From going into ‘Kill Mode’ to busting a fellow offshore racer’s nether regions, the exuberant Jimmy Cazzani never stops. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
To watch the crowd clamor around the ALEX AND ANI raceboat in the pits during the 2015 Super Boat International Offshore World Championships in Key West, Fla., you’d think the team was a top contender rather than an outfit that finished sixth overall—out of seven boats— in the Unlimited class and didn’t finish a race all week. But then, team owner Jimmy Cazzani knows that, to borrow from the movie “Pulp Fiction,” personality goes a long way with fans—and Cazzani, who began his offshore racing career in the 1980s in the long-gone Sportsman classes and joined the Unlimited ranks three years ago—is loaded with it. And much to the delight jewelry giant ALEX AND ANI, Cazzani sponsor for the past three years, the 57-year-old Rhode Islander’s pure joy for the sport has translated to the team’s legion of followers.
Does it help that Cazzani actually lets fans sign the team’s 42-foot Platinum catamaran during the SBI Key West Worlds? Of course, but that’s far from the whole story. More compelling than a Sharpie in hand and an open-invitation to ink a hullside is Cazzani himself, a born showman who will say just about anything that comes to mind. At once boastful and humble—and self-deprecating to a fault—Cazzani knows that the show doesn’t begin and end on the racecourse.
“I love hugging everyone, making new friends and kissing babies,” he said. “It’s so great to see how happy, excited and loyal our fans are.”