World-famous Italian powerboat designer, engineer, boatbuilder and endurance record setter Fabio Buzzi was one of three people killed in an accident in Venice that occurred while Buzzi was attempting to set another in a long list of his world records.
Buzzi, 76, and two passengers perished when their boat struck a dam on Tuesday while trying to set a record from Monte Carlo to Venice, according to reports. Two British racers, whose names remain unknown, were also killed, while a fourth passenger sustained serious injuries and was taken to a local hospital.
A mechanical engineering student, Buzzi began racing boats in 1960, moving to offshore competition in the late 1970s. In 1979, he set a world speed record for diesel-powered boats, reaching a speed of 119.04 mph.
Buzzi created his iconic trademark, FB Design, in 1972. He designed the Seatek engine and built the high-performance diesel engines that helped him capture World Champion titles racing in Open class. FB Design boats have won a total of 52 World Championships and have set 40 world speed records; Buzzi himself won 10 World Championships.
Buzzi famously throttled the La Gran Argentina monohull (a Buzzi-designed 55-footer) at the Key West Offshore World Championships in 1996 with driver Daniel Scioli. Among his most notable wins was at the Pavia-Venice Race in 2004, where he achieved an average speed of 122.4 mph in La Gran Argentina.
His appearance at the Miami International Boat Show was commemorated in Speedboat Magazine’s March 2013 issue. He was in town to receive Boating Magazine’s award for having achieved another milestone, breaking the Bermuda Challenge record by 4.5 hours. Buzzi and a crew of four had set the record in one of his composite FB Design monohulls, powered by twin Fiat diesel engines.