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Marco Nannini from radio vac today
e Marco Nannini (ITA/GBR, Unicredit); “ It has been varied, I made one big mistake going too near the high. I was in about tenth position and that cost me a lot. Since then it has been very challenging because the weather conditions have been confused, and so it is very rare to have more than a few hours of the same conditions, and so it is continually stack-unstack, ballast-unballast, reef-unreef, and change course, so it is very, very challenging to keep the boat speed up. As a person at the moment I feel fantastic, not a care in the world. (audio is in audio section)I am hoping that I am better placed that the competitors south and east of me, so I am still hoping to recover a few positions, of course nothing magic can be done at this stage But I will still push on until the finish.
There is not so much routine, because the conditions have been so changeable. At the same time yesterday bashing to windward in 25 knots, and absolutely horrible seas. Now I have 8 knots of wind and trying to keep the boat speed up. When the conditions are changing it is very difficult to catch any sleep. So when I get any stable winds I try to sleep as much as possible because I know that I am going to need that later.
This for me is about me being an office worker who one week before the race I was sitting behind a desk in the office. I am not a French pro and I did not come here expecting to perform as a French pro. I held my own, especially in the first part of the race and I was very proud of what I was achieving, then of course experience comes oin and I made a bad mistake, but here I am, still racing absolutely enjoying every minute of it, in this adventure. I have seen things I have never seen before. I was caught in an electric storm, which scared the hell out of me. It is for me a great adventure, and so the blogs, sharing it with others, makes it so much more enjoyable. I receive many, many messages on the boat, reading my blogs – and I am talking thousands and thousands –every time, it is fantastic.
This is my first solo race and it has been extremely challenging. Here it can get very complicated when things go wrong. It just tests your imagination how to approach a problem, because the loads and power to do things you can’t just do by hand. You have to think.
I have endless problems with the autopilot. When the conditions were light that was a nuisance. When they were a bit more wind it became most dangerous. Last night in 25 knots, several times last night the boat tacked which, OK, was just a waste of time, however it did a gybe when I nearly broke all my battens. It seems to be a switch in the system, I have been speaking to engineers at NKE, apart from that the PVC cover on my inner forestay has split, so the hanks for the staysail got caught and so I could not get it up or down. So, I spend quite a long time at a very wide angle trying to think of a solution. The sea state was too bad to go up the mast so I was a bit lost for ideas. But in the end letting the sail flog itself to death in the strong winds sorted it out because it broke more of the cover and ripped off three of the hanks. But the sail came down.
The halyard lock failed when the A2 kite was up failed and I had it in the water in its entirety. I had to recover that without breaking it. There are a lot of little things which do happen.”