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The Happiest Man In Offshore Racing

opaworlds16 03Whether he’s stuck on a sandbar or running with his hair on fire, Alex And Ani’s Serafino “Jimmy” Cazzani is arguably the most joyful competitor in the sport. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

No one in offshore powerboat racing laughs more frequently or harder—most often at himself—than Rhode Island’s Serafino “Jimmy” Cazzani, the owner and throttleman of the Alex And Ani team that competes on the Super Boat International and Offshore Powerboat Association circuits. Don’t misunderstand, Cazzani, who campaigns a 42-foot Platinum catamaran formerly owned by Chris Cox, the owner of the Envy team and Cazzani’s chief rival under the Stotler Racing Engines umbrella, is one competitive dude. But he’s also blessed with a self-deprecating sense of humor and a balanced perspective, both good things to have for a competitor in SBI’s and OPA’s most exotic, expensive and fragile classes.

“Nobody makes any money doing this,” said Cazzani. “So you’ve got to have fun.”

What constitutes fun, of course, is in the eyes of the person having it. Consider all the “fun” Cazzani had last weekend at the OPA National and World Championships in Englewood Beach, Fla. During practice and ferrying, he twice ran his 42-footer onto sandbars (Cazzani calls it “digging clams”) and ended up having to buy the freshly damaged propellers loaned to him by fellow Extreme-class competitor Mike DeFrees of the CRC/Sunlight Supply team. After a practice session with driver Johnny Stanch, he took off his helmet and opened the boat’s canopy hatch—only to have the hatch slam down on his noggin and leave him bloody and dazed.

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