fight with cancer. The sport is losing one of its strongest players as a sailor and organizer of the game.

Born in Civitanova Marche in the early 1960’s, he started sailing on dinghies, including 470’s, and very soon moved on to offshore racers in the 1980’s in the position of bowman. After a few years on Nello Mazzaferro’s splendid 50-foot Nita he stepped on Brava contributing to the long stream of successes of Pasquale Landolfi’s boats of this name, which included two One Ton Cups and one Admiral’s Cup.

He also raced on many different other high-level boats of all sizes, including the Maxi yacht Longobarda. Thanks to his dedication and organizational skills he soon became the project manager of several Brava programs and the General Secretary of the One Ton Class Association, founded in 1989 for the IOR One Tonners, and the first Class Association to be recognized by ORC.

With the advent of the IMS rule, he also managed the new ILC 40 Class and was one of the main drivers of the newly-born GP 40 class. He project-managed many custom-build race boat projects, but also worked with X-Yachts to contribute to series-built projects as well. With his multi-lingual and organizational skills acquired from many years in the game, Paolo was also for three years the Sailing Director at the prestigious YC Costa Smeralda, helping create and maintain the high standards of this elite club.

Later he became General Secretary of the Wally Class, and at the same time his position within ORC kept growing, becoming the coordinator of Grand Prix racing with the GP26, GP33 and GP42 classes, the latter he managed during its heydey as part of the Audi MedCup series. When Don Genitempo retired as Chair of the ORC Classes and Events Committee, Paolo stepped in to ably manage this role and contribute to the success of numerous annual ORC World, European and Sportboat events.

In the America’s Cup arena he was Director of the shore team for the Mascalzone Latino Challenge in the 2007 America’s Cup Valencia.  His last major achievement has been overseeing the implementation of the ORC SuperYacht Rule, which has helped enhance and popularize this new genre of racing. His loss creates a big void within our organization, and his management will be deeply missed. His wife Alessandra assisted him until the end, through very difficult medical treatments and we all join her sorrow.

Fair Winds Paolo

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