Tango is the fourth Wallycento to return to the market. First launched in 2017, this Norman Foster-designed 30.48m superyacht epitomises the ultimate cruiser-racer. As part of a slowly expanding fleet, what sort of threat does Tango pose to her regatta rivals?
Tango has a burgeoning pedigree to live up to. Not to mention she was built for a repeat client.
“It’s got the most advanced technologies in construction, rig, systems and sail handling. I never sailed at 25 knots and always wanted to know what it would feel like.” As ever, Luca Bassani was the driving force behind the black carbon-hulled cento that’s designed to offer competitive racing while offering the comforts of performance cruising for her guests.
“Since the first meetings, we shared the same vision of the innovations that can be applied to this type of yacht, like the cutting-edge deck layout that combines our flush deck with bulwarks aft, as introduced in 2006 with Esense, with the ramp deck of Alegre,” says Bassani. “But still it’s a Wally, which means it’s a cruiser-racer, not a racing machine. When you look at the boat from the outside you believe that it’s just a racing machine, but it’s not. It’s a boat that can give you good results and win races, but also good comfort for cruising, and this is a typical Mediterranean cruising boat. It’s the kind of boat Wally has developed for 20 years.”
As one might expect, Tango’s exterior is both dashing and regatta-friendly. The fourth Wallycento was designed by Mark Mills of Mills Design, based in Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
“Tango’s unusual reverse sheer line combines with our ramp deck geometry to allow a smooth unbroken line, running from bow to the stern,” explains naval architect Mills.
So how did Mills Design connect to the project?
“I got a call from Luca, who had a client interested in doing a Cento. The client had a number of major design offices on his shortlist and Luca wanted to throw a wildcard into the pot – he’d seen our 2014 world championship-winning 72-footer Alegre, which features a similar ramp deck design to Tango. It was really his intervention that got us on the table, and the client was willing to consider someone who didn’t have a track record in these boats yet but who looked like they were bringing something to the table. We had a lot of ideas that we thought were right, and the client was receptive to that.”
These included an innovative mast raking system, a central engine room for weight distribution, and a deck borne from racing design, but which fits with the minimalist approach typical of Wally. Mills Design joined forces with specialists KND Sailing Performance and New Zealand structural specialists PURE Design & Engineering. “KND really bring the computer horsepower to allow us to trial things. Tango is our largest project to date and also, we believe, the most innovative, the most stylish, and certainly one of the most satisfying to develop in collaboration with the client, Wally, Pininfarina, and Persico Marine”.
As is to be expected, the choice of builder is key to making any project at this level work in harmony. Persico Marine based out of Bergamo is historically known for its racing pedigree and was formally founded on lightweight moulded component builds for the 1992 Italian America’s Cup entry, Il Moro di Venezia. From the Volvo 65s to the TP52s, Persico has worked on some of the most formidable yacht classes.
“A large part of the carbon pieces for Tango were produced in Bergamo and moved to Savona by road,” says CEO Marcello Persico. “We are extremely pleased with our first cruising superyacht: Tango weighs only 47.5 tons thanks to the overall optimisations developed at the beginning of the project. Specifically, we worked hard to lighten the interiors as much as possible, not just using carbon fibre and Nomex sandwich in the joinery construction, but also developing different solutions to build, for example, the hinges and veneers.”
The interior has a self-evident automotive calibre. Persico Marine has a long and fruitful relationship with Pininfarina through its sister company Persico Automotive. “Pininfarina was the ideal fit to develop sporty interiors matching the superyacht personality,” says Bassani. “Tango’s owner agreed right away to integrate the renowned Italian design brand in Tango’s team. From its inception, Wally has been open about involving new players in the development of projects.”
Rather refreshingly, the team of Pininfarina’s nautical division were given a blank canvas with very few design constraints. With the exception of the Konstantin Grcic steering wheels, they were told they didn’t need to carry any other details from the Wallycento line forward.
“The interior design of this Wallycento challenged our team to achieve the perfect balance of performance and comfort,” says Paolo Pininfarina, Pininfarina Group Chairman “Thanks to the selection of the materials and the innovative solutions of the interior decoration delivering both function and aesthetics, we generated a true thoroughbred of the sea, ultra-light and super performing, perfectly suitable for cruising as well as for racing. We are very proud of this accomplishment further confirming the excellence of our nautical division.”
Wally, Mills Design, Persico Marine and MYT have come together to create something remarkable. “You can see from the result that the boat has been really thought through to be better,” says Luca Bassani.
As the Rolex Giraglia 2018 real-time winner, that Wallycento design ethos and continued bloodline is clear for all to see.