Fabio Buzzi, the legendary story of a legendary yachtsman

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Il “tre punti” di Fabio Buzzi che, nel marzo 2018, ha ottenuto il record come barca a motore diesel più veloce di sempre: 277,5 km/h sul Lago di Como. Il motore è il Cursor 16 di FPT Industrial.

A moment of concentration of Buzzi and the team before the record on Lake Como

“Buzzi brings home another victory! He won, indeed swept, the Miami-New York, the world’s longest and most exhausting offshore race to which no Italian before had dared to participate… with a rib!”- from Barche a Motore, 1994

Almost all powerboat records or world championships are linked to the name of Fabio Buzzi (1943-2019). His powerboat competition career included many victories and his success was even greater as a designer.

Because, if it was not him, it was one of his boats to get on the podium. Suffice it to recall the Venice-Montecarlo race in 1990 when four of the five boats present on the starting line closed the race as winners in their respective categories, despite various breakages and failures. The fifth boat, named Tecno, won all the legs, with the sole exception of the first one. If it weren’t for that failure, the boat would have probably won the whole race. But Tecno was just one of the many names of Cesa, the most successful boat in the world (17 consecutive podiums, with 3 second places and 14 first places) designed by Buzzi and celebrated during the “Casiraghi era”, when she lorded over in the USA as Gancia dei Gancia.

 

Fabio Buzzi, the extraordinary yacht designer

 

In 2008 the former “Cesa 1882” became “Red FPT”. With four roaring FPT 600HP engines, she flied at almost 80 knots of average and won the Cowes-Torquay race.

Fabio Buzzi has always had boats in his blood. A descendant of a family of boat builders and designers, he was born and raised between Lecco and Lake Como, the cradle of Italian powerboating. In 1971, he became a mechanical engineer at the Polytechnical University of Turin. He founded the FB Design in Annone Brianza (LC) one year later. From here, vehicles for military use or supersonic cruisers come out every day, like the Mas 42 Sport or the more recent Sunseeker Hawk 38.

Mas 42 Sport, designed by architect Paolo Rossi in co-operation with Fabio Buzzi. A 53-knot prodigy cruiser. (CLICCA QUI PER VEDERLA)

In 2008, the boat won the prestigious Cowes-Torquay-Cowes race under the name of Red FPT in collaboration with Fiat Powertrain Technologies, a brand of engines to which Buzzi was particularly attached. And what about when, in 1994, Buzzi joined the Miami-New York competition with a dinghy, the Tecno 40? At first, the Americans laughed when they saw a RIB among their sacred speed monsters, like the various Donzi, Cigarette and Fountain. Then, they didn’t laugh anymore. At the first leg, the super RIB had already “eaten” three hours to the direct opponent, who had left five hours earlier.

At the age 76 he flied at 277.51 km/h

His passion for records was such that, in 2018, at the age 76, he flied at 277.51 km/h on Lake Como with another boat designed by him and powered by a FPT C16 engine, which thus became the fastest marine diesel of all time. Even the previous record, in 1992, was by Fabio Buzzi: 252 km/h. After having sailed all over the world, he remained always linked to the historical Pavia-Venice race, who tried the first time at 17 years. It was not just a race, but a test bench for many of his experiments. Despite numerous attempts (around forty) the victory came only in 2002, thanks to another boat equip- ped with a gas turbine engine and an electronic route detection

Il “tre punti” di Fabio Buzzi che, nel marzo 2018, ha ottenuto il record come barca a motore diesel più veloce di sempre: 277,5 km/h sul Lago di Como. Il motore è il Cursor 16 di FPT Industrial.

From here, vehicles for military use or supersonic cruisers come out every day, like the Mas 42 Sport or the more recent Sunseeker Hawk 38. His passion for records was such that, in 2018, at the age 76, he flied at 277.51 km/h on Lake Como with another boat designed by him and powered by a FPT C16 engine, which thus became the fastest marine diesel of all time. Even the previous record, in 1992, was by Fabio Buzzi: 252 km/h.

Cesa 1882, nome con cui è passata alla storia, e farà una stagione trionfale.

After having sailed all over the world, he remained always linked to the historical Pavia-Venice race, who tried the first time at 17 years. It was not just a race, but a test bench for many of his experiments. Despite numerous attempts (around forty) the victory came only in 2002, thanks to another boat equip- ped with a gas turbine engine and an electronic route detection system, a revolution for the time. His magic, in fact, was not limited only to the hulls, but also to all the “good ideas” he has to improve safety on board, such as seats and all the details that can save your life when sailing at 80 knots. That of fabio Buzzi was a full-throttle life even in the last crossing he experienced to improve his leadership on the Monte Carlo-Venice.

Finally, the fatal accident at the entrance of the Venice Lagoon. He died with two other crew members: Luca Nicolini, a friend and pilot of the “magician”, and Erik Hoorn, a Dutch FPT technician, expert in diesel engines who had contributed to many Buzzi records. A few moments before they had crossed the line and made the last, yet another, incredible record: Monte Carlo-Venice in 18 hours, 33 minutes and 30 seconds.

Gregorio Ferrari

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