The end of the trade winds

Just as i write a big rain cloud on the horizon has brought a sudden
windshift, this is the first we encounter since leaving the unstable airs
around the equator and unfortunately it probably signals the end of the
stable band of the trade winds... We have 1350 miles to the finish which
will bring more variety and hard work.

Ahead of us a patch of really light airs which wont fill for another two
days and which has already caused us to slow down and forced Cessna onto
the opposite gybe.

Full speed ride towards Charleston

The past few days have finally brought the fast ride we had been promised
on the brochure, averaging over 10 knots in the right direction since
saturday afternoon. I believe we've been the fastest boat in the fleet for
a while, we caught up around 50 miles from Cessna's lead and extended by
about 15 on Phesheya since the beginning of the weekend.

During saturday night we had the big spinnaker up when we were caught by a
squall, we hanged on for dear life as the boat lept off the waves surfing
at nearly 20 knots in winds briefly gusting just over 30 knots, it was the
strongest squall we had been caught by this far so admittedly we were
unprepared to take down the spinnaker and we just rode it out in walls of
spray through the total darkness of the moonless night.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes!

I'm turning 34 today and this is definitely a birthday I will remember, my
first at sea in fact. During my first watch, when it was still night, i
started receiving the first birthday wishes, from Ella, from my brother,
from Roberto, my sailmaker, then my friend Enrico called me on the sat
phone early in the morning... Unfortunately i cant access facebook from
here but Ella sent through some of the many messages, there are loads
apparently. Thank you especially for those you sent directly to the boat
through my website at www.marconannini.com/sms, they really cheered me up.

Many thoughts are going through my head today, this has been a rather
special year.

From the roaring forties to the roaring V8's of Mustangs

We've been at sea just over a fortnight now and for the past few days
we've been sailing in a very regular band of the trade winds, with around
20 knots from our starboard side, the unexpected adverse current that we
had all experienced after the equator comes and goes and we still see no
sign of the favourable Guyana current that should be helping us along
the way... life aboard is very monotonous these days, revolving around
meals, naps and a few emails to family and friends interrupted by the
occasional need to trim the sails.

I guess if sailing around the world was as easy as the last few hundred
miles no one would bother, a donkey on tranquilizers could steer through
these waters but as usual the sea is not without its perils.

Sailing arond the world is like music to your ears

During the night we crossed the equator for a second time in six months,
technicalities and definitions apart i think i can now say I have sailed
around the world.

When i entered the race in April 2010, i probably didnt have a full grasp
of what i was setting out to do.

Financial Crisis Class40 for urgent sale in June - offers invited

Financial Crisis, currently holding second overall in the Global Ocean
Race is for sale or long term charter immediately after the end of the
race, due to finish in Les Sables D'Olonne around June 8th 2012.

With personal debts in the tens of thousands of pounds and currently
unemployed I must sell the boat ASAP! All meaningful offers considered for
a quick sale.

Second place throught the Celox scoring gate

The last few days have been, as predicted, a drag race towards the
north-east corner of Brasil, all tactical decision had been played out
earlier around the tricky corner near Rio de Janeiro where the wind tends
to be always on the nose and there is a nasty counter current. Since then
we've proceeded in a near perfect straight line to this next corner where
we'll all "turn left" towards Charleston. The Celox virtual scoring gate
is placed on this turning point which marks the beginning of the next
phase of the race and we're quite pleased to be crossing in second place
after the boys on Cessna who unfortunately have slipped from our reach and
are further ahead.

Finally into the trade winds

The struggle to reach the stable trade winds seems to have lasted an
eternity, the fleet progress has been very slow compared to the schedule
we had imagined when leaving Punta del Este and only Cessna at the front
has been keeping steady averages since reaching these steady winds a day
ahead of us.

So far and for several days we seemed to have fairly stable winds at night
then we'd get stopped during the day in flukey winds and sudden rain
showers caused presumably by the high temperatures and moist air becoming
unstable.

An inch at a time we fight to go north

The last two days have been far from easy, as we approached the
continental shelf off Cabo Frio near Rio de Janeiro we were met by the
nasty Brazilian south-flowing current. The deep current is
pushed to the surface and strengthens to a strong flow where the bottom of
the ocean goes from thousands of meters to under a hundred in the space of
few miles. The adverse flow reached nearly 2 knots just as the forecast
indicated light winds ahead.

We had a tough choice to make, either head inshore in shallow waters or
offshore in deep waters where the current would be less.

Easter at sea

We've been at sea nearly 6 days, half the world is on holiday for a long
Easter weekend, for us it's been more wind and waves as we sail north east
hoping to soon reach the trade winds.

Marco Nannini launches Italian yachting operations after GOR

Gulf of La Spezia, Italy, July 2013

After a 14 day delivery from the UK to Italy, my dad and I docked at "Marina del Fezzano", the location I have chosen to set up my italian yachting operations, dedicated to offshore yacht sailing and racing using the Akilaria RC1 Class40 I sailed into second place at the 2011/2012 Global Ocean Race.  

AN IDEAL OFFSHORE BOAT

Mowgli is the official registered name of the Class40 I skippered under various colours and names associated with my sponsors, such as "Sungard", then "Unicredit" and "Eutourist" and when the going got tough and sponsorship scarce I jokingly renamed her "Financial Crisis". Launched in 2007, this boat holds an enviable track record and is to date the only Class40 to have completed successfully two circumnavigations of the globe, first in the 2008/2009 Global Ocean Race where she was third overall and again in 2011/2012 where we were second. She was also raced in several other international events, starting from the 2007 Transat Jacque Vabre, the 2010 Shetland Round Britain and Ireland and the 2010 Route du Rhum.

Mowgli is now kitted out for corporate and training activities, with a large and safe cockpit and 8 real berths below she's an ideal training boat for offshore yacthing activites. Class40s have evolved: it's time for Mowgli to leave the international Class racing scene where she is no longer competitive against the newer boats and enjoy a well deserved retirement in sunny Mediterranean weather after nearly 100 thousand miles of racing! 

A PRESTIGEOUS LOCATION

Chosing the right location to set up my operations has not been easy, but ultimately we chose the stunning and immaculate setting of Marina del Fezzano, a private Marina on the west side of the Gulf of La Spezia, a location easily accessible by car from the whole of the north and central Italy, and under an hour away from the International Pisa Airport with several cheap flights landing every day from the UK. The Gulf of La Spezia, with excellent thermal winds in the summer and a breakwater that allows sheltered sailing within the bay even in the most severe weather, is already the base for many sailing schools and the most logical choice for this venture. 

A PROGRAMME DEDICATED TO OFFSHORE SAILING

The operations will be dedicated to offshore sailing and all that revolves around it: starting from introduction courses on Class40s, training weekends, longer offshore navigation and, in the future, participation in Mediterranean offshore races. The goal is to involve other boats too, offering fleet training and fleet racing as well as shore based courses on safety, meteorology and other relevant topics. 

AN OPPORTUNITY FOR EMERGING SAILORS

The base will hopefully provide additional opportunities for emerging sailors who may not have the budget for their own Class40, I am looking for instructors to act as co-skippers and, in future, skippers as well as people to help out on all other aspects of launching and running a trining centre. 

A FUTURE TO BE SHARED

Every yachting activity relies heavily on a network of trusted suppliers and partners and whilst a first programme of activities is being drafted I am working in the background to secure vital partnerships with key players that I think will have an interest in being part of this project. 

AWAITING A FULL CALENDAR OF ACTIVITIES

Whilst a full calendar is being defined, for those who find themselves stuck in an office during this fantastic summer, I have berths available for two sailing weekends on 3rd-4th and 10th-11th11 August as well as a longer offshore trip between 15th and 18th August. Contact me for info and bookings. 

ADDITIONAL INFO

For additional info contact me on marco@marconannini.com or call me on  +393204093306.