sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Fortuna III wins gale-force battle to Rio

Fortuna III wins gale-force battle to Rio

The brand new 60-foot carbon race yacht Fortuna III has won line honours in the Rolex Buenos Aires - Rio de Janeiro Race, taking the winner's gun in Rio at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning.

Skipper Cesar Recalde and his team shook off extreme fatigue after a gruelling week's racing to celebrate their arrival in Rio with the popping of champagne corks and the firing of red flares, just as the sun was rising over Sugar Loaf Mountain.

The almost windless conditions at the finish could not have been more different from the past seven days, which have seen Fortuna III and the rest of the fleet pounding into high winds and big seas. This was Recalde's fifth time competing in the event, and he described it as the toughest 1,200 miles of his career.

‘This was the hardest race I've done,’ said Recalde, who first competed as a bowman in this event 20 years ago. ‘I've seen stronger winds in past races, but never for as long as this time and never so much against the wind.’ The worst period was when the wind blew up to 40 knots for over 10 hours, and Recalde said the wind had scarcely dropped below 25 knots for the past week.

What made it all the tougher was the unyielding construction of Fortuna III, a state-of-the-art carbon racing machine designed by German Frers. ‘She is extremely fast,’ said Recalde, ‘but you pay the price in comfort.’

Whereas less hi-tech, less stiff hulls will go through the waves a little more softly, Recalde says the motion of Fortuna III was fast but unforgiving. ‘We went through each wave with a terrific bang. The mast was vibrating, the whole boat was vibrating. It was a 'crash and bang' race.’

For a yacht competing in its first long-distance ocean race, these were hardly ideal conditions to test the yacht's seaworthiness, but everything held together remarkably well.

Recalde said they were fortunate that the wind built gradually throughout the race, giving the team time to build confidence in each other and the yacht. They spent the vast majority of the race sailing with the mainsail reefed and with the smallest of their foresails, the No.4 genoa.

There was little rest for the 17 men on board. ‘None of us have slept longer than two hours since the race began,’ said Recalde. ‘We only had five bunks on the windward side of the boat, so everyone else had to sit up on deck on the rail, sometimes for six hours without rest. We drove the boat to the maximum.’

The final approach to Rio could not have provided a greater contrast. Just 20 miles from the finish, Fortuna III got her first opportunity in a week to use the spinnaker as the wind turned to a more favourable direction.

However, as so often happens close to Brazil's famous city, the wind disappeared altogether.

‘Just 10 miles south of Rio and we were in a flat calm,’ explained Recalde. ‘That was a worrying moment because I have been there before when we made just three miles in 36 hours.

It could have meant that all our hard work would have come to nothing.’ But after a wait of two or three hours, a gentle 5-knot breeze came in which allowed Fortuna III to spinnaker her way to the finish.

Rated under the IMS handicap system as the fastest yacht by some margin, Fortuna III was always firm favourite to take line honours. To win on corrected time though, she needed to reach Rio by a good distance in front of the next yachts.

With 250 miles back to the next boat, it appears Recalde's team may have done enough to win the double, but as always this depends on the wind that the fleet encounters over the next day.

The tough conditions have already taken their toll on the fleet, with four retirements including one of the favourites Gaucho, who pulled out after breaking the forestay. Recalde believes the biggest threat to be Camba II.

‘They are making good progress in an easterly wind,’ said Recalde, ‘but they will soon be heading into a north-westerly. It's not very charitable of me to say it, but I hope they find the same calms that we had to endure near Rio,’ he laughed.

In the meantime, he and the crew of Fortuna III will celebrate line honours, get some much-needed sleep, and then watch and wait as they pray that no other yacht reaches the finish in time to snatch away overall victory.

First held in 1947, this is the 21st edition of the Rolex Buenos Aires - Rio de Janeiro Race, a 1200-mile race up the South American coast, organised jointly by the Yacht Club Argentino and the Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro. The official prizegiving will be held on February 17 at the Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro.

For further information on the race, visit www.yca.org.ar , and you can track the progress of the fleet with the official race viewer at www.hmh.com.ar/vrm




by Regatta News

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=16384

1:00 AM Mon 14 Feb 2005 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Offshore Yachting

Related News Stories:

19 Jun 2011  Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series overall
08 Apr 2011  Audi Sydney to Newcastle images by Andrea Francolini
06 Apr 2011  RORC Easter Challenge ­- A golden opportunity for sailors
27 Feb 2011  Crown Series 2011 Bellerive Regatta shared honours
15 Oct 2009  Rolex Middle Sea warm up Race
23 Jul 2008  Owen Parker (1932-2008) - the professional racer
19 May 2008  First entries in ISAF Offshore Team World's
13 Feb 2008  SolOceans double-handed in the Indian Ocean
20 Jan 2008  Joyon reclaims world solo record, by 14days
26 Dec 2007  History of Rolex Sydney Hobart 1945 - 2006
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

















International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




















International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,
























Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games by Anna Tunnicliffe, Pittsburgh, PA


America's Cup: Oracle Team USA holds foiling camp at Wangi SC
Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi OR completes double Atlantic crossing
Volvo Ocean Race: Team SCA has a 'pull through day' off the Canaries
No tiller sailing - how to steer using just the sails + Video
International Moth Worlds: Three bullets in a row for Greenhalgh
U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship - Sophia Reineke wins
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 0 Opening
Fuerteventura World Cup - Slalom action highlights day 2
2014 Governor's Cup - Sam Gilmour of RFBYC victorious again
Farr 40 West Coast Champ - Skipper Alberto Rossi leads Enfant Terrible
Flying Dutchman World Championships - Magyars are the Masters
Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
2014 -15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica pushing towards Southampton
NYYC Race Week - Saving the best for last
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander commands
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Waiting game on Day 3
International Moth Worlds: Thunderstorms delay racing on Day 1
Fuerteventura World Cup - Impressive tricks on day 1
2014 Governor's Cup - Two former winners in the finals
America's Cup: Iain Murray explains reasons for Australian withdrawal *Feature
Wilson and Roble remain number one match racers in U.S.   
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Set to start   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Moreno twins dominate home spot   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Record breaking regatta in Tavira + Video   
Melges 32 European Championship - Robertissima remains out front   
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Italians take one-point lead   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Marstrom 32 fleet off to anxious start   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Max Ranchi   
CYC Race to Mackinac - Cruising fleet sets sail in 106th edition   
Team Alvimedica getting a touchup   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Plenty of drama on day 5   
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship - Day 5 Videos   
NYYC Race Week - High performance classes put on shoreside show   
2014 Pacific Cup - 'Invisible Hand' the first boat to finish   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - B.C.'s Eric Holden skippers wins   
America's Cup: Updates on Team Australia withdraw   
J/70 North American titles - Brian Keane moves to top of leaderboard   
2016-2017 America's Cup - Team Australia withdraws   
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander takes charge   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT