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27 June 2024

THE WINNERS OF THE 33rd EDITION OF THE BOATING PIONEER AWARDS

AMONG THOSE AWARDED WERE MANAGERS, INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS, ITALIAN AND INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISTS AND DESIGNERS WHO CONTINUE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SECTOR WITH UNPARALLELLED PASSION

Today, 27th June, the first day kicking off the 2024 SATEC Convention came to a close with the award ceremony for the 33rd Boating Pioneer Awards, organised by the Italian Marine Industry Association Confindustria Nautica in Florence, at the Stibbert Museum.

The Boating Pioneer Award was established in 1988 by the Italian Marine Industry Association and since 2007 has enjoyed the patronage of the Italian Ministry for Business and Made in Italy Industry. The award is given to entrepreneurs, managers, boating industry professionals, Italian and international journalists, and designers who with the utmost professionalism and dedication promote the excellence of the Made in Italy brand across the world. The award pays tribute to the creativity, commitment of these individuals and their ability to innovate by facing the challenges of the market, all without compromising the sector’s traditions while, at the same time, highlighting the essential role of their passion.

Jury President Eugenio Massolo, President of the Accademia Italiana della Marina Mercantile (the Italian Shipping Academy), and Saverio Cecchi, President of the Italian Marine Industry Association, awarded the coveted prize to this year’s Boating Pioneers.

The Boating Pioneer Award for the Manager category was presented to Giovanni Ricci, who over the course of more than 60 years of entrepreneurial activity has faced the profound changes across the sector head on with professionalism and competence, managing the Olcese Ricci family business of which he has been the sole director since 2010, transforming it into an internationally recognised and esteemed brand. Mario Peserico, CEO of Eberhard Italia, partner of the 33rd Boating Pioneer Awards, presented Ricci with a ‘Contograf’ timepiece.

 

Andrea Vallicelli was awarded the 2024 Boating Pioneer Award for the Designers category. An internationally renowned architect and designer, Vallicelli was the first person to hold a university chair in Industrial Design for the boating sector in Italian history. Designer of Azzurra, the first Italian boat to take part in the America’s Cup, Andrea has carried out extensive applied research in and beyond the nautical field and has designed numerous successful models of yachts and racing boats.

Donatella Bianchi, “Woman of the Sea” and “Ambassador for Biodiversity”, was awarded the title of Boating Pioneer in the Italian Journalists category for having dedicated her personal and professional life to the dissemination of key values and issues relating to the protection and preservation of the sea and to the development of a collective consciousness concerned with environmental protection and sustainability. President of WWF Italy and, as of 2019 and President of the Cinque Terre National Park, Donatella is a journalist and television presenter, and is well known to the general public for hosting the TV programme Linea Blu, of which she has been the star on Italy’s first channel Rai 1 since 1994.

The prize for the Foreign Journalists category was awarded to Ricard Bracons, a Spanish journalist, promoter and ambassador of the peak international boating with a deep knowledge and expertise in the sector gained over the course of his 40 years of experience working with international publications, including IBI – International Boat Industry.

For the Industry Professionals category, it was Massimo Tardelli who received the title of 2024 Boating Pioneer. Massimo played an important role in the success of the Versilmarina Shipyard, seeing countless hulls launched at the dock in Viareggio across forty years of activity. His professionalism, paired with an uncommon capacity for ‘problem solving’, have inspired new generations of professionals and boating enthusiasts.

 

The award ceremony ended with a 2024 Boating Pioneer Special Prize presented to Luca Bassani Antivari, founder and Chief Designer at Wally, thirty years on from the company’s birth. Both his personal and professional life are an exemplary demonstration of constant ‘out of the box’ thinking. Courage, vision and determination have taken him beyond the horizon of innovation with the creation of boats characterised by revolutionary concepts that have redefined the essence of yachting lifestyle on an international level, and have had a profound influence on nautical design trends worldwide.

The event was moderated by Fabio Petrone, editor of the online magazine Pressmare and recipient of the Boating Pioneer Award in 2023 for the Italian Journalists category.

Florence, 27th June 2024

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