The Italian Job: An Interview with Carlo Alberini
Italian one-design owner-driver, Carlo Alberini, is a force to be reckoned with on the international J70 regatta circuit. Since he joined the burgeoning class in 2014, he and his Lightbay Sailing Team have won the 2014 Europeans, finished second in the 78 boat fleet at the 2015 World Championship and pulled off back-to-back victories in 2015 and 2016 at Key West Race Week – both times against 50-plus fleets.
We got the chance to grill Alberini about his background in one-design racing and asked him to explain how he has been able to get so good so quickly in such a highly competitive class as the J70.
Sail Racing Magazine: Talk us through your racing background leading up to joining the J70 fleet.
Carlo Alberini: It’s a fairly short story of how I came to be racing J70s. In 1999 I got tired of IOR and IMS handicap racing and decided to try my hand in one-design. So I had a stab at the Mumm 30 class, where I managed to win the Italian circuit in 2001.
In 2004 I stepped up into the Farr 40 Class where I spent four years campaigning internationally. My best Farr 40 result was a fifth place at the 2008 World Championship in Miami.
The following year I switched to the Melges 32 Class where I won the Audi Sailing Series 2009 and was third in 2010.
At the end of 2013, after speaking with my long time friend, Sergio Blosi, I decided to switch into what was clearly the fastest growing one-design class around – the J70.
SRM: Other than how fast it was growing, what attracted you to the J70 Class?
CA: J-Boats have a reputation for creating classes that are perfect fun and competitive boats for everyone, from Corinthian sailors to professional crews, and I believed that was what they had come up with in the J70. The other attraction was that from a financial point of view the J70 appeared to be cheaper to campaign than any other one design class.
SRM: In 2015 you won in Key West, were second at the World Championship in France and then won Key West again at the beginning of 2016. How did you manage to be successful so quickly?
CA: The key for us was to race, race, race. In the J70 Class the boats are so equal and the sails come from just three main lofts and have very, very, little differences. The thing that made the difference for us and enabled us to stay in the top part of the fleet was... READ THE FULL ARTICLE