Roberto Lacorte, 51 years old, successful businessman in the pharmaceutical field with the company PharmaNutra SPA, founded with his brother Andrea, and passionate sportsman in the field of sailing and motorsports, won the Owner-Captain of the Year award in the FIV Sailor of the Year, the Sailing Oscars 2019 organised by Acciari Consulting with the Italian Sailing Federation and the partners Confindustria Nautica and Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Along with Lacorte, owner and captain of the famous Vismara Mills 62RC SuperNikka (in the regatta for the Yacht Club Repubblica Marinara di Pisa), prizes were also awarded to the young Optimist World Champion Marco Gradoni, absolute FIV Sailor of the Year, and Marco Serafini’s TP52 Xio (Boat of the year), while the team Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, training hard for the next America’s Cup, was awarded a special prize for technological innovation.
The virtual prize-giving ceremony was held in the afternoon, streamed live in the presence of the Chairman of the Italian Sailing Federation Francesco Ettorre and the Secretary-General of CONI Carlo Mornati, both members of the Jury along with Alberto Acciari, the mind behind and promoter of the Prize since 1991, and Fabio Planamente, CEO of Cantiere del Pardo and Sailing Chairman of Confindustria Nautica.
“I have been close to winning this really important prize several times, and finally the win has come. It somehow represents the conclusion of a cycle which began five years ago when the SuperNikka was launched, and with the first great win at the 151 Miglia 2015”, Lacorte declared. His sailing successes come alongside a brilliant career in motorsports too, with three consecutive trials in the last three editions of the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans (in the top 10 in 2017) and now competing in the FIA WEC World Endurance Championship with the Cetilar Racing team. “In five seasons they won the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo five times, one win in the Capri regatta and other major results, with a really fast boat but above all a great crew which over time has become a group in the true sense of the word. A team of true professionals, with whom I have the pleasure of sharing this Prize, because behind every success there is a team, in sailing, motorsports and business. But most of all this prize is for my wife Luisa, co-owner of the SuperNikka and the driving force behind everything I do: without her I wouldn’t be here to collect this prize”.
Over the years, the SuperNikka team has also been able to count on champions of the calibre of Tommaso Chieffi, Lorenzo Bressani, Diogo Cayolla, Enrico Zennaro and Andrea Fornaro, who have always stood out for their great professionalism and team spirit. And the team will also be competing in Roberto Lacorte’s next sailing challenge, the regatta circuit of the “flying monotype” 69F, a yacht of almost 7 metres for teams of three, a super-powered vessel with a foil that offers incredible performance.
A kind of small sailing Formula 1, built at the Persico Marine shipyard – the same as the Luna Rossa, we must say – which can count of an exclusive regatta circuit with stages on Lake Garda (14-19 July and 14-19 September), Trieste (29 September-4 October) and another location still to be defined (10-15 November). These dates are obviously subject to change, depending on the developments of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We will be taking part in the circuit with two boats, called Flying Nikka with livery similar to the shapes and colours of the Dallara prototype we are competing in the World Endurance with: I will be captaining the first with Lorenzo Bressani and Enrico Zennaro, while Alessio Razeto, Andrea Fornaro and Lorenzo de Felice will be on the second. In mid-June we should start training on Lake Garda, in Malcesine”, Lacorte explained, working also on the Maxi project which is the heir of the SuperNikka, a futuristic 75’ regatta yacht designed by Mark Mills and built by Vismara Marine. “Then from mid-July we should start the regatta circuit, a highly spectacular event offering a view of sailing of the future, which of course we couldn’t miss”.