The sailing world has again been rocked by news of the tragic passing of Francesco Longanesi Cattani, 70, who died suddenly.
It has been reported that Cattani suffered a stroke and passed away in the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan last Friday.
The long serving CEO of COR 36 and part of the Luna Rossa America’s cup family, Francesco was also the joint External Relations Director for Prada, and had held various prominent positions throughout his career.
As reported by Sail World, having come from a naval family, “the sea was in Francesco’s DNA from an early age.
The publication’s Richard Gladwell remembered Francesco as,
“A keen sportsman, notably in motorsports and sailing. He enjoyed a successful career as an international yachtsman, competition in Whitebread Round the World races, the Admirals’ Cup, and was a member of the Azzurra Italian syndicate in the 1983 America’s Cup.”
He was described as a man of culture who had a keen sense of humor and ‘an extraordinary enthusiasm for the sport of sailing.’
In tribute to a man affectionately remembered as a ‘true gentleman,’ Gladwell wrote:
“Although we crossed swords on occasion, Francesco was always open and honest. However, no one who worked with him would ever be in any doubt as to where his heart lay.” Gladwell added,
“Francesco was always very approachable, despite having a very active schedule, and willing to discuss an issue or incident as honestly as one can in the white-hot context of an America’s Cup.”
“The America’s Cup has lost a true gentleman and the sport a great servant and competitor.”
Francesco Longanesi Cattani is survived by his wife Cari and his daughter Lavinia.
On June 10, AINN also reported the tragic passing of former America’s Cup sailor Hayden Goodrick who at 38 passed away suddenly after suffering heart failure while participating in a local regatta – https://afipn.com.au/super-energetic-former-americas-cup-sailor-dies-of-heart-failure-during-the-local-regatta/