Breaking news from Cape Town - Financial Crisis to announce crew change for leg two of GOR

We have been in Cape Town for a week so here is a long overdue update following the emotional finish with the glorious sight of Table Mountain in the background. One of the first comments that race director Josh Hall shared with me was that the crews arriving in this edition of the Global Ocean Race were far more tired and exhausted than three years ago, I was totally drained so I was not surprised to hear this, the battle for the podium in the final stages of the race pushed us to new limits and claimed all residual energies. It has taken me several days to feel anywhere near normal, and with no lack of celebrations and social gatherings it has been even more difficult to catch up with sleep. 

A night of drama and a hard fought podium result into Cape Town

This is just a brief message to say that we've crossed the finish line to take third in the first leg of the Global Ocean Race managing to keep Cessna behind to the finish. Paul and I are absolutely exhausted but incredibly delighted. We have given absolutely all we had to give to achieve this result... It was not as straight forward as it first may seem, however close the battle was on the tracker drama unfolded thickening the plot in the darkest hours of the night. Just after the 9pm position report we had gained just enough miles to start believing it was going to be possible, we had 22 miles lead with 150 to go and at that stage we were better positioned relative to the finish line and polling higher speeds.

Less than a thousands miles to go

We just broke through the barrier of the 1000 miles to go to Cape Town,
it's still a lot and the pressure is high, Cessna is 114 miles behind at
the last ping but they are giving it all averaging over 12 knots now and
curving fast onto the rhumb line.

Southern Ocean sailing at its best

The Southern Ocean with its albatrosses and deep sea creatures is treating
us well, we are sailing on the edge of a high pressure system in following
winds and a pleasant spring sunshine, we have been averaging more than 10
knots for a couple of days now covering many miles towards Cape Town.

Fast miles towards Tristan da Cunha

First of all big congratulations to Ross and Campbell Field, and to Halvard
Mabire and Miranda Merron for their first leg achievement, all winners in my
eyes for their display of experience, determination and skill in negotiating
their route to Cape Town.

We have turned the corner, I feel, in this endless leg to Cape Town, our sails
are finally free, we are heading towards Tristan da Cunha which we intend to
leave well to port before progressively curving in towards Cape Town. Boat
speed is in the nines and tens and should get in the regular tens once the wind
frees a little bit further.

Stars, water, and this and that

After a windless night where frustration run high we picked some wind
restoring some of the lost faith in the concept of sailing a freaking boat
from A to B without murdering anyone. I sometimes shout my lungs out to
the elements, not so much with Paul on the boat, as once I scared the
living shit out of him as he woke from deep sleep to a shouting maniac,
but when I sailed solo I was definitely all for cursing as loudly as
possible, creatively cursing, the godless clouds, the dolphins and the
birds and whatever comes at hand, as a form of cathartic therapy, until
you feel better or the wind comes back.

Ghosting and drifting with the Ciccio's Code

A month into the first leg of the Global Ocean Race and we are negotiating
a high pressure system right in our path, preventing us from making any
progress towards Cape Town.

The weather gave me a chance to climb the mast and see what happened with
the wind instruments.

Straight to Cape Town? Computer says no

We are now into our fifth week at sea, tomorrow it'll be a month we'left
Palma, it's a bloody long time! Longer than I have ever been, with 22 days
at the Route du Rhum my previous longest... Yet, here, with the current
complex forecast, we estimate another two whole weeks before we get into
Cape Town, two more weeks of blocking away images of steaks and chips,
beer, hot showers, a bed, clean clothes, a decent coffee with a nice
croissant, freshly squeezed orange juice, I even dare say salad (but
definitely not high on the list!)....

Back to basics on Financial Crisis after loss of wind instruments

Short blog today, just after sunset yesterday all hell broke loose like
someone had pressed a giant button that said mayhem. The wind very
suddenly piped up from 20 to 30 knots, we were pinned down with too much
sail and took a while to restore order. Once reefed and taking a pasting
in the winds and waves we lost the wind readings on the NKE instruments. At
first I thought I could fix it, we had already lost our primary,
vertical wind instrument in the doldrums and were running on the
spare, sturdy horizontal so i hoped it was just a wiring problem, i spent
hours below rewiring the little boxes but to no avail, I did at least
manage to restore the use of the autopilot in compass mode.

Weather for ducks and... chocolate

We are beating our brains to mash into the south-easterlies, not too bad
so far, staysail and one reef in solid 20 knots, boat slamming, waves
crashing across the cockpit, it's wet out there, cant find a strong enough
reason to be there, sleeping under a warm duvet seems just fine as the
autopilot battles the freaking elements, no traces of any shipping,
radar reflector and AIS totally silent. I think it is safe to say we
are in the middle of freaking no where. Even Paul who normally is in the
cockpit unless is taking a nap or eating is finding the comforts of the
port master cabin to be far more agreeable then the jet wash in the
garden.

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.