Tilli Antonelli is one of a handful of leading figures within the industry who have transformed the yachting landscape over the last 30 years, into the glamorous and hi-tech pastime that it is today.
Born in 1955, Tilli grew up and completed his initial studies in Ravenna, Italy. Racing sailing yachts throughout his teenage years, by the early 1970s Tilli had gained extensive experience competing all over the world in prestigious events such as the Admiral's Cup, Fastnet Race and the One Ton Cup.
As a member of Raul Gardini's Naif race crew, Tilli's first exposure to yacht building was his involvement in the construction of the famous Il Moro di Venezia. After retiring from racing, he moved into sail making, working first in Sanremo for Hood Sails, and then in Rapallo for Horizon which would later become North Sails. It was not until the early 1980s that he arrived in Fano and took his first steps as an entrepreneur and boat builder in his own right.
In 1981, Tilli launched his first yacht under the Cantieri Navali dell'Adriatico brand. This was closely followed, after a rebranding, by the first Pershing yacht in 1985. Named after the Pershing missile and taking inspiration from its shape, the lines for this 45' open motorboat were drawn by the then relatively unknown designer Fulvio De Simoni. The Pershing 45 was to be the first of many collaborations between Tilli and Fulvio, and the duo are still collaborating 30 years on.
During the early 1990s Pershing became part of the Ferretti Group and the company found new drive by investing in research and design. He became President of Itama, a brand he managed until 2009 and maintained his position as Chairman of Pershing until 2010, when he left the company.
It was then that Tilli found time to put into reality an idea that he had been carrying around in his head for many years – a yacht with a full hull and two wings unfolding either side of the central cockpit, doubling its width. And so WIDER was born.