Nandor Fa (HUN) and Conrad Colman (NZL) crossed the finish line of the Barcelona World Race on Monday20th April at 22:59:40 hrs UTC (00:59:40 Tues 21st CET) to complete their race in seventh place and effectively close the course for this third edition of the double-handed non-stop around the world race. Respectively the oldest and youngest skippers in the eight boat field which left Barcelona on 31st December 2014, Hungarian Fa, 61, and New Zealander Colman, 31, took 110 days, 10hrs, 59 mins secs to complete the 23 321 miles at an average speed of 8.8 kts for the theoretical course which passes all three Great Capes: Good Hope, Leeuwin and Cape Horn and for the first time did not pass between North and South Islands, New Zealand.
The Hungarian Nandor Fa faces his fourth around the world regatta during the Barcelona World Race 2014/2015. This time Fa will sail with the young Kiwi Conrad Colman, the winner of the 2011-12 Global Ocean Race.
At 61 years old, Nandor Fa is something of a legend in his native Hungary. His first sport was wrestling, a family tradition, before moving on to canoeing as part of Hungary's Olympic training squad. He later designed and built his own yacht, a small but solid cruiser, and with a friend set off round the world for two years. He and his friend József Gál became the first ever sailors from Hungary to sail round the world.
It was during that voyage that Nandor found out about the BOC Challenge, the singlehanded round the world regatta with stops... and in 1990 he made it to the starting line with a 60-foot yacht he had also designed and built himself. Despite his boat suffering much damage, he completed the regatta, finishing in tenth place, and also became the first Hungarian sailor to circumnavigate the globe solo.
Two years later he took part in the Vendée Globe, with the same boat. He achieved a highly commendable fifth place and made history yet again: he became the first non-French sailor to finish the solo round the world regatta. He tried to make history once more in the Vendée Globe 1996 with a new boat he had built himself, incorporating numerous innovations. However boat damage hounded the skipper and following three stops for repairs, a collision with a cargo ship forced him to abandon the race.
That's when Fa also stepped back from offshore racing... until now. After 17 years devoted to his family and his business, building marinas in Hungary, Austria and Croatia, Nandor Fa has chosen the Barcelona World Race for his bid to complete a third round the world competition, with a boat he has also designed himself.
Colman, 31, who holds US and NZ passports and lives in France, won four of the five legs en route to overall victory in the 2011-2012 Global Ocean Race around the world. He sailed with different skippers on each leg. Since that success he has been looking to find funding to launch his own IMOCA 60 campaign.
In fact he had gone to New York before the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York Barcelona Race start to see potential partners and enjoy meeting members of the IMOCA class and administrators. When he listened at dinner and heard of Fa’s battle to be ready for the start of the race Colman immediately offered his help for free.
As well as the Global Ocean Race on the Class 40, Colman has built many miles on IMOCA 60s including a recent Transatlantic. He has worked as a preparateur with Bertrand de Broc’s Votre Nom Autour du Monde. He is a rigger and sailmaker by profession, recently working on the sail loft floor at North France to build the Volvo Ocean 65 sails.
Spirit of Hungary is the fourth IMOCA 60 designed and built by Nandor Fa. Launched in 2014, the boat is the first model to be built according to the new class rules. The hull, which is carbon fibre, was built at the Pauger shipyard (well-known for RC44s) and Nandor himself undertook some of the work.
Following a return to the shipyard due to technical issues, that also prevented the crew from taking part in the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York-Barcelona Race last summer, the Barcelona World Race will be the first great test for Nandor and Conrad's yacht.