FRANCESCO LONGANESI CATTANI
The sea was in his DNA. His professional carrier was supported by more than a simple passion for the sport, but precisely an identity that lay in his genes. He came from a famous Italian naval family, and his father, Admiral Luigi Longanesi Cattani was one of World War II’s most prominent Italian submarine commanders.
His father put him on a boat at the age of 5, and since then, saltwater has always been in his life. The Morosini Military Naval School in Venice at first, then the Naval Academy in Livorno, the reserve officer rank in the Navy on board the Amerigo Vespucci, and eventually law studies in Bologna.
Longanesi was a keen sportsman from an early age; however, his greatest passion was sailing, and he enjoyed a successful career as an international yachtsman. Among the others, he competed in Whitbread Round the World races and the Admirals Cup and was a member of the Azzurra Italian syndicate in the 1983 America’s Cup.
Throughout his life, he covered many high-level professional positions. Aide-de-camp to Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1983, he was appointed FISA press delegate in 1988 and worked in Formula 1 for 15 years before joining the Prada Group as External Relations Director. In charge of the communication for Luna Rossa for a campaigns, he was then the representative of Prada’s Patrizio Bertelli and ran COR’s management in Auckland in 2021
A very cultured man, able to fluently speak five languages, with a keen sense of humour and extraordinary enthusiasm for the sport of sailing.
Francesco Longanesi Cattani is survived by his wife Cari and his daughter Lavinia.
The America’s Cup has lost a true gentleman.