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Spirit of Hungary dismasted – Nandor Fa skipper report – audio in English – photos from Madeira

31.11.2015. Spirit of Hungary IMOCA60′ dismasted this afternoon a little after 1700hrs UTC the IMOCA 60 Spirit of Hungary was dismasted while they were 65 Nm north of the island Madeira. They were in 15 knots of northwest wind. Nandor Fa and Péter Perényi are well and warned the Race Direction they are on their way under engine to Madeira.

Gallery – fresh photos of Spirit of Hungary which arrived safely in Madeira – thanks a lot for the images and the logistic for Tamás Mérei and Marcio Serrado Fernandes. photo©M.SerradoFernandes/SOH_Imoca60

First onboard audio from NANDOR FA skipper  – well detailed report of the dismast of the Spirit of Hungary. (audio©mixpress)


Nándor Fa – Spirit of Hungary log – the latest one – the SOH dismast story from the skipper  –  available here – translated from Hungarian

31 October 2015, 19:30 UTC

N. FA: ” The Spirit of Hungary’s race in the 2015 edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre has become a short one. Exactly one week, 2 hours and 30 minutes after the start, 60 nm away from Madeira we dismasted. We were sailing on starboard tack, wind angle 130°, wind power between 16-24 knots, mainsail one reef down, A7 gennaker, boat speed 12-17 knots. It was a nice, fast and safe ride, with 6-8m swells coming from NW. Not in the 45 kts wind a few days back, not in the 46 kts gust yesterday, no, it went down in a weather that’s every sailor’s dream.

We were sitting outside in our seats with Peter, having our meals and talking. The sun was shining, we weren’t cold anymore, everything was good. We were just discussing how to pass Madeira. There was a huge crack and from my seat I could see the boom disappear from the picture. I immediately knew what happened. I dropped the bowl and by reflex pushed the middle button on the keel controller. By the time I stood up, everything was in the water. Half of the boom was on the deck and on the cabin top. The bottom 3 metres of the mast was laying on the deck, then a big crack again, and everything was in the water, hanging on the halyards. Both of us jumped for tools, we mainly needed knifes and the iron saw.

We knew that the most important was to cut everything off to save the boat. Peter had his camera on his head. I was working in the front, trying to saw the carbon stays off, but they were too thick so the saw was stuck, constantly pulling me as the boat was dancing on the waves. Peter was coming to help me when a bigger wave arrived and knocked the boat. Peter tried to catch the rail, which wasn’t there anymore. He fell off the deck in front of my eyes, his right foot stuck in the stay, I caught the left one and pulled him back. He hurt his leg very bad. Are you in one piece? – I asked. He nodded, he must have had serious pain.

The camera with all our footages are on the way down to the bottom of the 4000 deep ocean. A minute later we continued cutting and we managed to get rid of everything, when I saw the A7 still hanging at the back. I tried to pull it back, wanted to save this beautiful brand new sail that we only used for 4 hours but on the other side it was pulled by the whole mast and it was pulling stronger. So I cut it off too, with bleeding heart.

We saved the boom, it is in perfect condition, and we have some ruins of the mast left.

My whole life was changed in only one hour. It changed everything for the following months, maybe years. All of our communication instruments are working, I called the race organizers to inform them about what happened, and that our race is over for now.” (translated by LiliFa)