The Class40 IBSA wins the first leg of the Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables

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The Class40 IBSA wins the first leg of the Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables

04 July 2023

The first stage of the Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables – the fourth regatta of the Class40 IBSA’s 2023 season, with Alberto Bona and co-skipper Pablo Santurde del Arco on board – ended with an excellent result. At 9:24 pm on Sunday, July 2, Bona and Santurde crossed the finish line at Horta, in the Azores islands, in first position, after 5 days, 8 hours, 21 minutes and 26 seconds of sailing, leading the race most of the time.

“Pablo and I did everything right”, commented a beaming Alberto Bona. “We had prepared a strategy and we executed it perfectly. In this regatta, the aim was to take the lead immediately, with little wind in the Bay of Biscay, to then maintain the first position and be the first to meet the strong wind after Cape Finisterre, and from there to speed up as fast as possible, to gain miles on the opponents up to the Azores. Here, we had to keep struggling to get a smart position – defensive with respect to our opponents – to stay in the lead despite the low wind”.

And so it happened, despite the fact that an alternator cable came off about halfway through the crossing and the energy needed to operate the autopilot failed, forcing the two sailors to helm continuously, literally without stopping. Shortly before the Azores, the decisive choice: “We decided to go around all the islands to the south, so as to find the best point of sail despite the little wind, and to protect the south side. It was the right choice”, addedBona.“Those who stayed further north slowed down more than us, those who were behind stayed there. This way we constructed our victory”.

Together with the victory of the first leg, a highly valuable virtual medal: Alberto and Pablo set the new Class40 speed record, covering 430.47 miles in 24 hours. “This is a great satisfaction”, concluded Bona. “Special thanks to Pablo, and a thought to all the people who have been and are part of the team, because we all invested effort, dedication and time in order to achieve this result: 430.47 miles in 24 hours is a great feat!”.

Now a few days of rest, the repair of the alternator and it will be time to set sail once again for Europe: the second stage of the Les Sables-Horta-Les Sables will start on Sunday, July 8, at 1:02 pm, towards Les Sables D’Olonne (France).

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