Raul Gardini was born at Ravenna in 1933 the North of Italy and started sailing when he was 12. He rose from a middle-class background to become the head of the Ferruzzi Group, a $30-billion agricultural, chemical and financial empire founded by his wife's father.
He lost his battle with the politicians who were interfering with the running of his company's joint venture with a state-owned company and eventually he was forced to sell his stake in the joint venture to the government and he was forced out as head of the Ferruzzi group As part of his severance package, he got to remain head of the Italian America's Cup challenge. His main occupation then became his pride and joy Il Moro di Venezia, which was sponsored by Ferruzzi's Montedison unit with a reported budget of 58 billion lire (but expected to have ended up twice that amount). Barely more than a year after that unforgettable performance by Il Moro di Venezia V in the America's Cup, Gardini, took his own life, after his financial and political integrity had been called into serious question.
Il Moro di Venezia IV was sold to the PACT95 Syndicate (founded in 1992)and sailed as Spirit of Unum USA-16. In October 1994, USA-16 finished fourth out of the seven boats competing in the IACC World championships in San Diego. Later the boat was used in England and sailed under the name High Voltage.
The boat was purchased by a group in California, shipped to Port Hueneme and taken to Ventura Harbor Boat Yard. The boat spent several years in Ventura and was sold to Steve Pattison and Mark Niblack of Carbon Performance Sailing, LLC. Their company owns the 1992 America's Cup yacht Stars & Stripes (USA-11) and charters it in San Diego as well as racing it in local races. Carbon Performance Sailing does business as SAIL USA-11 and TEAM USA-11 and can be found on the web at
You can see more pictures of Il Moro di Venezia IV and check on our progress by visiting www.facebook.com/sailusa11