Vendée Globe  
93 days 22 hours 52 minutes

Fa Nándor interview with Zsuzsa Csisztu – 26 march 2014

Nándor Fa has finished his new boat, the Spirit of Hungary, with which he is returning to professional ocean sailing. The open day took place last weekend. In his interview made by Zsuzsa Csisztu Hungarian journalist, Nándor talks about the idea behind the new boat, the IMOCA fleet, and the program ahead of them.

Nándor was asked, whether the building process and collecting all the necessary compartments was difficult to manage.

Nándor Fa: “Well, now I could either say that is was hard, or that it was not. For me, it actually wasn’t difficult, because the whole process has been natural to me, the whole context is in me. What’s more, I would say it’s been an extraordinary experience. I’ve had the picture of this boat in my mind for many years. My favourite free-time activity has always been to design boats. The basic concept of this boat design had been born back in ’95, when I was building the Budapest, but I wasn’t confident enough to interpret it. I decided to go with the trend. The Budapest fit into the top fleet of 60 feet ocean sailboats of that time. I thought, I didn’t need to risk anything with a brand-new concept. So this boat has been growing in my mind for a very long time.

Is this boat able to fulfill all the modern and complicated criteria that exist today?

F.N.: Yes, absolutely. The material, the technology, the equipment are all very high-tech and up-to-date, the boat meets the expectations. Moreover, I have to say that from several aspects — such as internal structure —, this boat is ahead of its fleet. It’s less vulnerable than the present boats of the top IMOCA fleet, and is capable of more — this is proven by numbers. I know those boats, and I know their designers. Excuse me for mentioning a few numbers, they are necessary for illustration: The present IMOCA boats had been designed to bear 9 tons per square meter water pressure. Mine is capable to take 21 tons, which is, by the way, the official limit regulated by the ISO rule. I hope, that the boats of the new IMOCA fleet — which is being formed right now — will apply the same strength. The ISO regulation is part of our rule-book.

You’ve always been famous for your innovativeness. I would be curious, whether one is able to keep up with challenges physically just as well as mentally. Your long-term goal is the 2016-17 Vendée Globe, which is an “unfinished sentence” for you, as you mentioned earlier. Do all those tasks and races ahead of you until the top goal mean, that in a way you have to rebuild yourself in this particular genre of sailing?

F.N.: I don’t really have to build myself physically, but to try, test, and develop my performance,  to use the most of the boat’s potentials, and to reach harmony within the team — which is me and the boat —, these are essential. It takes lots of time, and lots of practice. Races are the best trainings and tests, because you don’t spare yourself or the device. I believe, that if by the end of this year I’ll be able to use about 97-98% of the boat’s potential, we’ll be to say we were very hard-working.

translation: Lili Fa