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18 February 2008, 10:27 am
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Genoa, Italy

It is with deep regret ISAF announces that ISAF Vice-President Nucci Novi Ceppellini passed away on Friday 15 February 2008 in Genoa, Italy aged 65 years after a brave fight against cancer.
Nucci was committed to the sport of sailing throughout her life, as an active and successful sailor, national race official and in the sport's management. Nucci's legacy is immense and her capacity to get things done has touched many areas of the sport.

As a Vice-President of the Yacht Club Italiano for many years, Nucci's early involvement in sailing administration was through her responsibility to organize the many national and international events hosted by the club.

Nucci became involved with ISAF in 1986 as a member of the Women's Sailing Committee, before going on to lead the Committee as the Chairman from 1990 through to 1998.

During her Chairmanship of the Women's Sailing Committee, and as a direct result of Nucci's leadership, amongst the initiatives undertaken were the introduction of ISAF Women's Sailing Seminars, the ISAF Women's World Match Race Rankings, the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship and the increased representation of women across all the sport's activities. Nucci was the driving force to increase women's representation across the Committees and decision making bodies of ISAF, a campaign which has been rewarded with ISAF's commitment to achieving gender equality across its structure.

Nucci was tireless in her encouragement and mentoring of those women new to ISAF and promoted others to become involved.

The number of women's events on the Olympic Programme has also increased as a result of Nucci's efforts. Nucci led the campaign to ensure that events defined as "open" on the Olympic Programme should either be truly "open" for men and women to compete equally, or that "open" events not be included.

Highly respected within the International Sailing Federation, Nucci ensured that women had a voice on the ISAF Council, the final decision making body of ISAF, when she was appointed as the first Women's Representative in 1997. This appointment sat alongside the creation of the Women's Forum, of which Nucci was Chair. One year later, in 1998, Nucci was elected as the first female Vice-President of the International Sailing Federation.

As an ISAF Vice-President, Nucci continued her support for sailing with her usual vitality and expertise. Nucci's brief included overseeing match racing, team racing, anti-doping, disabled sailing, youth issues, and all women's activities.

Throughout, Nucci consistently brought energy, vision, dedication and common sense to ISAF.

A passionate supporter of disabled sailing, Nucci sat on the Executive Board of the International Association for Disabled Sailing. She was a past President of the Regional Committee of the Italian Federation for Disabled Sport, and was involved with the inaugural International Blind Match Racing Championship held in Italy.

Nucci's outstanding achievements and contribution to the sport were recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 2000 through the awarding of the inaugural IOC Women in Sport Trophy for Europe.

Her commitment to sport was also reflected in Nucci's appointment as the Minister for Sport and Culture for Liguria, Italy, which saw her responsible to promote sport and its associated benefits across the region.

Nucci's friends and colleagues in the world of sailing and the International Sailing Federation are fortunate to have had the privilege of knowing and working with her.

ISAF expresses its sincere condolences to Nucci's husband Giovanni, children Antonio, Andrea, Alexander and Cristina, family members and her many friends in the sailing world and beyond.
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