Where did the decision (or determination) to participate in the ARC come from? What was the strongest spring that pushed you, considering also that, like last year, this year too, contrary to expectations, was a bit of a “COVID ARC”.
– The choice was born during the Giraglia. We have realized that the boat is a true champion in load-bearing gaits. Having planned to go to the Bahamas in the fall of 2021, we have decided to participate in this regatta, which clearly rewards the characteristics of the 12.
Once you made the decision what was the first thing you did?
– Well, we signed up, and we were on the waiting list for a couple of months. Before that, however, already in Genoa as soon as we arrived, we proposed to Ambrogio to be our navigator. We have always been big fans of Ambrogio, we have followed him from the beginning in his exploits making a great cheer. He is an excellent navigator and a great champion.
Preparing a boat for this venture is something that requires a lot of planning and attention. What were the critical factors for you?
– The most important thing was to put together the right crew: that they had the sailing experience but that they also knew the boat well. And last but not least, that it was in tune with the philosophy of the owners, which I could define as a “reckless competitive goliards”. I would say we succeeded.
How did you select the crew? In hindsight, would you have made different choices?
– I would say no, it was a great crew that worked wonderfully.
You have chosen to tackle this adventure as a couple, as sailing is one of your common passions. What did this experience bring to your couple? Is there any advice you feel like giving?
– Faith and I are very close, but we still do not consider ourselves a de facto couple … beyond a few distant hips, we are alas’ still radically straight. But we remain confident for the old age …
This year the crossing was particularly hard, with the first days without wind and then with strong winds and confused sea and always very formed. What were the main difficulties you encountered in navigation and what strategies did you put in place to overcome them?
– I would say that the main difficulty was facing the first three days of little wind, which tended to come from the bow. These are the worst conditions for the 12, which has little rake, is very supportive and has a lot of wet surface. In addition, the weather was extremely uncertain and fluctuating. Thanks to the guidance of Ambrose, we danced a very delicate waltz with this bulky ridge that separated us from the trade winds. The arrival of the trade winds was a magical moment: at dusk, the sea an oil, the burr coming from the bow started to turn counterclockwise from SW to NE, progressively in about 20 minutes, just rippling the surface of the water. . In the following hours the air slowly rose and since then, except for a small interruption before Cape Verde, it has flown us to St. Lucia. In the southern route that we followed the sea was not confused but rather regular, except for rare moments. The biggest difficulty I would say was that it was the last night when we were surprised by a lump with the jennaker still on. The wind blew at 33-35 knots and we literally flew up to 28 knots of speed. Some tricks to keep the boat on course, we were all on deck. But the boat held up very well. In the whole regatta there was not even a tip.
What were the darkest and most beautiful moments?
– There weren’t any dark moments. We were very impressed to meet a migrant boat crossing the Canary Islands on the second morning. There were 50 of them in a small battered launch of a few meters. They asked us to notify the Canaries giving their location. We later learned that they have all arrived safely. The highlight was when we passed the “Guyader” catamaran on the penultimate night. We’d been chasing it for a while and nibbling at it a handful of miles every day.
You have achieved an excellent placement. Are you satisfied with the result? What were your expectations?
– Well of course we are very satisfied. We didn’t expect to win, especially in the IRC rankings. The boat is not maximized for the IRC and we weren’t hoping to give our opponents a lot of gap.
If you could do the race again tomorrow, would you make the same choices again or would you change something?
– I don’t know what I’d change. I would do everything the same again.
The most important question: how much fun did you have?
– Rarely so much in our life.