German Frers is a walking legend among naval architects. His life is as outstanding as his yachts, from first 10 meters to Moro di Venezia.
German Frers, a walking legendEdward Green ▼ Tuesday September 9, 2008 2:00AM ET
German Frers started his career at early age, working as a draughtsman at the age of 15, a it took only two years for him to design a 10 meters offshore racing sailboat which was the first boat built in Argentina.
Talented Mr. Frers went to New York to learn and work with Sparkman & Stephens design group, the legendary naval architect studio of that time. German Frers worked for Sparkman & Stephens three years and created several very successful boats. After that, the time has come for German Frers to start his own design studio. He was still in New York but he returned to Buenos Aires after two years and started to lead the design office founded in 1928 by his father.
While it may seem that Argentina is not the centre of the world for naval architects, the country was in a good shape, with good-looking economy, and there Mr. Frers made some of the best boats ever created. The first boat after the return from New York was named Matrero and she did well sailing in England for the Argentine Admiral's Cup team. That, of course, spreat the interest for Argentinean designs, and Argentina answered to that with Recluta, the second at the next Admiral's Cup and many similar successes one after the another.
German Frers made some 500 new designs have been developed including the most famous names in offshore yachting from Europe, Britain, America, Japan, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand, besides, of course, South America. Mr. Frers moved to Italy in 1989 to lead the Moro di Venezia design team for the Challenge to the XXVII America's Cup.
Five boats were built from four designs and considerable amount of research and development was conducted. The third boat won the first World Championship for the new America’s Cup Class in May 1991 and set the trends and parameters for all challengers and defenders to develop Il Moro di Venezia V was the winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup in the final against New Zealand and the right to challenge for the America’s Cup, the first European to do it since 1934. After the America’s Cup experience, Mr. Frers decided to open his own Italian design office, run by his talented son German Jr., which co-operates with those based in Argentina and Spain and covers the requests of the European market.
The history of German Frers, here presented in very short way, is the history of modern and successful yachts. Maybe there are some designers, naval or other, that made so many models, but German Frers succeeded in making every one of them successful. ■