Tuesday, 24 November 2009

LVT: The Bruni Brothers

Francesco Bruni. Image copyright Stefano Gattini/Azzurra.

by Chloe Daycard

It's not always smooth sailing being on the same boat as your brother, but overall Francesco and Gabriele Bruni are happy to be reunited on the Azzurra team.

Azzurra have sailed impressively at the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Nice, gelling as a unit very quickly. Perhaps it helps that two of the key players in the afterguard are brothers: Francesco Bruni, the skipper and helmsman, and Gabriele, the windspotter up the mast.

Ten years ago they were racing a 49er two-man skiff together and represented Italy in the Olympic Games in Sydney 2000. Then in the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series of Valencia 2007, they were racing against each other on two rival Italian teams, Francesco on Luna Rossa and Gabriele on +39 Challenge. Now they are reunited under the Azzurra banner.

Francesco is happy to be back on the same side as Gabriele. “I think that my brother has a very good feeling for the wind and doing his job very well here. After sailing on different teams it is good to back on the same side again.” Fraternal relationships do not always run smoothly, however, as Francesco admits. “I think that the relationship between brothers is always hard, you don’t have any filter. So communication sometimes is not the best because we are too direct with each other. When he does something good, I’m very warm with him. When he does something bad sometimes I’m too hard on him. But on average, if you count plus and minus, it’s a good plus to have someone very close to you - I mean family wise - on the boat with you.”

Likewise Gabriele is enjoying being reunited with his brother, who occupies the skipper’s role for the first time. “We are happy to be together again and sail together again in an important situation, as we did at the Olympics in 2000. We will grow together in this team. I think I know what he wants to hear and at which moment, although my direct communication is with the tactician Tommaso Chieffi. Tommaso is a good intermediate between Francesco and me. He is a very experienced guy and this is what we need, because we are still young at this game.”

While the brotherly bond between the Brunis is certainly strong, Francesco points out that everyone on the Azzurra boat feels a strong connection. “For us it is a big plus that we are all from the same nation and speaking the same language. We all speak Italian on the boat, and we share the same passion for the sport.”

Louis Vuitton Trophy

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