Alberto Bona: “Here is my Route du Rhum” – part 1

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Alberto Bona: “Here is my Route du Rhum” – part 1

The skipper of the project Sailing into the Future. Together thinks back to the first part of his Route du Rhum with us.

“Well begun…”

Reconsidering the start of this Route du Rhum 2022, Alberto describes it as “positive and well calculated”. The strategy chosen before the start allowed him to find himself in an excellent place compared to the rest of the fleet, and to immediately position IBSA in the leading group. Spoiling this cheerfulness – albeit only for a few hours – was the unforeseen factor of the Race Committee’s mistake, who believed he had started early, only to correct themselves later on. Shortly after the start, the incredibly sight of Cap Frehel played a little trick on his excited mind: “I doubted whether I had taken the right gate and I decided to make an extra tack, just to be safe”. In short, some positions lost, but soon recovered.

Then the long upwind, which put him to the test. Living at sea for ten days on a boat that has to be constantly heeled isn’t easy, especially when the weather conditions – instead of improving, as expected – get worse. To complicate things further, a couple of unanticipated problems: due to a failure in the wind station, the autopilot never worked as expected; and an accident during one of the nights when Alberto was struggling while sailing close-hauled resulted in a cut above his eyebrow.

After a long series of disturbances, finally some peace, during what Alberto defines as “the most enjoyable moment of the regatta”: the high pressure, the trade winds, the temperature which gradually becomes milder… “three spectacular days, with clear nights and starry skies”. From the race perspective, however, this is also the moment when Alberto, after a first recovery, definitively loses the leading group, settling in eighth position.

This is a very complex moment for the skipper, who however continues to fight without ever throwing in the towel. A few days after his arrival, from a small port on the island of Guadeloupe, he will state, smiling: “I never thought of giving up. It wasn’t easy to balance the desire to get a good result and that to conclude the ocean crossing bringing the boat to the finish line without any damage, but I think I managed to even up risk and attention well, finding a compromise between the sporting result and the success of the project with IBSA and our Class40.

And in the meantime, Guadeloupe is getting closer and closer. See you soon for the next episode!

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