Gusts of wind up to 40 knots, waves up to two and a half meters near the Needles – the iconic white rocks representing the exit from the channel between the English coast and the Isle of Wight: this is the forecast 24 hours before the start of the legendary Rolex Fastnet Race, which celebrates its 50th edition with 465 boats at the start line.
Among “the boats to beat” – as stated by the RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club) eloquent newsletter – is Alberto Bona’s Class40 IBSA, whose crew in this regatta will include Andrea Caracci, Luca Bertacchi and Francesca Clapcich, Olympian from Trieste who has just won the Ocean Race: “Having Francesca on board is very nice. We didn’t know each other well before, but we already got along nice during the transfer: I’m very happy, because we’ll integrate well into this team, and it will also be a way to learn a lot; I know the boat well, she is very good with tactics, Andrea Caracci will be the navigator, which is his specialty, and our team leader Luca Bertacchi will know how to make himself indispensable”.
The eve of the Fastnet for the IBSA team will reserve a long meeting – to analyse the weather – and a rest, to regain strength in view of tomorrow’s event, which will be really tough, especially at the start: “These are precisely the conditions you don’t wish for in a regatta. A long run upwind up to the Fastnet but, above all, in the first stretch, high and steep waves: the boat will bump a lot, and in that phase it won’t be fun. Then, having passed two fronts, we will get our prize: hopefully, after the Fastnet, we’ll run a little faster until the finish line”, concluded Alberto.