Underway in the fourth leg of the Global Ocean Race

We've been at sea for two days, i wrote an earlier update which somehow
was never sent so here is a summary of our start of the fourth leg of the
Global Ocean Race, Punta del Este Uruguay to Charleston US.

The start in Punta was relatively quiet although I was a bit annoyed with
the spectators boat all over the starting area but all was well once we
got off. Whilst Cessna was first over the line Phesheya took a spectacular
shortcut between a rocky reef and the beach at the southern tip of the
Punta del Este peninsula and the two boats were soon in the lead with
Sec Hayai in third and us trailing behind.

A tale of celebrations, hard work and love from Punta del Este

It's been three weeks since we arrived in Punta del Este following our tough Southern Ocean leg from Wellington around Cape Horn. Life ashore brings always a great variety of emotions, from the happyness of celebrating the arrival, to the hard work we need to put in to prepare the boat for the next leg to the inevitable stress of the expenses we face each time we stop. Luckily we are being hosted in the rooms of the Yacht Club Punta del Este who has been extremely welcoming and nice to us as otherwise life in the Monte Carlo of South America is painfully expensive.

Sergio Frattaruolo joins Nannini for final legs of Global Ocean Race

With two weeks to the start of the fourth leg of the Global Ocean Race there's a crew change on Financial Crisis. The Italian former Mini 650 sailor Sergio Frattaruolo will replace Hugo Ramon to sail the final 2 stages of the race with Marco Nannini, from Punta del Este to Chaleston and from there to Les Sables d'Olonne.

Sergio, following his participation in the solo Transat 650 last November will step to the larger Class40s with the goal of gaining experience ahead of the launch of his own solo attempt of the 2013/2014 Global Ocean Race.

We are in Punta del Este! Celebrations Celebrations Celebrations!

We made it! We are in Punta del Este Uruguay, 35 days at sea! We have
sailed through gale force winds, we reached across the depths of the
Southern Ocean with albatrosses to guard our progress, we clenched our
teeth through the icebergs, we fought with the icy winds from Anctartica,
we rounded the most dreaded cape in the world, we sailed through the snow
capped cliffs of la Tierra del Fuego, we caught kelp in our rudders and
watched spectacular sunsets and sunrises, we smelt land by the shores of
Argentina and crossed the muddy waters of the Plata river, but most of all
we kept our dream alive, one step closer to home, one step closer to
racing around the world.

Glorious sunshine for final push to Uruguay

We have just over 400 miles to go to the finish line in Punta del Este,
the permanent cloud cover of the past few days has broken up during the
night and i stood my watch in the cockpit as a magnificent sunrise brought
summer to our world. Since we left the icy weather of the high latitudes
it has been remarkable to watch the temperature rise very fast as we
sailed north. Water temperature is now at nearly 20 degrees and today I'm
sure we can get rid of all our base and mid layers and finally sport some
shorts and t-shirts.

Tough head winds make for frustrating home run

I guess we all assumed that once turned the corner from the Horn
everything was going to be easy, I certainly did, so I was a little
surprised when last night the wind piped up to a fierce 35-40 knots dead
on the nose in a nasty chop and a mysterious 2 knots adverse current. The
net result was 12 hours of very nasty sailing and very little progress.

With frustration building quickly we came to the stark realisation that
that the last stretch from the Strait of Le Maire to Punta was not to be
ftaken for granted.

Finally back in the Atlantic!

If rounding the horn is the accepted "cool dude" turning point, I feel
much better now that we are finally sailing in the Atlantic. After Cape
Horn we headed north towards the Strait of Le Maire, between the Tierra
del Fuego and the Isla De Los Estatos which marks the gate that opens
into the Atlantic leaving the Southern Ocean behind. The strait has a bit
of a reputation for its strong currents and overfalls so much so that most
yachts racing up this way tend to pass to the outside and east of the Isla
De Los Estatos.

We did it! We rounded Cape Horn!!!

What a day, we finally rounded Cape Horn! I think it will take me a while
to fully process this fact but I'm sure it'll live in my thoughts for the
rest of my life, arriving here has been at times tremendously tough and
yesterday just when the weather was finally improving we were left with a
a last minute reminder of where we are, a squall came through during the
night bringing another stint of 50 knots winds and lots of snow, it was
quite surreal... In some respects it is an anticlimax, you wait for this
moment all your life and there you are holding a sign which reads CAPE
HORN, the only indication that you have made it apart of course from the
GPS position.

Racing again to the Horn after the storm

We are through the peak of the storm and we're happy to report that we
didn't sustain any damage...

Cape Horn gale: we'll wait for the worst to go through

A nasty gale is brewing south of us, the worst of it is headed straight
for Cape Horn just at the same time we were due to round the infamous
cape. After much debate we decided it was simply too risky for us to carry
on heading for such a dangerous randez-vous and have instead slowed down
and we'll let the worst of the gale blow through before resuming our
course with improving weather behind us rather than the risk of being
cornered in a lee shore in nasty waves forming on the continental shelf
and no where to run.

In 12 hours the centre of the low should be east of us and moving north
eastwards away from us.

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.