Les Sables d’Olonne will be the base port for Nándor and his Imoca 60 in the following IMOCA 60′ sailing race preriod, thanks to the support of Port Olona. Latest news: The Spirit of Hungary has arrived to the city of the Vendée Globe. Skipper Nándor Fa and his co-skipper Péter Perényi has completed their mandatory qualification sailing for the 2015 Transat Jacques Vabre from Gibraltar to Les Sables d’Olonne and arrived to Port Olona on 29th September.
The Spirit of Hungary started from Gibraltar on 22nd September and was sailing in heavy upwind conditions all the way up to the Atlantic coast of France. Congratulations on the successful qualification of the renewed Imoca 60 and Nándor’s new co-skipper Péter Perényi!
Nándor Fa sentences right after the arrival in Port Olona:
“We are here in the heart of the Vendée Globe, it feels fantastic to be here again. Right from the beginning as we turned out of the Strait of Gibraltar, all the way up by the Portuguese coast, in the Bay of Biscay we’d been sailing in always changing upwind conditions. When we were in line with Quimper we had 30 knots upwind. On the other hand we progressed very well, but it was quite uncomfortable. If we count how many miles we’ve done, I’m sure it’s more than 2000 nm. We had to go all the way up to Brest, we had one foot in England almost. This was the best solution, otherwise we would have had to fight the countercurrents in the bay, and the wind conditions wouldn’t have made it any easier for us. So this route was faster, we arrived in Les Sables a day earlier than what we planned.”
“We couldn’t wait to arrive. Les Sables d’Olonne has been in my heart for more than 20 years. People from the port and photographers came out to welcome us, it was a beautiful arrival in the sunset. Lights on the “plage” and along the whole channel were turning on just as we were coming in, it was an emotional bomb for us, for me because I have a history here and also for Peter who’s never been here before. Now we are at the Vendée Globe pontoon, and we’ll be here for the next one and a half years.”
“This big silence was very strange, we were used to the big noise, punches, and splashes so I woke up several times, then I realized we are in the port now and everything’s fine.”
“The boat was performing great, I’m very pleased with it. We didn’t make any dramatic changes in the boat, so there were no surprises. The biggest modification is in the angle of the daggerboards. I felt that they were effective all the time. I was surprised to see, that they didn’t lose their efficiency in lifting the boat towards wind. I was risking this feature for another purpose, but now I realized that the original feature wasn’t lost either, for which I am very glad. It’s much easier to move them up and down than before, so this new angle is much more sympathetic for me.”
“Péter is very motivated and ambitious. We could work together very well, the mood is great onboard. Of course he is not too experienced on the ocean yet, but he has good skills and the right attitude. He is just as motivated as myself.”
“We need to be in Le Havre by 16th October. We are planning to start from here next week around 10-11th, it normally takes 3 days to get there.”
Péter Perényi co-skipper’s sentences after the arrival:
“It was very good, I really enjoyed it. We were sailing in upwind the whole time, but I’m sure we’ll have a chance to sail in different wind-angles too before the Transat Jacques Vabre as we sail to Le Havre or during training. I believe I could adapt to the conditions easily. I discovered new things about myself. It’s very different to be sailing among such big waves and heeling all the time. It’s like a constant training for the muscles, as I have to hold onto something all the time, even in bed. This is an oddity at the beginning but I got used to it.”
You are the electronic technician of the boat. How were things working?
“All the electronic instruments are working well, we had no problems. I hope it stays this way. We have a problem with our water-maker. Within a very long time, we are able to produce very good salty water. [he says ironically] It’s not useful unfortunately. We kept producing lots of water, thinking it may clean itself with time and would get back in order, but no result. So this needs to be solved, we will try to find an expert who can help.”
“Our welcome in Les Sables d’Olonne was beautiful. We were about to prepare the boat for coming into the channel when a small motorboat appeared out of nowhere and they started taking pictures of us. A little bit later another tiny rib came with three people. They knew we were coming and they were waiting for us. So we were followed by 3-4 boats into Port Olona, it felt like if we had arrived from a race. It was a wonderful feeling.”
Photo-Video by Christophe Favreau