Story and photos by DinaRella

In the middle of endless rows of rubber inflatables at the 2022 Cannes Yachting Festival, my first gift from the go-fast gods flashed before me. The carbon-fiber dream machine was called the Albatro EVO 45. Except, it gets better! An hour later, standing on an outer lying dock watching the high rollers getting helicoptered in to the show, another aggressively designed V-bottom looked me in the eyes.

This water warrior was hull No. 1 of the Canados Gladiator 411 Carbon Series – a boat already making high-performance headlines in the homeland due to rigging maestro Troy Hannon of Supreme Marine being tasked with a trip to Italy to rig hull No. 2 recently unveiled at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show with US representation by SLT Collection (separate story on this absolute stunner forthcoming).

Both pieces of floating exotica came dressed in orange on the outside and donned in “powerboat champion design DNA” on the inside, due to the fact company owners Simone Cesati of Albatro and Michel Karsenti of Canados Yachts performed double duty as professional offshore racers.

I met Simone Cesati on the docks with his son Christian (who oversees the business with his dad and can also be spotted in the cockpit racing his own Albatro 32 on the professional circuit) but in traditional amicable Italian spirit, by the end of the show I felt I’d known them much longer. Conversely, with Canados Yachts president and four time offshore world champion Michel Karsenti, it was more like a reunion because we’ve known each other at least 15 years since his U.S. racing days in Superboat Vee class in the Rodriguez Group/Yachts Fountain and my years covering offshore.

2 2022 Cannes Yachting Festival.JPG
1 Cannes YF aerial.jpg
3 Albatro bow.JPG
4 RIBs to Albatro.JPG
5 Albatro 45 EVO.JPG
6 Canados 411 twin Merc 450s.JPG
7 Albatro 32 EVO.JPG
8 Albatro 32 transom.JPG

Albatro Evo 45

Ultimately headed to its owner down south in Naples, the new flagship 45-footer arrived to Cannes fresh out of rigging from north of Lake Como, close to Milan, where Albatro makes the motorboat magic happen at its factory in the industrial town of Gordona. All models, including the popular Albatro EVO 32 which also appeared on the red carpet striking a pose like a 32’ movie star, are built from scratch in-house.

Eye-balling the carbon fiber EVO 45 up and down, the attention to detail and quality was undeniable. It was also somewhat expected, seeing that Cesati not only boasts of seat time in the cockpit of Jolly Special in the SuperSport Class of the UM Powerboat P1 series, but by profession is a naval architect known for his expertise in high-tech composite construction.

Manifesting a dual personality, the EVO 45 felt family orientated from its massive cabin with private head and shower to the wide cockpit comfortably holding 10 or more guests. On the other hand, further probing revealed a durable raceboat hull externally fabricated with high-grade materials and components including Hydro Mirò racing seats to absorb the bumps, and a console and windshield specially developed with an aerodynamic coefficient to minimize wind noise.

9 Albatro cockpit.JPG
10 Albatro Simone and Christian Cesati.JPG
11 Albatro Hydromiro cockpit seats.JPG
12 Albatro rear storage.JPG
13 Albatro rear seats.JPG
14 Albatro cabin.JPG
15 Albatro private head.JPG

Commenting on performance would have been a challenge from the pier, so my answer was oui when Christian asked if I wanted to hop on with a group of potential customers heading out for a sea trial. Once past the lighthouse and through the overstimulation of the hectic (and holy shit do I mean hectic, look close at the pix below) harbor including a 20-minute wait to shift a portable dock used for transporting attendees to the other side of the show, we were suddenly in wild waters launching over rather wide rollers being doled out down the congested coastline full of 100-footer-plus big fish.

It was evident the twin Mercury Racing 400-hp outboard-powered Albatro EVO 45 was a gratifying device to operate; and indeed, the color orange was a guaranteed head-spinner! From the moment Christian pegged the twin guns downward, we found ourselves putting on a show for everyone onboard the Azimuts and Pershings eyeing us fly by to a speedometer high of 58 knots (67 mph).

Running in a straight line, the stability was superb evoking a sense of being suspended on an air cushion, all the while, provoking a super planted sensation as if gliding through thick dark Grade B Vermont maple syrup, thanks to the beam size and solid hull construction. In retrospect, I could have kept the camera out for pictures because the ride through the rough stuff was that smooth.

Tilting the wheel for a few sweeping turns, agility was also on point as the EVO 45 took the seas in stride, letting me conclude from my brief blast that this bright traffic-cone toned beast is in itself a blast, competent and capable of delivering absolute pleasure when going fast. This conclusion might too explain why Simone Cesati was coincidentally also brought in to assist the Canados team with the construction of the Gladiator 411 Carbon Series, seeing how well versed he is in the marine engineering field.

16 Harbor traffic.JPG
17 Cannes portable dock.JPG
18 Cannes sea trial.JPG
19 Albatro sea trial.JPG
20 Albatro Christian Cesati.JPG
21 Albatro demo.jpg

Canados Gladiator 411 Carbon Series

The conceptualization of the Canados Gladiator 411 Carbon Series was simple. It was to be a Made-in-Italy branded boat meant to get wet in the USA! And while the first unit in these pix heads to a French client and remains alongside all the Albatros agitating the Med – the Canados 411 was first and foremost fabricated for us, with the intention of being sold in the states as a triple digit, drama-free turn-key Vee.

Grazie Michel, or is it Merci!

The Gladiator 411 oozes with racer-esque appeal to the eye and feel to the body when bottoms hit the five X-Craft cushioned mitigation seats with Recaro shells; for those summoned to a spot on the stern bench, upholstery is etched with a pair of armor helmet adorned gladiators as an added reminder you’re aboard a bad-azz fighting machine. Not that you need reminding!

Mercury Racing 450-hp engines rocket-ship the 411 forward to 100 miles per hour with throttles leveled, but apart from its go-for-it abilities, the set-up was selected for its extreme reliability and to keep running costs in check since the outboard packages reduce maintenance expenditures, not to mention the mad money siphoned out of savings accounts for those stern drive fuel bill fill-ups.

22 Canados Gladiatior 411.JPG
23 Canados president Michel and daughter Chiara.JPG
24 Canados 411 mitigated seats.JPG
25 LED grab handles.JPG

At its core, the double-step ventilated hull is made of woven carbon fiber, Kevlar and epoxy resin, and features an integrated tail structure bracket to guarantee maximum strength, rigidity and impact resistance. Weight played a big part in the design process, and the Canados Gladiator 411 Carbon Series strikes the 6,900 pound mark on the scale which is approximately 30 percent lighter than its competitive counterparts.

The old school gauges have all been ditched for a 22-inch Garmin monitor and a pair of 9-inch Vessel Views. The steering wheel can be positioned to port or starboard depending upon whether it’s a one man team controlling the Italian champ or the owner is opting for a piloting partner. Nonetheless, no matter who or how many are at the helm controls, I’m happy to sit a row back where I can incessantly gaze at the internal LEDs lighting up the grab handles – such a cool finishing touch!

In the end, thanks to my impromptu fastboat findings, the Cannes Yachting Festival did not disappoint. It was not only Feadships and Ferrettis; the South of France had it covered with a little something nautical for all tastes from the RIBs to the VIPs Very Important Powerboats.

For those that missed Part One:

27 Canados 411.JPG
26 Canados 411 Windshield.JPG
28 Canados 411 movable wheel.JPG
29 Canados 411 Made in Italy.JPG
30 Faster.JPG