FINCANTIERI CELEBRATES TWENTY YEARS OF THE DESTRIERO CHALLENGE - The Italian motor yacht’s Blue Riband record still stands

25 July 2012

Yesterday at Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard there was the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the “Destriero”, the fastest motor yacht in the world which crossed the Atlantic in 1992 setting a record which still remains unbeaten.
The monohull, built in 1991 in less than a year by Fincantieri, sailed 3,106 nautical miles without refueling, from Ambrose Light, New York to Bishop Rock lightship on the Scilly Isles, England, in 58 hours at an average speed of 53 knots (reaching peaks of 70), and won once more the Blue Riband which in 1933 had been awarded to the legendary transatlantic liner, the Rex.
In order to celebrate the challenge, on September 5th 1992 the Destriero was assigned also the Virgin Atlantic Trophy by the English tycoon Richard Branson for the fastest crossing with no regulation limits and the Columbus Atlantic Trophy by the New York Yacht Club for the double crossing.

Built at the shipyards of Muggiano and Riva Trigoso, the Destriero was at that time the largest ship in light alloy ever to be constructed and one of the vessels with the highest concentration of efficiency, power and technology. At 67 metres long with a beam of 13 metres and 60,000 HP, the yacht could reach average speeds of over 60 knots. Record figures, the pride of Italy, a result based on a wealth of experience in the construction of ships gained by Fincantieri in the course of over two centuries. The Destriero marked for Fincantieri the beginning of the production of a new generation of high speed vessels with consequent benefits for commercial and occupational development.

The challenge of the Destriero started with the aim to break the record for crossing the Atlantic, for which the Blue Riband has been awarded since 1838. Her adventure was born thanks to the passion for naval technology of Ismaili Prince Karim Aga Khan, at that time President of the Costa Smeralda Yacht Club. He sponsored the initiative, supported by leading testimonials of Italian industry and culture of the time.

After the event Cesare Fiorio, head of the Destriero Challenge program and pilot during the crossing, said “The Destriero is so important because she left a mark universally recognized by fans and not; she is a milestone in the shipping history and thanks to her we got on to high-speed navigation”.
Corrado Antonini, Chairman of Fincantieri, commented “Fincantieri is building in its US shipyards a brand-new line of Litoral Combat Ships, the US Navy backbone of the future. Thanks also to the Destriero experience we succeeded in entering the most challenging and prestigious market: the US Defence one.