THE FIFTIES AND SIXTIES
The economic boom and the dolce vita
T he fabulous fifties and sixties carry the title of Federico Fellini's film "La dolce vita" which talks about the capital Rome's vices and virtues.
The Cote d'Azure, with its mythical night spots, is the reference point for international high society. Carlo Riva, that "purchases" the yard from his father Serafino in 1949, starts to work with the designer and architect Giorgio Barilani in 1956.
His graphical and design activities in the nautical sector are exclusive to Riva, company for which he is design manager for a long period of time, from 1970 to 1996.
THE FIFTIES AND SIXTIES
Anita Ekberg on her Tritone No 142 in 1960 with her unusual zebra patterned seats, adopted only on some boats
A legend is born: Aquarama
A boat, a symbol. Aquarama became Riva's symbol as soon as it was presented at the third International Nautical Fair in Milan in November 1962. The first to test it, Carlo Riva recalls, was FIAT's chairman, Giovanni Agnelli. The name is inspired by "cinerama", the great American experimental film screens.
The presentation slogan sets out the key words: "Sun, sea, joy of living!" The prototype is the mythical Lipicar No 1, evolution of the Tritone. 8.02 m in length x 2.62 in width, space for eight people, 2 bunks at the bow, two Chris-Craft petrol engines of 185 Hp each, speed 73 km/h. Price to the public, 10 million, 800 thousand lire.
Junior, "the sensation of the young"
W ith the slogan invented by Mario Poltronieri, RAI sports commentator for Formula 1, Junior ("The sensation of the young") is aimed at the children of those who own an Aquarama.
Designed both for fishing and water skiing, it encounters great success even as tender for large yachts. It is the first Riva with painted broadsides. In 1972 it is replaced by the Rudy, similar but in fibreglass.
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton observe the tender of their yacht Odysseia, the water skiing Junior, just purchased in Portofino on Rex Harrison's recommendation (photo of 1967)
The Italians in Saint-Tropez
R aids aboard Riva boats and paparazzi, beauties swimming and wealthy heirs and heiresses, famous actresses and joyous drinking sessions make the Italians at Saint-Tropez envied, admired, invited and courted.
Night parties where you dance on the tables to the early hours of the morning, without showing signs of fatigue.
"A few hours sleep were sufficient, only to begin all over again", Gigi Rizzi recalls today. And at the moorings there was always a Riva ready to welcome us".
From left to right and from top to bottom, the young lions of Italian nights, in Saint-Tropez: Rodolfo Parisi, Gigi Rizzi, Geppi Mariani, Paolo Vassallo, Uccio Carminati, Umberto Gefter, Franco Rapetti e Beppe Piroddi. They are aboard Uccio Carminati's Super Tritone (Riva Archive / G. Rizzi Trust, 1966)
The Rizzi family's Macalù II, Super Florida No 95 of 1955, in Paraggi: Gigi (to the right) and his brother Carlo with a friend (Riva Archive / G. Rizzi Trust, 1962)
Riva Boat Service St. Tropez – Sportmer, established in 1963 at the southern entrance to the old port.
Brigitte Bardot aboard her Junior on the Cote d'Azure, immortalised by the VIP photographer Ron Galella
Brigitte Bardot on the terrasse of Saint-Tropez, her hidden corner of paradise; her yacht, Florida, awaits, anchored, as she enjoys a coffee with friends. The phone is the only link the actress, who contributed to the popularity of the bikini, had with the outside world (from "Paris Match", no. 797, 18th July 1964)
Fibreglass production starts
T he first two Riva models in fibreglass are born, the Bahia Mar 20' day cruiser and Sport Fisherman 25' cabin cruiser.
Knowledge of the new material is acquired by Bertram through the purchase of the hull and then redesigned. Both models have wooden finishes.
The Riva stand at the Paris Nautical Fair in 1970. The first two Rivas in fibreglass are on show
New and old models live together
I n September 1969, saddened by relationships with the Trade Unions, Carlo Riva sells the yard to the American company Whittaker, maintaining his post as Chairman and managing director which he resigns in 1971.
Gino Gervasoni, his partner since 1950 takes his place.New and old models evolve.
The Riva tradition continues.
The Riva yard in Sarnico: the frames are prefabricated on appropriate templates, before the final seasoning before assembly; the panel construction system guarantees elasticity and resistance to the vital parts of the boat
Super Aquarama Zoom wins the London-Montecarlo race
Super Aquarama Zoom's undertaking is extraordinary, restoring the Riva name to the sports world after many years absence from competitions.
The boat comes first in the runabout category and second in the longest and hardest race in the world. From 10 to 24 June 1972, the Super Aquarama covers the 2,700 mile course from London to Montecarlo in 14 legs at an average speed of 32 knots.
The Riva tradition continues.
Princess Grace Kelly gives the crew their prizes in Montecarlo. The crew includes the navigator Renato Mazzolini, Radio Montecarlo commentator Ettore Andenna and the pilot Gianfranco Rossi
The Super Aquarama Zoom crosses the finishing line in the Principality of Monaco, last leg of the London-Montecarlo race
Riva 2000: photos of the scandal
The photos for the calendar, that immediately sold out, of the John Player, taken in 1977 on Riva boats, arouse great interest in the yard, where an austere climate has always reigned, and especially in the communication and media world.
The fashionable photographer called for the occasion uses professional models, making them pose nude even aboard the Riva 2000.
The most exciting fibreglass day cruiser of these years, that is 11.28 m in length and equipped with three engines with surface propellers, is produced between 1975 and 1981 in 54 units.
Rudy, Bravo & Co.
The Rudy is born in 1971, originating from the Junior hull; in 1976 the St. Tropez, originating from the Riva 2000; in 1979 the fast commuter Bravo 38'.
The first issue of the Rivarama magazine is published in 1974 ending in the nineties.
Aboard the St. Tropez, Adnan Kashoggi's daughter, Nabila, is next to her father's yacht, 86 m in length, that carries her name
The Rudy, Junior's version in fibreglass, ideal for fishing, water skiing and as tender
The Bravo 38', characterized by three elliptical portholes on each side, placed for the first time in the broadside of a Riva open