I’m ready to go to Barcelona and spend time with “the giants”.
The wind in his face, sea salt on his mouth, the adrenaline of the race, his desire to win: the great, true and unique passion of nineteen-year-old Marco Gradoni – one of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli helmsmen – has always been sailing, no matter what. As long as it’s competitive. When he won his first Optimist World Championship, at the age of 13, he wasn’t fazed by the success because he had carefully prepared for it: «From the first very day I believed I could become world champion,» he says as he crosses the finish line. And to prove that it wasn’t a chance result, he confirms himself at the top of the Optimist World Ranking two more times. It is an extraordinary result that earns him, at just 15 years old, the title of Rolex World Sailor of the Year (the youngest ever). After leaving the Optimist class, Marco continues to compete in the Olympic 470 and (in partnership with Alessandra Dubbini) conquers the Under 24 World Championship and European Championship.
Cheerful, outgoing, and a big fan of the Roma soccer team, Marco is a natural talent, the youngest of Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli. «The feeling I get when I fly on Luna Rossa is fantastic. I feel the responsibility of my role, because I know that even the smallest mistake can cause serious damage, but I’m not afraid, I just have great respect. Working in a team is very different from my previous career: you must understand the people around you, get along and respect different personalities, but I’m learning a lot. From everyone. I’ve learned a lot from my cyclor friends in terms of sportsmanship, they make impressive sacrifices. Truth is, I would say of everyone here at the base that I want to be like them.
My daily motivation is going on the water because it’s my second home, and then to sail these boats, which are the future of sailing. For me, being on board, being with Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, is an incredible opportunity. And a great privilege. I feel ready to go to Barcelona and spending time with “the giants”».