Roberto, could you draw me a boat?
Based in Milan, Roberto Biscontini qualified from the Southampton School of Architecture and his resume says a lot about his expertise in naval architecture and boat performance. He worked for 20 years for the Italian and New Zealander America’s Cup teams – a major accomplishment! The man who designed the fastest hulls in the world is also an experienced sailor. “As a teenager, I was completely obsessed with sailing. I went racing practically every day on the Adriatic Sea,” said Roberto, who despite working on cutting-edge software, always starts with a drawing in his hand…
I love to get to grips with the design.I do a lot of it myself. When I started out, we did everything by hand and I still begin by drawing the style of hull, and then I move on to work with my team on cutting-edge naval architecture software.
The young boy fascinated by boats grew into a famous architect who admits having been obsessed with performance from a very early age. He began by drawing a 7.5 m sailing yacht, which he ended up building himself and with which he won several regattas.
I was one of those lads who wanted to sail all the time. At the age of 16, I sailed on an old 10 m keel boat which wasn’t very fast even though we were a good crew. I think that this is when I decided I wanted to become a naval architect. I found it frustrating!
Working on the Cup since 1988
With 20 years of working on the America’s Cup for several syndicates, travelling across the world, and meeting lots of different people, Roberto gained considerable experience and admits to have learned everything on the best-performing hulls, from Il Moro di Venezia to the Team New Zealand catamaran in the 2013 America’s Cup.
I then decided to stop so that I could focus on ocean racing sailing yachts, as I felt like taking on new challenges,” explains Robert. “For example, it was a real challenge to work with BENETEAU. The cost of the boat is a restriction and each part must be industrially processed. My work is now to decide which elements are the most important, without ever sacrificing performance.
Keen on challenges at sea and ashore, always fascinated by hulls and with a constant eye on the wake, Roberto Biscontini is a highly talented architect who has moved with the times to provide his expertise so that sailing can always remain a pleasure for everyone.
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