Lorenzo Giacomuzzi & S/Y Altair of Pietarsaari
Lorenzo was born in the northern mountains of Italy, but at a very young age he had an affinity with water which resulted in him telling his mother at 6 years of age that he wanted to become a diver for his living! She told him that this was a crazy idea and was only ever going to be a hobby.
He followed this passion throughout his youth, mainly in the waters of Lake Garda, and following his time performing his national service he became a diving instructor at the age of 21. He travelled around the Med and Egypt teaching diving, but soon realised that he would struggle to make a decent living from this alone. During what was to become his final season of diving instruction, he saw a lovely looking yacht in Greece, and decided that would be his next move where the money was better!
During 2002 & 2003 he took his yachting exams in Italy and in 2003 got his first job after sending over 100 emails and only received one reply. This was working on a 20 metre classic whilst laid up in a yard helping with a refit.
In 2004 he progressed on to running a big RIB in Porto Cervo, Sardinia, and then got a job as a deckie on 65ft Sailing Yacht taking it across the Atlantic. Whilst in the Caribbean, he got an email on December 26th telling him he was needed urgently to go to Panama and join a 76ft yacht “ Serenite” to cross the Pacific on a two year job with the owners and family. Unfortunately the voyage was cut short as they hit a whale near to Tonga. They put into Tonga and had the boat inspected. There was damage to the steering system and a small leak, but they decided to make for New Zealand in a weather window where they could undergo major works and refit. Lorenzo spent 9 months in New Zealand with the boat, and eventually left in June 2006 and headed north to Australia and eventually to Cairns. In September he decided to head for London for a while.
In February 2007, Lorenzo re-joined the boat as Captain in the Red Sea, and from there cruised around the Med until the end of the season.
He then decided that it would be worthwhile getting other tickets other than his Italian papers and so travelled to Gosport for some summer work in Endeavour Quay and take his RYA Yachtmaster exam whilst he was there. Lorenzo remarked that he was glad he took his exams in the Solent as this prepares you for anything the sea can throw at you afterwards!
Lorenzo’s next move was to join a 64 metre Perini Navi, Felicita West in Genoa, where she was undergoing her 5 year survey. He looked after the boat during this time in 2007/8, and subsequently stayed on as a deckhand until July 2008 where he met his current girlfriend , Danielle ,who was the Stew on the boat at the time. They have since worked together for the past 6 years!
Lorenzo’s next move was in his words “ a great Gig”, working for a very wealthy Russian who wanted to learn how to sail and race yachts. He bought a 44 foot yacht initially and then commissioned a new design of the same size, hoping the design would be picked up by Swan as their own “One Design”. Unfortunately for him the boat was too radical for them. Part of the training was performed here in the Med around Croatia and then winter in the BVI. As with many very wealthy newcomers into the sport, he got bored, but not before chartering the TP52 Artemis for 2010 and retiring after Les Voiles, St Tropez in October 2010.
Lorenzo decided to go back to Gosport to look for another post and amazingly bumped into Ross Daniels in a pub he had never previously been into, who was the manager of the Hugo Boss Corporate yachting team. Lorenzo got the job as skipper of their corporate Open 60 which they sailed between May and September from Gosport to Monaco, Malta, Istanbul, Barcelona, Palma, Gosport, Kiel, Copenhagen before returning to Gosport. 10,000 miles in four months! The IMOCA Open 60 was used at special Hugo Boss events such as new stores opening up. Lorenzo was on board for the famous “Keelwalk” photo, his blond head is clearly visible in the shot!!
Next, he helped prepare the new Hugo Boss IMOCA Open 60 and shipped it to Sydney, did one event and then left the boat there.
It was after this exciting year that Lorenzo went back to Viareggio in Italy to look for new work. In May 2012 he found “Altair”, his current steed, where he joined as a deckhand. She was previously called Kora V, famous for being involved in “The Crash” at the Rolex Maxi Worlds in Porto Cervo 2011. Her forward 30% starboard side was effectively demolished when she collided in the pre start with Illusion who ended up over 3 metres inside her interior.
Unsurprisingly she had to be shipped back to the Swan shipyard for a huge re build of this area of the hull and interior. Lorenzo joined Altair in the yard as Captain, where he was involved in getting her prepared to sail down to Sardinia for the Rolex Swan Regatta. Unfortunately they ran out of time to sail her down from Finland, so they had her shipped down in July 2012. This meant that they went straight into the regatta without Lorenzo ever having skippering the yacht ! Amazingly, with the help of her previous race crew they finished second in the regatta!
Immediately afterwards they went into the Swan Cup in a hugely different configuration, with all cushions, flower arrangements etc being returned to their rightful places!
They then went on to Monaco Yacht Show before arriving in Palma in October 2012, where they subsequently wintered, before competing successfully in Palma Vela 2013, winning the Maxi Cruising Class. A couple of charters followed in the summer before they returned to Sardinia for the Rolex Swan Cup where they were victorious, beating their previous second place.
Altair then wintered here in Palma again until the present time.
Lorenzo realised quite a while ago that he may not be at sea all his working life and so has started a new venture “Yachtiepedia”, which he is developing as an online directory and information source for yachts and captains around the world. Danielle too has launched her own site, Gototown.eu , which is a quirky city guide for short vacations, showing where to eat , drink and things to see.
I am sure that both will go on to make great successes of their future lives whether that is at sea or landlubbing!