Alberto Bona: the emotions of the Transat CIC

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Alberto Bona: the emotions of the Transat CIC

16 May 2024

I began my Transat CIC – OSTAR in everyone’s memories – with the enormous reverence I felt for a mythical story I grew up with. With over 3,000 miles to cover and a route to the North, with plenty of adverse winds and currents, this race is considered the queen of ocean crossings, one of the few truly international ones, because it’s outside the purely French circuits”.

These are Alberto Bona’s words two days after his arrival, when the time has come to analyse the regatta.“I didn’t set out to finish fifth, that’s clear enough, but I have to accept this result, especially in such a demanding regatta, which as a boy I never thought I’d be able to participate in, and with a latest generation Class40 at that. I must say that I was very excited and I trained a lot; perhaps too much, and this may have taken away some of my energy”.

Analysing a fifth place is complex. On one side, the indisputable satisfaction for having crossed the finish line, taking the Class40 IBSA – in Alberto’s own words – “on the other side; on the other, the awareness of a performance characterised by lights and shadows. “Things didn’t go as planned: we prepared for a navigation that technically could have seen us sailing upwind for two weeks and then, instead, we sailed a lot downwind, also in difficult conditions, along that line of balance between maximum performance and survival pace. In actual fact, the regatta was completely different from how we had prepared for it”.

Also impacting – and to a significant extent – the damage to the hull suffered immediately after the start: “At a certain point, after the second low, I felt that when I was sailing downwind on a port tack the boat made a different noise. For a few hours, I thought that it was the weight distribution, but then it became clear that there was something wrong with the boat”.This issue slowed Bona down on the port tacks and made him more cautious.“A certainly bigger problem than I expected, which now requires going back to the shipyard for restoration work. But we still have time, and we will do everything in the best way”.

And – last but not least – the epilogue, the final judgement of our skipper, notoriously very strict with himself: “I’m still happy with my performance”, concluded Alberto. “In the end, this Transat CIC was more of an adventure than a regatta; I saw so many cetaceans, I challenged myself and had a great experience at sea, with weather conditions, in some moments, that I had never experienced before. So yes, the outcome is positive. Now let’s think about the next regatta, which will be wonderful”.

So, let’s meet up on June 30, at the starting line along the San Lorenzo river, for the Quebec Saint-Malo. See you in Canada!

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