A thank you message to all that helped us restart for leg 3 of the GOR

We have now been at sea for 2 full days and slowly getting back in the
swing of ocean life, daily food bags, sail changes, position reports, naps
and snacks... the start of this leg was far from simple for us with lots
of little snags to worry about, the brand new spare NKE wind wand started
throwing an error before even leaving the dock, but too late to do
anything about it, the master alternator wasn't initially charging the
batteries, the ballast pump didnt respond and the mast navigation and deck
lights would not work on the first night...

When we left Wellington harbour in about 10 knots of wind we were caught
completely by surprise finding 35 knots just outside, probably
Wellington's way of waving us goodbye.

Marco Nannini wins Italian Sailor of the year award

Marco Nannini, currently racing the double handed Global Ocean Race (GOR) 2011/2012, has been crowned Italian Sailor of the year by "Il Giornale della Vela", the most established italian sailing magazine. The prestigious award was first established in 1991 and has recognised talent over the years including sailors such as Alessandra Sensini, Giovanni Soldini and Francesco Deangelis.

Last few hours to cast vote for Italian Sailor of the year!

Only a few hours left for the online vote for the italian Sailor of the year, if you haven't done so please visit this page and scroll to bottom to cast your vote:

http://www.giornaledellavela.com/content/html/index.php?s=Velista_dellAnno&page=nodeDetail&idRecord=15185

Winning the award would probably lead to a few interviews and who knows maybe even a few doors opening in the future... 

Thank you all for the support!

 

Leading the online vote for Italian Sailor of the Year award - Thanks!

A quick update to thank all of you who have taken the time to vote for me on the online poll which will award the coveted "Giornale della Vela" Sailor of the year award (Giornale della Vela is the the first and most prestigeous Italian sailing magazine).

An update from windy Wellington

Many cities in the world have a reputation for being windy, but Wellington has to be the windiest place i have ever visited! It's the middle of the summer here and despite the sunshine and pleasant temperatures the wind has been a constant feature of this beautiful city: in the past three days it has been absolutely screaming, traffic lights are shaken, flags are shredded to pieces and people walk at funny angles depending on which side the wind is hitting them. 

Wellington has been incredibly welcoming to all of us skippers in the Global Ocean Race and so many have come forward offering to help, within days we were offered free accommodation and a car to borrow, sails were picked from the boat and are being repaired...

Celebrations in Wellington after a tough second leg of the Global Ocean Race

The VHF finally broke its month long silence just before 6pm, Josh Hall on the committee boat is calling. "Financial Crisis, we have you in sight, we are coming towards you, well done, you are in Wellington!".

Hi speed chase continues and claims another spinnaker in morning red mist

It looks like 2012 started just like 2011 had finished, with a big mess,
another spinnaker blown and trashed in the water, this time the masthead
A2 spinnaker, the biggest one... somewhere somehow there was a weak point
as it finally blew in mild 18-20 knots conditions, went overboard and gave
us a horrible time in trying to retrieve it...

Spinnaker trashed in high speed chase

We had been doing great all night shaving mile after mile from Halvard
Mabire and Miranda Merron's lead over us, we were flying the smallest
spinnaker, a bullet proof job called the A5, a sail that can be used even
if 40 knots of wind, which is not far from what we had, sustained 30-35,
the usual treatment down here... until disaster struck, the halyard parted
and the sail went down into the water.

Halvard and Miranda were 750 miles ahead of us just a few days back, and
with a bit of luck but also by pushing very hard we brought down the gap
to under 240 miles, a 510 miles catch up!

Five hundred miles to Cook Strait, the anticipation builds

We are sailing in a lovely sunshine, broad reaching towards the northern
tip of South island, New Zealand of course, some 500 miles to the North
East of us.

Rogue wave 23kt surf ends in crash gybe and broken mainsail battens

So here we are in yet another 45 knots stinker, making excellent progress
under staysail and reefed main, occasionally surfing high teens. The front
came and went and we were left with that nasty situation where you have
massive seas and decreasing winds...

Last minute adventures in the final day of the Global Ocean Race

Today is the last full day at sea for us, in around 24 hours we should be
making landfall and reach Les Sables D'Olonne and bring to a conclusion
this epic jurney.

We've been making very good progrees with strong following winds pushing
us for days but the adventure is not quite over yet. Last night as the
front was passing through we were flying towards the finish line with our
medium spinnaker in strong building winds, admittedly we were on the limit
but it was such a joy to see the boat surfing at 15-20 knots that i wished
to take that memory home with me.

All was fine, the front came through with gusts of nearly 40 knots that
would send the boat driving through walls of spray. After the front the
wind started to ease and there seemed no further need to change down, just
then the spinnaker came down straight in the water. It was a hell of a job
to retrieve the sail on board as it was acting as a sea anchor, we tried
to stop the boat as best as we could and then an inch at a time we managed
to drag the cloth into the cockpit. Miraculously the sail did not even get
damaged, it had not been torn by the wind, instead, a stainless steel
shackle that holds the sail attached to the sock had broken, a rather
unlikely and unpredictable failure but that shackle has been twice around
the world and I have to accept these things can happen. All in all, apart
from getting soaked and tired there were no consequences to the incident,
we promptly hoisted the smaller spinnaker and kept going.

As i write we are crossing the imaginary line between Ouessant and Cape
Finisterre that delimits the bay of Biscay. The route to and from these
two points is one of the busiest shipping routes in Europe leading into
the traffic of the English Channel. We had been used to seeing the
occasional ship in the North Atlantic which is certainly the busiest of
the seas we crossed, but here, suddenly the AIS anti collision system woke
up and is currently plotting 12 ships in range, all travelling along this
route, pretty much like crossing a motorway.

Further in the bay, where the sea bed rises sharply from thousands of
meters to shallow waters we'll have to watch for french fishing boats, a
real threat, Hugo Boss was famously hit by one just outside Les Sables
D'Olonne, let's hope they are on strike today!

I'm sure a part of me will be sad when all of this will be over, but the
anticipation for the completion of this journey is enormous, my fiancee
Ella is now travelling from London to come and meet me on the finish line
and it will be a really special feeling after 10 months of separation
interrupted by brief visits at each stopover. Several family and friends
will travel to meet me in Les Sables and I think as the days will pass it
will all start to sink in, that we have sailed around the world.

Certainly the return to land will have its share of challenges, hopefully
an offer on the boat will materialise soon to enable me to deal with the
debts i racked up and get by until i find a job. None of this is life
threatening though, only a temporary hassle which i think pales in
comparison to what we're achieving. A massive thanks to those who have
sent fresh funds through www.marconannini.com/help, a webpage that was
setup as a bit of a joke and that put me back in the game when I very
nearly retired from the race in New Zealand, these contributions have made
a make or break difference to the project, thank you all!

Time to concentrate for the final stretch...

Great finish! by Kev (not verified)