Spirit of Hungary's entry for the Barcelona World Race is completed

Nandor Fa and Marcell Goszleth are the first Hungarian duo to take part in this renowned double handed non-stop sprint around the world. The Barcelona World Race will be the very first real race for Spirit of Hungary, which has been designed and partly built‏ by Nandor Fa himself. The 61-years old skipper returns to ocean racing after a 17 years hiatus enjoying family life and building his business in marina construction

News OCT 31, 2014 15:22

Nearing the end of an intense battle to have their IMOCA 60 Spirit of Hungary ready on time, Hungarian duo Nandor Fa and Marcell Goszleth have signed off their entry registration for the upcoming Barcelona World Race and stand as the eighth pair who will line up on the start line for this third edition of the race at 1300hrs this coming 31st December.

The remarkable pairing are a highly valued addition to the multinational field which is now enriched by an engaging range of age, nationality and experience profiles.

The pioneering Fa made history when he was the very first non-French skipper ever to complete the solo non-stop around the world Vendée Globe race, finishing fifth in the second edition of that race in 1992. Now they are the very first Hungarian duo to take part in this renowned double handed non-stop sprint around the world.

Nandor Fa embodies the very definitions of self-made and self-reliant. As he returns to ocean racing after a 17 years hiatus enjoying family life and building his business in marina construction, Spirit of Hungary is actually the fourth IMOCA 60 that he has designed and built. Constructed in his native country, the hull was built by Pauger and he did most of the finishing himself.  As such, though it remains entirely unproven in the ocean racing arena –the Barcelona World Race will be the very first real race for Spirit of Hungary– his is actually the first boat to the newer iteration of the class rule to have been launched in 2014. Since encountering technical problems at the start of the summer’s IMOCA Ocean Masters New York-Barcelona Race the boat has been back in Hungary for further refinement.

Andor Serra CEO of the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB) comments: “We are happy to welcome Nandor Fa and Marcell Goszleth to the Barcelona World Race. The fact that two oceanic sailors come to race from a landlocked country is admirable. We are delighted that Nandor have chosen the Barcelona World Race to return to ocean racing competition and we think it's fascinating that he has designed and built a lot of his boat himself.”

The 61-years old skipper, who has two solo racing circumnavigations under his belt already, anticipates trucking Spirit of Hungary to Trieste imminently for training in the south Adriatic, then aiming to arrive in Barcelona late November. His partnership with ex Olympic classes campaigner Goszleth – who represented Hungary in the 470 class at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games – is founded on a friendship which extends back 20 years on their native Lake Balaton and they have now already sailed across the Atlantic twice together in boisterous, tough conditions.

“For me everything is right about the Barcelona World Race. It is the most fantastic race and is the right event for me to come back to ocean racing. It is a good question to ask why I am coming back again but in the end I know I have to do it. I just love the ocean, being at sea. I don’t have any dreams or expectations that we might finish on the podium, I really just want to finish the race and to know we have sailed a correct, good course, to have accomplished it well. That is much more important for me than the result, to finish satisfied,” asserts Fa, who started out as an Olympic standard canoeist.

“It will be interesting to see how the race develops on the water. Really I don’t think too much about who is who and what they might do. I never think who will be racing, who is here and who is missing. We are going racing. I just know it will be close and intense, there will be rivals. It is a nice, good fleet – nice ‘sympa’ people racing and everyone is very motivated.”

Fa has achieved a level of sponsorship backing but most of the funding has come from his own sources and budgets are modest. “We are in the same shoes as many, but I am the owner of our problems. We have no big shore team, it is mostly friends and family.”

Age brings no compromises or complaints from Fa whose family before him included many wrestlers: “I have no worries at all there. I am strong and have always been sporty. I run, cycle and kayak and still do a lot of sailing on the Balaton Lake.”

And of his 37-years old co-skipper Fa says: “He is very talented and is like me, good on the technical and equipment side as well as being a great sailor. We are very similar in styles and the most important thing is I trust him completely. I would rather sail alone than with someone who you must always keep an ear at the companionway listening to what is happening, worrying so you can’t relax and sleep. Sailing with him makes it enjoyable. He is a skipper, helm, bowman, trimmer, multitalented so I think we are a good team”.

“We have had so much work to do and still some, some fights are hopeless and you let them go, but we are in a nice place now, working on the final stages inside the boat and getting ready to go to Trieste. Everything in place now but it has been really hard to get this work completed.”

The race to get to start line is always one of the biggest challenges for any skippers, but as they enter the home straight of this key phase, now the duo can finally look forwards to enjoying the Barcelona World Race.