23 November 2022

Do you know what an exploding sail sounds like? It’s such a loud bang that your ears begin ringing, the boat starts zigzagging and there’s no time for anything, except to collect the shreds and immediately think of a solution and implement it.

This is what happened aboard the Class40 IBSA, where the best gennaker exploded, that is, the best sail possible for Alberto’s current point of sailing. As a good, resilient solo sailor, Alberto accepts the situation, moves on and changes the sail, hoisting another less performing and more difficult to manage gennaker. It happens: the pressure generated by the crossed waves and the fickle and strong wind of these hours are at the root of the breakdown, which Alberto had certainly taken into account and with which he dealt with the patience of the greats and the reactivity of the best.

He is now in eighth position and has almost completed the approach to the right course to land in Guadeloupe. For a few hours his speed has reduced compared to the past few days, the boat’s trim has been affected by the absence of the “right” sail, but Alberto must look ahead – and even a little behind, to keep an eye on the small group that follows – because he finally needs to think about the finish; options decrease and every action counts. In ocean crossings what matters is precisely “crossing”; it’s the undertaking, the story, it’s overcoming the difficulties, but when you are (relatively) close to the finish line, the competitive spirit is there, and you can feel it.

The arrival of the first Class40 in Guadeloupe is expected over the next few hours, when the chronometer will begin to formalize the gaps: at the 8:00 o’clock check Alberto and the Class40 IBSA were eighth, but their speed has improved again. There is still room to attack and not give up, because the stage around the island has many hidden variables and here – even with one sail missing, even without an autopilot – Alberto is not going to give up a single inch.

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