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
Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm is no stranger to the highs and lows of solo and short handed ocean racing. In 2012 he was devastated not to be given a finish to the Vendée Globe solo round the world race after he was inadvertently given outside assistance while making repairs in the south of New Zealand. After finishing fourth in the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre his IMOCA 60 was lost at Christmas last year when he was on delivery back from Brazil, reporting later that ‘I swam for my life’ during an incredible rescue. He and Jeff Cuzon were rescued to the Azores from Cheminées Poujoulat during the 2011 Transat Jacques Vabre.
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.
He is regarded as a regular fixture on solo races and had done his share of two-handed Transats and crewed racing, but sailing two handed around the world is something almost new for the very experienced French sailor Jean Le Cam. “I did this Barcelona World Race in 2011 with Bruno Garcia but we dismasted after just 10 days, so for me that scarcely counts as useful experience”. Le Cam maintained last week when he was in Paris for the famous boat show there, Le Salon Nautic.
Maybe it will be with the family at home, the table laden with food, all enjoying the usual laughter and gifts. Some will spend Christmas at home and try to relax and make it as ‘normal’ as possible, others will spend it in Barcelona close to the boat and the programme but having family and friends travelling to see them. Others may even only take a few hours off. For sure Christmas is upon the 16 skipper of the Barcelona World Race, but the way they enjoy it or deal with it will be different from team to team, and skipper to skipper. But for everyone the thoughts of the 31st December start, and what lies ahead for the coming three months, are impossible to suppress. Even on Christmas Day.
Without doubt Nandor Fa is an enigma when it comes to sheer fight and determination, but the 61 years old Hungarian skipper is totally unique in the world of IMOCA 60 racing in having designed his boat himself, and built a lot of it. He is a self taught designer, although he spent time in the 1980’s in the design office in Australia of Ben Lexcen not long after his successful wing keeled 12 Metre Australia II had won the America’s Cup. Yacht design, he asserts, is his hobby, his way of relaxing from the pressures of his business (designing and installing marinas). As well as the three 60 footers he has designed he has a number of smaller yacht designs in his native 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."
“Trabajamos a un ritmo muy alto para preparar el barco, pero ni siquiera tenemos las curvas polares o una tabla de velas, navegamos utilizando nuestra intuición. Antes de la salida probamos el barco dos veces, y ambos tests fueron muy útiles. Estábamos preparados para la salida tanto como podíamos estarlo.