He had planned to sail in the upcoming 2014/15 Barcelona World Race - the two handed race around the world - alongside friend and co-skipper Nandor Fa, but Hungarian sailor Marcell Goszleth has taken a brave but pragmatic decision to step aside. Nandor Fa will now sail with French-based New Zealander Conrad Colman, the winner of the 2011-12 Global Ocean Race.
They always say that 90 per cent of any ocean race is completed before the start line is passed. For Hungary's indomitable Nandor Fa the battle to get ready for the start of the Barcelona World Race with his new IMOCA 60 Spirit of Hungary makes the very act of racing around the world look straightforward.
Conrad Colman is lining up to race the Barcelona World Race for the first time. He hopes the race will prove a useful stepping stone as he pursues his final goal. His career target is to complete the Vendee Globe as the first Kiwi to do so. That has been his target since he got into solo and short handed ocean racing seven years ago. Since 2008 he has called Brittany his home, has a French fiance and has worked as preparateur, rigger, sailmaker for French projects. He admits he thinks and dreams in French some of the time. Although his first ocean passage was as a three month old baby with his cruising mum and dad, he only came back to offshore sailing after eight years in the USA where he graduated in Economics and set up an innovative bike building business. Now here he is making ready for his second ocean race around the world, as a late replacement co-skipper on Spirit of Hungary
Tricky conditions for the team on Spirit of Hungary, as Conrad Colman reports from the boat: "We are now in the axis of the ridge and it's a house of horrors with the wind turning from North to East to South and back again."
Position: just south of Malaga, South of Spain. Dolphin count: 15. Cargo ship count: 150. Speed, you've got to be kidding right? We are surrounded by almost miles and miles of deep blue and yet we are imprisoned just as surely as if we were surrounded by iron bars. Even as the weather files continue to insist that there is enough wind to make decent progress in reality 2015 has started with a whimper rather than a bang.
Spirit of Hungary made it into the Atlantic at 1539hrs UTC today Monday but it has been very slow for Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman and they were still struggling sailing directly south towards the Moroccan coast in very light breezes
"Well, ocean racing is a rocky road sometimes. Moral had risen along with the sails as we hoisted the spinnaker and finally made a good course and speed that we could be proud of. Still miles from our competitors but we felt like we were back in the game, had the tools to get the job done and were on our way.....
Its not just in children's bedrooms that things go bump in the night apparently. I had spent a long afternoon driving the boat like I have the habit from my previous class of boat... A bottle of water close by, a pocket full of peanuts and hours of surfing entertainment with the big gennaker and one reef in the main. Sadly as night fell the wind increadsed out of the safe range for the sail and we sprang to change it for the small reacher.
Among the four pairs of skippers who form the vanguard of the Barcelona World Race, on their IMOCA 60s, thoughts will be turning to the Southern Ocean. Two weeks to the day since the race started, they still have a few days of grace, time to step up the routine maintenance programme – boats, kit and humans – as the prospect of one month in the inhospitable southern latitudes beckons.