The beginning of Shannon Falcone’s adventure
As an adult, Shannon Falcone and his father Carlo took part in the 1998, 1999 and 2000 World Championships in the Star class, competitions that were the beginning of a long and successful journey in the world of sailing that would take him on six ocean crossings and a world tour. His debut in the America’s Cup dates back to 2003 and saw him taking part in the competition with the team of Mascalzone Latino, but the “imprinting” with the most important race in the world in terms of regattas dates to 2000, with the first participation of Luna Rossa. The theatre was the waters of Auckland, which is why the 2021 race will be a real appointment with destiny for him.
I was in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2000. It was the year Prada won the Louis Vuitton Cup and challenged Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup. I had also followed previous editions, I remember Il Moro di Venezia, but being there in person allowed me to perceive the enthusiasm that surrounded the challenge. Prada Challenge was the team I wanted to compete with, and I wanted to be part of it. I studied in England and made important friendships, but I never felt a bond comparable to the one I have with Italy.
Sailing and Italy were, therefore, in the destiny of Shannon Falcone, the result of a strong bond with his father Carlo who inevitably took him to where he is now.
As a boy I didn’t spend much time with my parents, so sailing with them during the holidays was something beautiful and important, something that we did together and that bound us. When I came home, I knew we were going to go for some regattas, maybe to the Virgin Islands, it was always an adventure and I had a lot of fun. Antigua is an island with just 80,000 inhabitants, yet it is the country most present in the crews of the America’s Cup: like me they all grew up with the teachings of my father, in this sense I was very lucky.
But luck alone is not enough. Shannon Falcone grew up with passion and determination, strengthening a physique that is remarkable today (196 centimetres high and weighing about 120 kilos) and playing all possible roles on board.The best thing about sailing is that it’s the only team sport that has to do with a craft. In Formula 1 and Moto GP there is only one pilot, here there are many of us and every role is fundamental to get the maximum performance from the boat. It’s not enough to be good at your job, there’s something deeper that leads a team to be a winner in the America’s Cup, something that is related to communication, feedback, which is difficult to explain in words.